The Baltimore Ravens are putting it all together at the right time. Same story, different year. John Harbaugh has the innate gift to get his teams to peak and play at their very best in December and January.
As the winter months commence, and the weather gets colder and colder, the Ravens simply find a way to win football games. It has been no different this season. Joe Flacco has been a cool customer. The young defense is finally playing together and gelling. They have the best kicker in football by a wide margin in Justin Tucker, who is practically automatic from everywhere on the football field.
A lot of what the Ravens are doing is a recipe for success come the postseason. The New England Patriots now roll into town. These two have a rich history together. Whether it be the playoffs or the regular season, you can always count on these games to be complete wars.
The loss of Rob Gronkowski was certainly a crusher for the Patriots. They simply look like a different football team without him and that is proven in the numbers. With Gronk, they have a scoring average in the 30s; without him, it’s in the 20s. He makes that big of a difference.
The Patriots right now have some red flags about them. They have been getting down early to inferior opponents and Tom Brady has had to work his late-game magic seemingly weekly for the Pats to win. It finally came back to haunt them last week.
The Ravens, of all teams in the league, are the the squad Brady struggles with the most. They are the only team in the league in which he has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns. The Ravens and Harbaugh seem to have his number.
I see history repeating itself. This game is too important for the Ravens at home and they aren’t about to let this team ruin their season again. Flacco, the defense and ultimately their deadly kicker get it done late.
Final prediction? 24-21, Ravens.