Found January 18, 2013 on Tireball.com:
A match-up between the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots is beginning to become a regular occurrence in the AFC Championship game. The two teams will meet again on Sunday with the prize being a birth in Super Bowl XLVII. CBS will carry the game from Foxborough, MA, which has a kickoff time of 6:30 PM EST. What is the point spread in the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots game? The New England Patriots are a 8 point favorite against the Baltimore Ravens. The over/under for this game is 51.5 total points. BAL NE W-L 10-6 12-4 Avg Points 24.9 34.8 Avg Points Allowed 21.5 20.7 Home Record 6-2 6-2 Road Record 4-4 6-2 When the two teams met earlier this year the Ravens won a closely contested game by a 31-30 score. The two teams also met in last years AFC Championship game where the Ravens were a dropped touchdown pass and then a missed field goal away from possible advancement into the Super Bowl. For much of the season the Ravens appeared to be one of the favorites for the Super Bowl. Their continued dominance of the opposition by their defense and an offense that could score at well, at times, cruised to an early 9-2 record. Then the wheels fell off. Baltimore would lose three in a row to Pittsburgh, Washington and Denver while firing offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. Once Baltimore made the playoffs they got healthy welcoming back linebacker Ray Lewis in the process. Baltimore cruised past Indianapolis in the opening round before unleashing Joe Flacco on the hapless defenders of the Denver Broncos in a Divisional Round game. The Patriots finished the regular season 12-4. The offense was fourth in passing yards, seventh in rushing and led the NFL with 34.8 points per game. After losing to the Ravens in Week 3 the Patriots went 11-2. Tom Brady recorded 34 touchdowns marking the third consecutive year he has reached that plateau while running back Steven Ridley topped 1,200 yards and reached the end-zone 12 times himself. The biggest news regarding the Patriots will be the absence of tight-end Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski broke his forearm during the Patriots win over Houston last week and will miss the remainder of the season. Without Gronkowski the Patriots averaged 5.4 yards per play, compared to 6.0 with him. New England went 4-1 after losing Gronkowski earlier this season but dips in Tom Brady’s completion percentage and TD:INT ratio both occurred during that time. The Patriots defense ranked 9th in points allowed, besting the Ravens by three spots. Key to victory: The game within the game will be the matching of Ravens wide-out Torrey Smith against Patriots corner Aqib Talib. Smith was able to get by Champ Bailey and Rahim Moore last week catching three passes for 98 yards and two game altering touchdowns. If Talib can shut down Smith then this game quickly becomes one dimension with the Patriots stacking the box against Ray Rice.
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