By: Ariana Tourangeau
What stood out to me the most was that the Patriots should be scared for their matchup against the Ravens this weekend - that "Playoff Flacco" is someone to be feared. He won a Super Bowl in 2012, and his calmness under pressure makes people nervous. But are they good enough to knock out one of the best teams in the league?
Stephen A. Smith of ESPN is arguing that although the Patriots are consistently in the playoffs, they've never looked better than they do this year. According to an article on Bleacher Report, "Joe Flacco's calm demeanor and stingy defenses have turned the Ravens into the best playoff road team in NFL history." The article goes on to say that the Ravens hope to make history this weekend as well as silence the thunderous roar of a sellout crowd. The Ravens have 10 post-season road wins, tied with the Green Bay Packers for the most in NFL history.
The reason the sports world is nervous for the Pats is because Flacco has shown a laid-back confidence in years past, while some would say Brady has folded under pressure or in crunch time. Flacco has also outplayed Brady in their last two meetings, the 2011 and 2012 AFC Championship games. An article from ESPN states that, in both those games combined, "Flacco completed 59.8 percent of his passes (43-of-72) for 546 yards with five touchdowns and one interception (100.8 passer rating). Brady connected on 56.6 percent of his throws (51-of-90) for 559 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions (60.3 rating)."
We all know the Patriots though, they always find a way to win no matter how threatening the opponent. That is one thing, as annoying as it is, they've always been good at. They could be losing in the 4th quarter, or even the final minutes, and still pull out a W.
This weekend will certainly be interesting. With the Patriots battling the Ravens and the Cowboys looking to prove themselves against the Packers - both in chilly conditions - we could see a thrilling upset or an exhilarating win in either game. Regardless, both games are not to be missed. The Cowboys are undefeated on the road and the Packers are undefeated at home. Which one will prevail? Will the Patriots prove they're still the best team in the AFC?