The Ravens are a physical, defensive-minded team that has a history of stirring things up off the field with some trash talk. The Patriots, meanwhile, have relied on their offense to get to where they are, and are generally a more reserved team.
No matter how you slice it, though, things are sure to be interesting at Gillette Stadium on Sunday. The Pats head into the battle as seven-point favorites.
In the ultimate offense versus defense battle, Tom Brady and Co. will look to continue its torrid pace. The Pats are just one win away from heading to their fifth Super Bowl in 11 years, but in order to make reservations for the big game in Indianapolis, they'll have to overcome their toughest challenge yet.
The Ravens were fourth overall in term's of pass defense during the regular season, and second in the league in run defense. The Pats' offense is going to have its hands full when it comes to trying to drive down the field at the same clip the unit has all season.
Baltimore is stacked with playmakers on defense, including Ray Lewis, Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs and Ed Reed. Brady will truly have to be on top of his game to ensure New England doesn't give Baltimore any free points.
The Patriots' defense is much less impressive, but it showed last week that it can get stingy at times, as the unit held Tim Tebow and the Broncos in check for all four quarters.
Perhaps the biggest X factor in this game, though, is Joe Flacco. We'll get to see whether the Ravens quarterback can elevate his game enough to propel his team into the big game.
With so many storylines, and so many angles to analyze, it's tough to predict this one. But hey, why not give it a shot?
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