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The New England Patriots, owners of the AFC’s best record, will welcome the Baltimore Ravens for their fourth playoff meeting since 2010. New England has won four of its last seven meetings against Baltimore, but Baltimore has won two of the last three playoff meetings. Still, a meeting against Baltimore may be what New England needs if it wants to return to the Super Bowl for the first time in four seasons. By confronting and defeating their most recent playoff nemesis, New England will walk away with a renewed sense of confidence as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick move a step closer to their fourth Super Bowl ring. The key to a New England victory will be neutralizing Baltimore’s ferocious pass rush. Last weekend, Baltimore sacked Ben Roethlisberger five times and ultimately knocked him out of the game late in the fourth quarter. Baltimore’s defense has accumulated 54 sacks in 17 games. In the past, Baltimore has defeated New England by pressuring Brady and forcing him to speed up his progressions. Baltimore vs. New England is one of the NFL’s most intense rivalries and fans can expect to pay above average ticket prices for this matchup.

According to TiqIQ, the average price for Ravens vs. Patriots tickets is $390.96 while the get-in price is $140. Ticket prices for this matchup are the highest among the NFL Divisional Round. The average is currently 47% above the Patriots’ home average this season, which was just below $300 at Gillette Stadium. However, this price has dropped 9% since New England clinched its playoff berth.

Brady will look to keep Baltimore’s ferocious pass rush at bay by feeding running backs, LeGarrette Blount and Shane Vereen. Both running backs present different matchup issues for Baltimore defense. When New England isn’t pounding the ball, expect Brady to target tight end, Rob Gronkowski. After dealing with injuries during 2013, Gronkowski returned with a vengeance in 2014, catching 82 passes for 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns. Baltimore’s secondary has been ravaged with injuries, so expect Brady to target Gronkowski early and often. New England’s secondary will need to slowdown Baltimore’s dynamic Smith duo of Steve Smith Sr. and Torrey Smith. Luckily, New England has two top corners, Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, who are up for the challenge. Expect emotions to run high with a spot in the AFC Championship on the line.

The winner of this game will just be a game away from representing the AFC in the Super Bowl. Currently, the secondary market average price for Super Bowl tickets on TiqIQ is $3370.23, almost exactly the average price of last year’s Super Bowl.

Greg Cohen 1/06/2015 02:58:00 PM Edit
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