|Last 3 Games||2-1||+1||0-3||2-1||27.0||5.7||463.3||(6.4)||1.3||27.0||10.0||419.0||(6.7)||0.7|
|Offense (All Games)||26.4||10.4||23.8||30:03||28-118||(4.2)||25-41||60.9%||272||(6.6)||69-391||(5.6)||(14.8)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||23.4||11.9||19.2||30:09||27-109||(4)||22-36||60.5%||230||(6.5)||62-339||(5.4)||(14.5)|
|Offense Road Games||22.9||10.1||24.0||30:31||25-108||(4.2)||26-43||59.7%||281||(6.5)||69-388||(5.7)||(17)|
|Defense (All Games)||22.2||10.1||21.4||31:35||30-132||(4.4)||21-37||57.3%||240||(6.5)||67-373||(5.6)||(16.8)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||22.5||11.7||19.6||30:26||26-107||(4)||22-36||61.4%||237||(6.5)||63-344||(5.5)||(15.2)|
|Defense Road Games||23.7||10.1||21.1||30:53||31-121||(4)||21-34||62.7%||241||(7.1)||64-361||(5.6)||(15.2)|
|Stats For (All Games)||0.7||0.6||1.4||0.4||14-5||38.5%||1-0||46.7%||2-52||(21.3)||2-26||(11.2)||4-38|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||0.9||0.5||1.4||1.9||14-5||38.3%||1-0||45.2%||2-53||(23.2)||24-2||(10.3)||6-51|
|Stats For (Road Games)||0.9||0.6||1.4||-0.3||14-6||40.6%||1-0||50.0%||2-56||(23.1)||2-22||(13.1)||4-40|
|Stats Against (All Games)||1.0||0.8||1.8|| ||15-6||43.4%||1-0||26.7%||2-41||(19.8)||2-13||(7.5)||7-58|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1.1||0.6||1.8|| ||14-5||38.2%||1-0||45.7%||2-56||(23.3)||19-2||(8.9)||6-55|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||0.6||0.6||1.1|| ||14-6||45.8%||1-0||33.3%||2-35||(22.1)||1-12||(8.2)||6-47|
|Last 3 Games||3-0||+3.6||1-2||2-1||23.0||8.7||313.7||(4.8)||1.0||20.7||3.3||352.3||(5.7)||1.3|
|Offense (All Games)||21.1||9.4||18.5||30:49||27-83||(3)||22-38||58.8%||227||(6)||65-310||(4.8)||(14.7)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||25.2||12.6||19.9||30:26||27-113||(4.1)||22-36||59.8%||236||(6.5)||64-349||(5.5)||(13.8)|
|Offense Home Games||21.6||8.6||17.4||30:55||29-78||(2.7)||21-34||61.5%||212||(6.2)||63-290||(4.6)||(13.4)|
|Defense (All Games)||19.8||8.4||17.3||30:19||27-102||(3.8)||20-35||56.9%||232||(6.6)||62-334||(5.4)||(16.9)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||24||11.7||20.3||30:20||26-109||(4.1)||23-38||61.0%||253||(6.7)||64-362||(5.6)||(15.1)|
|Defense Home Games||14.3||3.9||16.6||30:27||25-101||(4)||20-37||54.8%||221||(5.9)||62-322||(5.2)||(22.5)|
|Stats For (All Games)||1.2||0.4||1.6||-0.1||16-6||37.1%||1-0||54.5%||3-67||(25.9)||3-41||(15)||7-57|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||0.9||0.5||1.4||1.8||14-5||38.6%||1-0||51.1%||3-64||(23.7)||21-2||(9.9)||6-51|
|Stats For (Home Games)||0.9||0.4||1.3||0.1||15-6||37.0%||1-0||40.0%||2-71||(29.4)||3-52||(17.2)||7-53|
|Stats Against (All Games)||0.9||0.6||1.4|| ||15-5||32.4%||1-1||57.1%||2-53||(22.6)||3-27||(9.3)||8-76|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1.1||0.7||1.8|| ||14-5||38.3%||1-1||49.8%||3-64||(23.3)||22-2||(10)||6-54|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||1.0||0.4||1.4|| ||15-4||29.5%||2-1||45.5%||3-72||(24)||3-30||(9.9)||7-76|
|Average power rating of opponents played: NEW ENGLAND 19.1, BALTIMORE 19.2|
|12/22/2013||@ BALTIMORE|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/29/2013||BUFFALO|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/22/2013||NEW ENGLAND|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/29/2013||@ CINCINNATI|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|NEW ENGLAND: New England is consistently middle-of-the-pack in run/pass ratio, and that should hold this year. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels' running game is a power scheme heavy on man blocking, and No. 1 back Stevan Ridley is a nice fit. However, Ridley's fumble-itis is an issue. Shane Vereen will get a lot of reps and is a better weapon in the passing game. The additions of Donald Jones and Michael Jenkins and re-signing of Julian Edelman, three solid blocking receivers, suggest they might test the perimeter more often. They also find work for a third back, either LeGarrette Blount or Brandon Bolden.
