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Will It Be Another Shootout?

Posted Jan 20, 2013


The NFL postseason has been dominated by offense.

In last week’s four divisional-round games, the lowest scoring team put up 28 points. Four touchdowns weren’t enough to win a divisional-round playoff game.

The Ravens won a high-scoring affair against the Denver Broncos, 38-35, and the Patriots put up 41 points against the Houston Texans.

With both offenses playing at a high level, could the AFC championship be another shootout?

“It just depends,” Ravens Offensive Coordinator Jim Caldwell said. “You know that their offense has been one that has been highly productive, and we have been fairly productive here down the stretch.”

The Patriots had the NFL’s best offense during the regular season, averaging 34.8 points and 427.9 yards per game.

The Ravens ranked 10th in the NFL by averaging 24.9 points per game during the regular season. But in the last three games under Caldwell in which the starters have played, the Ravens have averaged 31.7 points per game.

“Our job is to score points, regardless of who we are playing and try to score as many as we possibly can,” Caldwell said. “That’s the key. When you get into the playoffs, one of the things you know is that you are facing a team that can put points on the board, that can play defense, that has good special teams.”

The oddsmakers expect a fairly high scoring matchup, as the over/under is 51 points (combined score for the two teams). By comparison, the over/under for the NFC championship between the 49ers and Falcons is 49 points.

While the Ravens offense has been hot, wide receivers Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones weren’t interested in predicting another shootout this week.

“I’m not a prediction guy,” Jones said. “I don’t like to count my chickens before they hatch. We’re going to see what happens.”

“I don’t know. I can’t call it,” Smith added. “I’m not a psychic. Who knows how the game will turn out. That’s why you play it. Just like last week, no one thought we’d win, so that’s why you go out and play the game.  Anything can happen.”

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