New England Patriots Wild Card Game Scouting Report: Baltimore Ravens

4 Sport BostonCorrespondent IJanuary 6, 2010

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 04: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots passes the ball under pressure by Paul Kruger #99 of the Baltimore Ravens on October 4, 2009 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots defeated the Ravens 27-21.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

How They Got Here

The Baltimore Ravens kicked-off the season with an explosive start, winning their first three games by scoring over 30 points in each game. Their streak was broken after a close game in New England, which started a three-game slide that left the Ravens 3-3 at their Week 7 bye.

After the bye, the Ravens couldn't get on a roll as they traded victories and losses for the next seven weeks. However, winning three out of their last four helped them secure an AFC wild card slot in a division where Cincinnati surprised and Pittsburgh disappointed.

Except for their Week 13 loss to Green Bay, the Ravens always kept the score close. This is a 9-7 team that could easily be 12-4.

Key Victories: San Diego (Week 2), Pittsburgh (Week 12)

Key Losses: Cincinnati (Week 5), Indianapolis (Week 11), Pittsburgh (Week 16)

Baltimore vs. New England - Week 4

In Week 4, the Ravens came into the game determined to beat the Pats through the air. Joe Flacco threw the ball 47 times, completing 27 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns. Despite only rushing the ball 11 times, Ray Rice racked up 103 yards and broke off an impressive 50-yard run.

The game was a very even match between the two teams, however the Ravens actually looked better on paper edging the Pats in third down efficiency (64% vs. 40%) and in Net Yards (363 vs. 319.)

So why did Baltimore lose this game? They stuck with the pass and saw drives end short while the Patriots ran the ball and ran down the clock. Sure, the Ravens could have easily won this game had Mark Clayton caught a fourth quarter pass with... READ MORE