Patriots: A read on Ravens’ flock

If there’s one defense that can silence the Patriots high-octane offense, it’s Ed Reed, Ray Lewis (right) and the stingy Ravens.

We’re still five days away from the AFC championship game, but it’s never too early to get a good read on your opponent:

Is Flacco Tebow Part II?

OK, maybe that’s a little harsh, but the point is that Joe Flacco is by no means a top quarterback in the league. The Patriots secondary has been pretty lucky this postseason, having faced Tim Tebow and now Flacco. In fact, Flacco’s quarterback rating of 80.9 was good for just 18th in the NFL this season. And Flacco threw for just 6.66 yards per pass attempt, placing him 24th in the NFL. He hasn’t thrown for more than 227 yards since Week 11. The Ravens haven’t been winning because of Flacco, in fact, you could say to an extent that they’ve won in spite of him.
A+ for ‘D’
The Ravens defense is for real, and is certainly one that could easily give the Patriots high-powered offense trouble. Out of the remaining four teams in the postseason, the Ravens are tops … with the Patriots last. Comparing the two is enough to make you cringe. We won’t go there today, but just know that the Ravens give up an average of just 196.3 passing yards per game. One good reason? Free safety Ed Reed — a player Bill Belichick once said is the best to ever play the position. Talk about respect.

When you talk about a “tough” team, the Ravens have to be at or near the top of the list. Their résumé this season is better than the Patriots — two wins each against the Steelers and Bengals in the regular season, two wins (one in the postseason) against the Texans, and a win against the 49ers. They do it with defense and they do it in the run game with Ray Rice. Ground and pound — on both sides of the ball — is the key to success for Baltimore. The Pats will need to out-tough them.

Average Joe

A look at the last three times Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has faced the Patriots:

1. The pick of the litter for Jumbo Joe, Flacco put up 285 passing yards with a pair of TD passes but the Ravens still fell to the Pats, 23-20, on Oct. 17, 2010.
2. Flacco was atrocious in the Ravens wild-card win at Gillette on Jan. 10, 2010. He had a QB rating of 10.0 as he completed 4-of-10 passes for 34 yards and an interception.
3. Flacco had a 78.7 QB rating on Oct. 4, 2009, as the Ravens came up short in a 27-21 loss to the Patriots. The Ravens QB passed for 264 yards with an interception and two touchdowns.


Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…


Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.


Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.


OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…


Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."


'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…


NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1


MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing


MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox


2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch


VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.


#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.


Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.


Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.