3. Top Offense Meets Top Defense
Here we have a classic case of the unstoppable force vs. the immovable object. The Patriots have the fourth ranked passing attack, the sixth ranked rushing game and they put up the sixth most points per game. The Ravens defense ranks first in the NFL. Baltimore gives up only 222.2 passing yards per game which ranks seventh in the NFL. Baltimore gives up just 73.8 rushing yards per game which is the best in the NFL.
The Ravens defense allows a first down conversion on just 33% of third downs. The Patriots convert on third down 44% of the time which ranks as sixth best in the NFL. Essentially both teams put on a third down clinic. The Ravens get off the field, the Patriots stay on the field. Whoever wins on third downs may just win the game.
The Ravens have learned over the years that frustrating the Patriots is the first step to beating them. This is a Patriots team that not only expects to win, but they do it easily more often than not. Brady is not great at dealing with frustration. The Patriots will make big plays in this game. They are too good to completely shut down. If the Ravens make everything a challenge, they may be able to bend the will of the Patriots.