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Week 16 Preview: Baltimore Ravens Host New England Patriots in Crucial Game

December 20th, 2013 at 8:26 AM
By Josh Michael

Sunday will bring us just the latest installment of the Baltimore Ravens against the New England Patriots with this version being played at M&T Bank Stadium. Both teams come in having not clinched playoff spots, but both are in control of a AFC Playoff spot right now and both desperately need a win on Sunday evening.

It doesn't matter when, where or how good each team has been, when these two lock horns it is always an entertaining game. Sunday will be no different and with both teams looking to earn a playoff spot, it should be quite a showdown.

'IMG_0935' photo (c) 2009, Iris Goldstein - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

This is going to be one of those games that puts strength against strength and weakness against weakness as the Ravens ninth ranked defense will have to find a way to contain the leagues eighth ranked offense in the Patriots. There is more to this however, as the team is now without TE Rob Gronkowski after he tore his ACL two weeks ago and we saw last week that this New England offense is simply not the same without him on the field.

The Patriots are not just the eighth ranked total offense, but they score the sixth most points per game in all of football averaging 26.4 so it should be fun to watch such a high octane offense, go up against a Ravens defense that ranks seventh in the NFL  as they hold opponents to 19.8 points per game.

On the flip side, the Ravens offense has struggled to put up big numbers on a consistent basis, but has looked better since the return of TE Dennis Pitta. Baltimore currently ranks 25th in points per game scoring 21.1 per and are 29th in total offense averaging just 309.9 yards per game with only the Jets, Jaguars and Bucs gaining fewer.

New England's defense may offer some light at the end of the tunnel for Baltimore as the Patriots allow 372.7 yards per game, which ranks them 24th in the league and teams are scoring 22.2 points per game against them.

If you want a perfect example of how this game puts a weakness up against a weakness, the Patriots are next to last in the entire league in rushing yards allowed per game giving up 132.5 per, and if you have watched the Ravens at all you already know they have struggled to run the football this year. Thus, the 29th ranked rushing offense of the Ravens will try and turn it around against the second worst rushing defense in football. Incase you were wondering, the only team in the league that allows more rushing yards per game than the Patriots is the Bears, and Baltimore had their best rushing performance of the season against Chicago earlier this year.

It should be yet another entertaining game between these two as both continue to fight for division titles and another playoff berth, but who will come out victorious? We will have to wait till Sunday to find out.


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Tags: Baltimore, Baltimore Ravens, Football, New England Patriots, NFL

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