Rarely do games between the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots need subtext to make them interesting. This Sunday's latest meeting between two of the AFC's strongest teams over the past few years has plenty of them, just to help sweeten the pot a bit.
The Ravens have turned their season around with four straight wins and could clinch a sixth straight playoff birth with a win and a little help. It shouldn't be a surprise that the Ravens have made their run thanks to a strong defense and an offense doing just enough to get the job done. It's the Ravens' way, and it seems to work pretty good for them.
Tom Brady and the Patriots failed in their first bid last week to clinch the AFC East, falling against the Dolphins. Bill Belichick will be looking to finish off the division and in the process, end the Ravens' three game winning streak against his team. To do that, the Patriots offense will need to solve the Ravens defense ... or suffocate the Baltimore attack. Given the less than stellar numbers from Belichick's defense this season, chances are they'll need to score some points.
Our SB Nation experts are leaning towards the Pats with Ryan Van Bibber, Jason Chilton, Stephen White and Matt Ufford picking them to win. Joel Thorman and David Fucillo think the Ravens will win their fourth straight over the Pats. The experts over at CBS Sports are even more split, giving a slight edge to Baltimore. All but one expert at ESPN picked the Ravens, so maybe they know something we don't?