11:13 AM EST, January 17, 2013
Patriots 30, Ravens 21
The Ravens go into this game with enormous confidence. But Tom Brady to Wes Welker is a tough combination to beat, especially at Gillette Stadium. And now the Pats actually have a running game with Stevan Ridley (1,263 yards rushing in the regular season) and Shane Vereen. The Ravens will need more than emotion from Ray Lewis' "last ride" to neutralize Vince Wilfork in the middle of the Patriots D-line, too.
Patriots 24, Ravens 20
The Ravens are the only defense that has forced Tom Brady into more interceptions than touchdown passes, but the New England Patriots quarterback is 5-2 against the Ravens. Make it 6-2 as the Patriots will go to the Super Bowl for the second straight year.
Ravens 31, Patriots 28
The Patriots have a lot of things working in their favor. They are at home where they have been nearly invincible. They have the NFL's best head coach and top quarterback, but I'm not sure their resolve is as great as the Ravens. The Pats were in the Big Game last year and the Ravens haven't been to the Super Bowl since 2000. Quarterback Joe Flacco and the offensive line are hot, and desire and the law of averages should put the Ravens over the top.
Ravens 27, Patriots 24
The Ravens have already proved the oddsmakers dead wrong once and now they are going to do it again. They're on a mission and they've already proven they can compete with the Patriots in the postseason at Gillette Stadium. Now, it's time to get over the hump.
Patriots 31, Ravens 29
The Ravens will again put up a heck of a fight on the road, but Ray's last ride will run out of gas in Foxborough, where Tom Brady and the high-octane Patriots offense are tough to beat.
Patriots 31, Ravens 27
Despite a game effort that pushes the Patriots to the brink of elimination, the Ravens' fall short of an elusive Super Bowl berth as Tom Brady throws a series of darts to Wes Welker. Joe Flacco and the offense are unable to score enough points to make up for several defensive breakdowns.
Patriots 27, Ravens 23
I'm not a big believer in the whole "Team of Destiny" storyline, but the Ravens are making it hard not to at least contemplate the possibility. However, it's even harder to go against Bill Belichick and Tom Brady in a big game at home.
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