As the Patriots experienced firsthand back in Week 3, this year’s Baltimore Ravens do not rely solely on suffocating defense. This squad can light up the scoreboard as well.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco had his way with the New England secondary in a 31-30 victory on Sept. 23, throwing for a season-high 389 yards and three touchdowns, while Pro Bowler Ray Rice gashed the Pats for 101 yards and a score on 20 carries — the first of his four 100-yard rushing efforts this season.
Second-year wideout Torrey Smith put on arguably his best performance of the year in the teams’ first meeting, catching six passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns, and has teamed up with veteran Anquan Boldin to give Baltimore a legitimate deep threat. Both receivers have terrorized New England over the past two meetings — the Week 3 win and a 23-20 Ravens loss in last year’s AFC Championship Game — totaling 19 catches for 358 yards and three TDs. For a Patriots secondary that ranks 29th in the NFL in pass yards allowed per game, locking down Flacco’s two top targets will be a top priority this weekend.
The trio of Rice (30 carries, 131 yards, TD), Smith (three catches, 98 yards, two TDs) and Boldin (six catches, 71 yards) were all on top of their games Saturday night as Baltimore racked up 479 yards of total offense in an epic double-overtime win over the Broncos, but will they be able to repeat that level of productivity with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line in Foxboro?
Which of Flacco’s weapons do you think the Patriots need to be most worried about on Sunday?
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