Previewing potential opponent: Ravens

In our second installment of our preview of potential opponents for the Patriots in the divisional round, we'll examine the only team in the AFC playoff field that defeated the Patriots this season, the Baltimore Ravens.


Record: 10-6, AFC North champions

Head coach: John Harbaugh

Wild-card round matchup: vs. Indianapolis, Sunday, 1 p.m. EST (CBS)

2012 MVP: Running back Ray Rice

Three other players of note: Wide receiver Torrey Smith, defensive end/outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata

Record since playing Patriots: 8-5


Final score: Ravens 31, Patriots 30 (recap here)

What it meant: The Patriots fell under .500 for the first time since after Week 1 in 2003.

What went right for the Patriots: The passing attack had a productive night, as both Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd surpassed 100 yards receiving. It was Welker's biggest game of the season to date and effectively put to bed any concerns that he was being phased out of the offense.

What didn't: The Patriots couldn't close a game in which they had a lead late into the fourth quarter, as the offense failed to put it away and the defense couldn't stop Baltimore when it needed to. The Patriots struggled running the ball, averaging just 2.3 yards per carry. They also couldn't generate a pass rush on Joe Flacco, who was not sacked during the game, and threw for nearly 400 yards. Devin McCourty had opportunities for interceptions, but failed to convert.

Player of the game: Torrey Smith. The Ravens' second-year wide receiver overcame incredibly adverse circumstances to star in the game, as he caught two touchdown passes just hours after his younger brother passed away following a motorcycle accident. His performance appeared to inspire his teammates.

Other notes: Julian Edelman left the game with a hand injury that would keep him out for a few weeks. This was the first game that the Patriots did not have tight end Aaron Hernandez on the field after he suffered an ankle injury. Brandon Bolden scored his first NFL touchdown on a 2-yard rush in the first quarter.