AFC Championship Keys to the Game – Ravens @ Patriots 1/22/12

Last Updated: January 22nd, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
Bet The AFC Championship Lines at JustBet & Get An Exclusive 100% Signup Bonus
Exclusive 100% Signup Bonus (Up to $1,000) From JustBet!
New JustBet Customers: Use This Link & Promocode: “bankrollsports”
(Must Use Above Links – $1,000 Max – 100% Added Bonus For Deposits Over $1K)

The AFC Championship Game odds are out, and here at Bankroll Sports, we are set to take a look at what should be a fantastic duel in Foxboro between the Baltimore Ravens and the New England Patriots. Check out our New England vs. Baltimore keys to the game for the AFC Championship Game.

NFL Playoffs Matchup: Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots
Ravens vs. Patriots Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
Ravens vs. Patriots Date/Time: Sunday, January 22nd, 3:00 p.m.
Ravens vs. Patriots Television Coverage: CBS

Click Here For The Rest Of The 2012 NFL Playoff Bracket And Other NFL Playoff Previews

Key #1: The Patriots have to prove that they are tough
It’s hard to challenge a team’s toughness, but we have to wonder just how good these Patriots are. They played against two teams that finished above .500 this year, and they were beaten by both the New York Giants and the Pittsburgh Steelers. They’ve got their hands full now with a Baltimore team that is as tough as nails. What we have seen from the Patriots is the ability to throw the ball, and there is no doubt that they can do that as well as anyone ever has been able to in the history of the league. However, running the ball is a severely different story. The team ranks No. 20 in the NFL with 110.2 rushing yards per game, and a heck of a lot of those yards have come on finesse runs to the outside. The Ravens are going to challenge New England the entire game by slamming it right up the gut both on offense and on defense, and if this game gets ugly, QB Tom Brady and the gang are going to be tested against a team that absolutely relishes playing in these types of games.

Ravens @ Patriots Odds at Wager Web Sportsbook
Baltimore Ravens +7
New England Patriots -7
Over/Under 50
Click Here to Bet Your NFL playoffs Picks!

Key #2: Brady is going to have to find some receivers aside from the tight ends
The combination of TEs Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski is as good as it gets in the NFL, and these two had right around 250 yards from scrimmage against the Denver Broncos last week, but we just don’t know whether the Ravens are going to be allowing that type of production with all of the speed that it has in the middle of the field. Remember that last week, Baltimore played against one of the few teams that utilize the tight end as much as New England does, and the three Houston tight ends combined for just two receptions and 26 yards. The Ravens also didn’t allow a pass that went for more than 19 yards in the whole game, and it is a wonder how Brady is going to find holes in this defense if he can’t work the ball up the field and can’t get it inside to his tight ends. WR Wes Welker could be in for a big time day, as could WR Deion Branch, who is more or less the forgotten man in this offense in spite of the fact that he had a fantastic season as the No. 2 wide out.


Key #3: Joe Flacco has to make some plays to win
There really wasn’t all that much that Flacco did last week against the Texans. He took advantage of three turnovers to score 17 first quarter points, but he only had a field goal for the rest of the game. Quite often, Flacco has found himself rushed against some of the best front sevens in the game, but with the Patriots missing DE Andre Carter and possibly playing without their top sack man, DE Mark Anderson as well, the pocket might not be a problem for the former Delaware Blue Hen. Flacco went 14-of-27 against Houston’s stout defense, but a lot of the passes that he completed were products of great plays by the wide receivers and tight ends, several of which were one-handed snares on balls that weren’t necessarily thrown the greatest. Flacco has found ways to win playoff games for his whole career, but right around this juncture, he needs to make the big time play to get his team to the Super Bowl, and he just hasn’t been able to do it. There is a point that there have to be some questions asked of Flacco, and eventually, he is going to have to win a game like this to validate that he indeed can take this team to the Super Bowl.

Click Here to get the best football picks that you’ll find on the internet, including our NFL playoffs picks and the NFL picks for the rest of the playoff game odds.

Comments (Using Facebook)

Posted in NFL Football - Last Updated on Sunday, January 22nd, 2012 @ 5:09 am (EST)
Comment on This NFL Football Article (Using Your Facebook) Below

Comments (Must Use Facebook)