The Patriots have only lost one home game since Nov. 30, 2008. They’ve only lost one home playoff game since 1978. Unfortunately, that was the same game: last year’s wild-card contest against this weekend’s opponent, Baltimore.
On the first play of that game, the Ravens’ Ray Rice took a handoff from Joe Flacco up the middle for an 83-yard touchdown. Baltimore ended up jumping out to a 24-0 first-quarter lead, and the Pats’ season was as good as over.
“I think all of us who are in this locker room know the kind of beating we took from these guys last year,” Tom Brady said yesterday. “So we don’t want that to repeat itself. … We got manhandled by a damn good team.”
Coach Bill Belichick will need to have his team more prepared this time around. The Ravens, known primarily for their defense, also boast an improved offense.
That makes them one of the NFL’s few truly elite teams this year.
Rice burned the Pats last year, but they can’t focus all their attention on him.
“That’s the problem with playing Baltimore is that they have so many weapons,” Belichick said. “They have a lot of good players. It’s no one-man band. You can’t just zero in on one guy or the rest of them will kill you.
“They use all those guys. It’s really a good group.”