The Ravens are extremely familiar with the Patriots, facing off in the AFC Conference Championship in 2011 and 2012, with the two teams splitting the match-ups. New England dominated the Week 16 match-up in 2013, winning to the tune of 41-7, but the Ravens won both games in 2012. The 2012 regular season game led to the league increasing the field goal posts an additional five feet as the Ravens' last second game winning field goal was counted as good, but would hit an extended post.
Baltimore was fortunate to get the Steelers without Le'Veon Bell, arguably the best running back in the league, which allowed the Ravens to focus on preventing the pass. On the other side of the ball, the Ravens were able to attack the weak Steelers defense for chunk gains.
The Ravens feature the 13th ranked defense by weighted DVOA, including the 5th ranked rushing defense. Their offense is ranked 8th, including the 6th ranked passing offense. The Ravens rank 8th in offensive points per drive and 9th in defensive points per drive. For comparison, the Patriots rank 3rd in offensive points per drive and 8th in defensive points per drive.
While the Patriots had to play a tough schedule against the AFC West and the NFC North, the AFC North was lucky enough to face two of the weakest divisions in NFL history, in the AFC South and the NFC South. Baltimore only beat two teams with winning records this season: the Steelers in Week 2, and the Steelers in the playoffs.
Get ready. This is going to be a great week.