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AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
The Baltimore Ravens beat the Pittsburgh Steelers last night, meaning they're on to New England now on Saturday afternoon at 4:35.

The Ravens were impressive last night, especially in getting to Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (never an easy task, mind you). They brought down Big Ben 5 times for a total of 37 yards lost in the process. The Ravens also forced 3 turnovers against the Steelers last night (2 interceptions and 1 fumble). The Baltimore Ravens defensive front can get pressure on you and stop the run as well (4th during the season at 88.3 YPG against the run).

Translation: The Baltimore Ravens can cause problems defensively for the Patriots, even in Foxborough. Do they have a weakness? Sure, their pass defense was ranked 23rd in the league (248.7 YPG), which Tom Brady and Co. can exploit, especially with a healthy Rob Gronkowski.

Granted, causing the Pats problems is something of a specialty of Baltimore's, especially in the playoffs. Back in 2012, the Patriots barely escaped and made it to the Super Bowl, needing a dropped pass in the end zone and a missed field goal that would have tied the game. In 2013, the Ravens succeeded in knocking off the Pats en route to a Super Bowl.

Offensively, Baltimore wasn't overwhelming - they had 295 total yards of offense last night. Joe Flacco had 2 touchdowns, but I didn't see anything that scared me out of my wits. If I had to pick a player to watch, it would be Justin Forsett, who has stepped up nicely as Ray Rice's replacement. He could be a danger man for the Ravens if he gets a chance to get started. One of the keys for me is stopping him and forcing Joe Flacco to throw the ball. If the Pats do that, I think they'll give

The story of the game last night was Baltimore's defense. They made life easier for the offense, and that translated to 30 points and the victory. If Pats fans worry themselves about anything, it should be Baltimore's defensive front. I've said it in past articles, and I'll say it here - I doubt Baltimore (or any AFC team, save for the Broncs - maybe) has the talent to come into Foxborough and win, but the Ravens will no doubt make things interesting, especially given the recent playoff rivalry between these 2 teams.

Stats from ESPN.com

Conor Frederick 1/04/2015 06:35:00 PM Edit
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