Ravens And Patriots Putting No Stock In The Past

Here are the key players in the Ravens' 2012 AFC championship win in Foxborough:

Running back Ray Rice gave Baltimore a second-quarter lead with a 2-yard touchdown. Tight end Dennis Pitta regained that lead in the third quarter on a 5-yard touchdown reception. Wide receiver Anquan Boldin came down with a pair of scores to extend the Ravens' lead. 

Defensively, Ray Lewis led the Ravens with 14 tackles. Safety Bernard Pollard literally knocked out Patriots running back Stevan Ridley and caused a game-changing turnover. Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and cornerback Cary Williams sealed the victory, and second-half shutout, with interceptions in the fourth quarter.

How many of those players are still in the Ravens' locker room? Zero.

That's why neither the Ravens, nor Patriots, are putting much stock in past results when it comes to predicting the outcome of Saturday's divisional-round matchup.

"I don't think it really matters," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "It's a new game. Really, the past, the future, it's just whoever plays best Saturday afternoon is going to be the team that wins the game."

"I think it's about a matchup between these two teams this week, not something that happened five years ago or two years ago or one year ago," Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick added. "I don't see what that has to do with this game."

The Ravens have a new offensive system and play-caller. They have a lot of new faces on defense, particularly no Lewis or Reed. Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady specifically game-planned for Reed, and Brady even wrote on his wristband, "Find 20 on every play."

There are some key Ravens who still remain, however. There's quarterback Joe Flacco, outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, wide receiver Torrey Smith, guard/tackle Marshal Yanda and kicker Justin Tucker, to name a few.

And those players, along with the new faces, will look to produce the same result. Much like the Patriots didn't have tight end Rob Gronkowski for that 2102 matchup, the Ravens didn't have cornerback Lardarius Webb.

"We are a different team. But we are, I would say, a better team," Webb said. "Throughout all the years, we've always had front sevens that were just monstrous. But this year, man, there's something different about these guys."

Asked who Brady should write about on his wristband now that Reed is no longer on the field, Webb laughed and said, "He better know where we're all at."

The Ravens have won two of their three playoff games in New England, and came within a whisper of taking all three.

Rice ran wild over the Patriots in the first round in 2009. Then there was the Lee Evans drop and Billy Cundiff miss that cost Baltimore a victory in 2011. The Ravens prevailed in the AFC title game in 2012, en route to a Super Bowl win.

The Ravens are one of the very few teams that have shown they can win in Foxborough.

The Pats had a 35-game home winning streak versus AFC opponents before it was snapped by the Bills in the regular-season finale when the Patriots rested their starters. In the playoffs, the Patriots have lost at home just four times in their history (dating back to 1978). Two came at the hands of the Ravens.

For some reason, it seems like the Ravens haven't been fazed by Gillette Stadium's mystique.

"I like the [crowd taunting], I like to see all of what's going on, what kind of tradition [opponents] have," Smith said. "Obviously, we got to see one of the best in the Steelers last week. And with the Patriots, we've been up there in the playoffs, too, and it's a nice little crowd.

"It's awesome playing at home, obviously, you would love to be home. But, playing away, just the challenge of trying to quiet down the crowd is something that you love as a competitor."

Reminisce about the last time the Ravens and Patriots clashed with these photos from 2012.

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