The Patriots' passing game has become more and more spread. The tight ends, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, remain the focal points of the passing game when they're on the field, but both were doubtful for Week 1 when we went to press. Hernandez (legal trouble) is a moveable chess piece while Gronkowski (forearm injury) plays in-line and is often called upon to protect. Danny Amendola steps into the Wes Welker role and figures to lead the team in targets as long as he remains healthy. He'll likely slide outside when they play three wide. Rookie Aaron Dobson has a chance to see a lot of snaps on the outside. The Pats had more goal-to-go snaps than any NFL team last year, and skewed run-heavy with them.
The Patriots finished T-9th in scoring defense in 2012, and led the NFL with 32 forced and 21 recovered fumbles, thanks to a stellar corps of linebackers anchored by LBs Jerod Mayo and Dont'a Hightower. A healthy DE Chandler Jones has Pro Bowl potential, and DT Vince Wilfork is still a monster. The secondary hasn't been good for a long time, but the addition of S Adrian Wilson and the healthy return of CB Aqib Talib will certainly help.|
|BALTIMORE: The champs have steadily moved away from the running game as they've gone more no-huddle the past two seasons, but they're still middle-of-the-pack when it comes to run/pass ratio. They utilize a lot of zone-blocking plays, using some more stretch looks when Ray Rice is in the game and some inside zone plays for back-up Bernard Pierce, who should eat into Rice's workload a little more this season. Rice has typically taken 75 percent of the reps in past years, but that should be closer to 65 percent as Pierce has earned the coaching staff's trust.
The Ravens finally handed the keys of the offense over to Joe Flacco last year, and despite some bumps in the road, it worked out. Expect a system heavy on no-huddle again this year. This is an Air Coryell offense that attacks downfield, and has the weapons to do it in Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones. Veteran Anquan Boldin is gone, with his production underneath likely going to tight ends Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson, and No. 3 receiver Tandon Doss. Ray Rice continues to be frequently used as a security blanket and screen option to create mismatches. The Ravens still skew run-heavy near the goal line, where Rice takes a big workload.
LBs Ray Lewis and Dannell Ellerbe, and DBs Ed Reed, Bernard Pollard and Cary Williams are all gone from the 17th-ranked defense (351 YPG allowed), but DT Haloti Ngata, LB Terrell Suggs and a healthy CB Lardarius Webb are still Pro Bowl defenders. Replacing Lewis and Ellerbe will be rookie ILB Arthur Brown and ILB Jameel McClain who is coming back from a spine injury. Newcomers DE/LB Elvis Dumervil, DL Chris Canty and DB Michael Huff will all help the Ravens combat the AFC's toughest schedule.|
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER PRO FOOTBALL PREVIEW (NEW ENGLAND-BALTIMORE) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(UPDATES with Flacco wearing knee brace)
*Patriots-Ravens Preview* =========================
By KEVIN CHROUST STATS Writer
Just a month ago, it seemed the phrase "Super Bowl hangover" might define the Baltimore Ravens' season.
