Tom Brady is arguably the best quarterback in the NFL.
He's been to five Super Bowls and won three, and is undoubtedly headed to the Hall of Fame when his career is finished.
But in his recent matchups with Baltimore, the Ravens defense has done a good job of keeping him in check. The Patriots and Ravens have split their last four meetings, and Brady has thrown four touchdowns compared to seven interceptions in those games.
"It's never easy," Brady said about facing the Ravens. "There's not an easy throw, there won't be an easy throw this weekend. I think they really challenge you. That's why they're in this game."
In the last four matchups with the Ravens, Brady has averaged 255 passing yards per game and has a 69.3 quarterback rating. In his career, Brady has averaged 253.1 passing yards per game and has a much better passer rating at 96.6.
While the Patriots won last year's AFC championship, the Ravens were able to limit Brady. He completed 22-of-36 passes for 239 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. His interception in the fourth quarter allowed the Ravens to drive down the field and attempt the game-tying field goal that sailed wide left.
Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick didn't offer much of an explanation when asked why Brady has struggled some recently against the Ravens.
"I don't know," Belichick said. "We've had very competitive games against them. We've won some; we haven't won all of them. It's a game day battle out there. They've got a good team, we've got a good team, and those games have come down to the wire."
Brady had a strong game against the Ravens in Week 3 this season when he threw for 335 yards and a touchdown on 28-of-41 passing.
For the Ravens to have success against Brady this weekend, safety Bernard Pollard pointed to the mental side of the game.
The Patriots run an up-tempo, no-huddle offense that forces defenses to make checks at the line of scrimmage. As Brady makes his adjustments at the line, the defense also has to adapt.
"You have to play smart against a brilliant quarterback," Pollard said. "The guy is brilliant. And I can't say anything else about it. The guy is very good. I just think with Brady, this guy is going to come with his 'A' game. He's going to have his team ready to go. The coaches know and understand what's at stake, and we do too."