Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL Nation [Print without images]

Monday, January 16, 2012
Pats-Ravens: Will home field matter?

By James Walker

Home teams are an astounding 7-1 in the NFL playoffs. Is this great news for the New England Patriots?

The Patriots, winners of nine straight, will host the Baltimore Ravens Sunday in the AFC Championship Game. This year is proving to be extremely difficult to win on the road in the postseason. Only the New York Giants upset the Green Bay Packers in Lambeau Field.

As usual, New England has been dominant at Gillette Stadium. Including playoffs, the Patriots are 8-1 at home. Their only home loss was to the Giants.

The Ravens are familiar with Gillette Stadium and will not be intimidated. Baltimore made three trips to Gillette Stadium since 2009 and played well in all three meetings. New England won two of three, but the Ravens beat the Patriots in the playoffs following the 2009 season.

But this year the Ravens have been inconsistent away from home. They defeated playoff teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4) and Cincinnati Bengals (9-7) on the road. But Baltimore also lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11) and Seattle Seahawks (7-9) away from M&T Bank Stadium.