The AFC's top seed, the New England Patriots, haven't needed much of anything fancy this season. Their leading rusher, Jonas Gray, has 412 yards. Rob Gronkowski has 12 touchdowns and 1,124 yards, which are both pedestrian totals for a player of his caliber. Even quarterback Tom Brady has had a good, not stellar, year.
And yet, here they are again, the AFC's top seed. The Patriots are one of the league's best coached teams, and the level of coordination and game planning-flexibility make them very balanced, and can win games several different ways.
They'll host the Baltimore Ravens, a team that's beaten them two of their last three meetings in the postseason. The Ravens appeared to stall out toward the end of the 2014 season, getting in the playoffs only after a Chargers loss in Week 17, but picked up their usual level of postseason excellence in a 30-17 win over the Steelers in the Wild Card round. Baltimore got a good performance from its offense in the win, but its pass rush, led by outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil, was the key, sacking Ben Roethlisberger five times and forcing turnovers on Pittsburgh's final three possessions.
Here are all the details on how to watch the Ravens at Patriots game Saturday, and some details on what's at stake.
Time: 4:35 p.m. ET
Date: Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015
Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Mass.
How the Ravens got there: AFC's sixth-seed after a 10-6 record in 2014, defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 30-17 in AFC Wild Card game.
How the Patriots got there: AFC's top seed after a 12-4 record in 2014, bye in Wild Card round.
Ravens SB Nation page: Baltimore Beatdown
Patriots SB Nation page: Pats Pulpit
TV Schedule: NBC - Al Michaels (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (color)
Online streaming: NBC Sports Live Extra will be available at game time
Odds: Patriots -7
Weather: 21 degrees, winds W 9 m.p.h., no snow/rain