The Ravens came into Foxboro on a cold Sunday afternoon in the first round of the 2009 playoffs and preceded to throttle the Pats in front of their home crowd.
Running back Ray Rice took the handoff on the game’s opening play, went 83 yards for a touchdown and the Ravens never looked back on their way to a 33-14 rout of the Patriots.
The Patriots get their chance at some redemption this weekend, but they’ll certainly have their hands full with a Ravens team that many think are a Super Bowl favorite and are the pick of many as the best team in the league early on.
The Ravens will bring a dynamic offensive attack to Gillette Stadium on Sunday. Of course, there’s Rice. The versatile back out of Rutgers can burn you not only on the ground — as the Pats saw last year — but he’s also explosive catching passes out of the backfield. Rice exploded for 159 yards on the ground in last year’s playoff game, but the scary thing is that he’s capable of even more.
The Ravens also have one of the game’s best young quarterbacks in Joe Flacco. The Delaware product has been incosistent at times in his career but has shown an early knack for being able to play his best when it matters most. Not only that, Flacco now has the luxury of throwing to wide receiver Anquan Boldin. One of the game’s best receivers, Boldin was arguably the biggest offseason pickup this year. Throw in the Patriots’ struggles against the pass this season, and they could have their hands full with the Baltimore aerial attack.
Then, there’s the Baltimore bread and butter, its vaunted defense. Anchored by linebacker Ray Lewis, the Ravens’ defensive unit has been among the league’s best for quite some time now. Lewis is the leader, but he’s aided by players like linebacker Terrell Suggs and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. They’re a ferocious defense and probably the biggest reason the Ravens are widely considered as the best team in the NFL right now.
There’s plenty for the Patrots to worry about when the Ravens come to Gillette. But the Patriots were off last weekend, so they’ve had an extra week to prepare.
Out of all the Ravens’ offensive and defensive assets, which player is the biggest threat to the Patriots this week? Share your thoughts below.
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