After four straight wins, they control their fate in the AFC North and can clinch a playoff berth for the sixth straight season this week with a little cooperation from the league.
First, they'll need to take care of business at home Sunday against the New England Patriots, for whom the playoff formula is a little easier to follow: Beat the Ravens and a fifth straight AFC East title is theirs.
The Ravens (8-6) are also after their fifth straight home win and third in a row over the Patriots (10-4) after beating them in the regular season last year and the AFC championship.
"We're playing our best football right now," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "We're going to have to continue to improve with what we have in front of us down the stretch."
In Monday night's 18-16 win at Detroit, Justin Tucker's leg bailed out an offense that continued to stall in Lions territory and failed to reach the end zone. He made six field goals, including a 61-yard winner in the final minute to set a franchise record.
Tucker last missed in Week 2 at Cleveland, and his 33 straight makes is the NFL's longest streak since Matt Stover made 36 in a row for the Ravens from 2005-06.
"What can you say about Justin Tucker?" Harbaugh said. "When we got the ball there, I think at the 45-yard line, I said, 'Hey, are we kicking this?' ... He said, 'I got it.'"
The Patriots didn't have it on a potential game-winning drive in last Sunday's 24-20 loss at Miami as they failed in their first shot at clinching the division.
Tom Brady moved the Patriots 61 yards to the Dolphins' 19 with 27 seconds left before failing on the final four plays.
"We didn't do a good job in the red area, and didn't do a good job finishing drives," Brady said. "We came up on the short end of the stick. It wasn't a good day. Just couldn't make enough plays."
When they did make plays, Brady leaned heavily on slot receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola. Again without tight end Rob Gronkowski, who landed on injured reserve with a torn ACL and MCL suffered Dec. 8, the duo combined for 23 receptions and 270 yards. Edelman's 89 catches rank fifth in the league.
After a slow start to the year, the passing game has been more Patriot-like over the last six weeks. Brady leads the league with 2,225 passing yards since Nov. 3, and he's throw 14 touchdowns with four interceptions in that span. Whether they can convert in the red zone without Gronkowski, something they struggled with in the first six games without him, remains to be seen.
Last week's loss denied the Patriots their own four-game winning streak, though it was the fifth straight game in which they trailed in the fourth quarter. That's been the case in every road game but one for New England, which has lost four of its last five away from Foxborough while maintaining a 7-0 home record.
The Patriots' three road wins have come against Buffalo, Atlanta and Houston - all last-place teams that are a combined 11-31.
"They're playing better football now than they were in the beginning of the season," New England defensive end Rob Ninkovich said.
In typical Ravens fashion, they haven't done it with gaudy offensive numbers. Consistency has been enough as they've averaged 313.3 yards in their last four games, never straying below 305 or above 325. They've turned the ball over four times during the winning streak and haven't allowed over 26 points since a 49-27 Week 1 loss at Denver.
They also seem to have figured out their pass protection. Joe Flacco has been sacked a career-high 42 times, but only five of those have come in the last three games.
Still, Flacco took a shot in the left knee Monday after being struck by the helmet of oncoming Lions lineman DeAndre Levy and will wear a brace against the Patriots.
He says his knee is "a little stiff," but does not expect it to be a hindrance against New England.
"(They) play the game the right way," Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater said. "They don't back down from anyone and they always compete. So it's never easy playing those guys."
The Patriots haven't lost consecutive games since Week 3 of 2012, a 31-30 defeat at Baltimore that followed a 20-18 loss to Arizona.
|Last Updated: 9/23/2014 1:23:31 PM EST|