By Gregory Hunt
The New England Patriots will face a familiar postseason foe when the Baltimore Ravens visit Gillette Stadium Saturday afternoon for an AFC Divisional Playoff game. The Ravens set up this meeting with a convincing 30-17 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field in the Wild Card round. It will be the fourth time in the past six seasons that the rivals have met in the postseason, with each one of the meetings occurring at Gillette Stadium. Although the Patriots have a reputation for being formidable at home, the Ravens have won two of the first three playoff meetings.
January 10, 2010 – Ravens 33, Patriots 14
Baltimore running back Ray Rice ran 83 yards for a touchdown on the very first play from scrimmage, then the Ravens proceeded to turn three turnovers by Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (one fumble, two interceptions) into a 24-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. From there, Baltimore coasted to a 33-14 victory in a Wild Card playoff game. The Patriots still won the AFC East title that season, but with only a 10-6 record, making them the #3 seed in the AFC. The Ravens, the #6 seed, finished second in the AFC North with a 9-7 record, and their season ended in the Divisional round when they lost 20-3 to the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.
January 22, 2012 – Patriots 23, Ravens 20
The Patriots held on for a 23-20 victory in the AFC Championship Game when Ravens kicker Bill Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal that would have tied the game with 15 seconds remaining in regulation. The New England defense forced the field goal attempt after safety Sterling Moore broke up a pair of passes in the end zone on Baltimore’s final drive. The Patriots played this game with an injury-depleted defensive secondary, forcing coaches to play wide receiver Julian Edelman at defensive back. Edelman was credited with one tackle and a forced fumble. The Ravens won the AFC North that year with a 12-4 record, making them the #2 seed in the AFC, but AFC East champion New England had earned the #1 seed with a 13-3 record. The Patriots advanced to Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium where they lost to the New York Giants 21-17
January 20, 2013 – Ravens 28, Patriots 13
The Ravens and Patriots met in the AFC Championship Game for the second consecutive season, but after spotting New England a 13-7 lead at halftime, Baltimore rallied in the second half to pull out a 28-13 victory. Brady threw a pair of interceptions while Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco threw for three touchdowns. The AFC East champion Patriots earned the #2 seed that year with a 12-4 record, but got to host the AFC Championship Game when the Ravens upset the #1-seeded Denver Broncos 38-35 in double-overtime at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in the Divisional round. The Ravens were the #4 seed after winning the AFC North with a 10-6 record. The Ravens went on to win Super Bowl XLVII at Mercedes-Benz Superdome when they beat the San Francisco 49ers 34-31.
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Gregory Hunt is a Boston native and a life-long fan of the Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics. He’s also particularly fond of lacrosse, IndyCar racing and women’s college basketball. He currently works for Examiner.com where he serves as the Senior Manager of Content and Media Access. He also writes for Examiner.com as the New England Patriots Examiner. His work can be found on aExaminer.com.