Ravens Have Never Beaten Pats

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Throughout their history, the Ravens have always been stout when they've played in the comfortable confines of M&T Bank Stadium.

But, a major reason why the team has been so successful over the past two years is a growing trend of road dominance.

Since Week 7 of the 2008 campaign, the Ravens have compiled an NFL-best road record in the regular season. Add in three playoff games, and Baltimore boasts a league-topping 8-2 mark.

Why have the Ravens been able to steal victories away from home, especially when some of those wins have been in notoriously unfriendly stadiums?

Head coach John Harbaugh does not think that success is such an anomaly.

"It's exciting to go play in places like that," Harbaugh said. "That's what this league is all about. Whether it's going late in the year to Tennessee in the playoffs or Pittsburgh or wherever it is, that's exciting.

"You can't wait to go play in Gillette Stadium. You just can't wait. We're excited about it, the same as we were excited about San Diego. Like we've said, the buses will pull in right on time, and we'll be there and we'll be ready to play."

Gillette Stadium will be the site of this weekend's battle with the New England Patriots. It is also a place where quarterback Tom Brady is 48-10 all-time as a starter.

The Ravens have a quarterback in Joe Flacco that could blemish Brady's home standing, however.

Flacco has been ice cold outside of Baltimore, consistently unrattled as vitriol pours down upon his shoulders from hostile crowds. In the Ravens' last seven regular-season road games, Flacco's passer rating has been 101.1, which is first among all quarterbacks.

During that span, the second-year signal-caller has completed 64.9 percent of his passes (122 of 188) for 1,488 yards, 11 touchdowns and only three interceptions.

Flacco hesitates to explain his performance.

"I don't know, I just think we're a good team," he said. "It doesn't matter if we play on the road or at home. You go in with the mindset that you're going to win the game. I think that's all we do, and I don't think there's anything special to it."

Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron offered more insight.

"I think it's just preparation," stated Cameron. "That's the key. We see it. We know the preparation that goes in, and it all started probably within a week after last year's season was over. The preparation for this year began. I think everything we do here is tied into our preparation. Not just Joe, everybody. Hopefully that gives you a chance in a game like this."

If the Ravens come away from Foxborough, Mass., with a victory, it will also break another trend.

In four previous meetings, regardless of the site, Baltimore has never beaten the Patriots. The games have come in every possible building, as well. In 1996, the two teams met at Memorial Stadium in Charm City, another contest was held in the old Foxborough Stadium, and New England prevailed in 2004 at Gillette.

Of course, fans of the purple and black will remember the Ravens/Patriots battle two years ago at M&T Bank Stadium, where a late touchdown with 44 seconds left gave New England a 27-24 victory.

That December night, the game-winning drive was aided by a rushed timeout call by then-Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan that was awarded just before a third-down stop was snapped, a controversial defensive holding call in the red zone and two unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties following the touchdown.

"I remember us winning a large portion of the game," linebacker/defensive end Terrell Suggs recalled. "I remember being heartbroken. I remember a certain colleague of mine throwing a flag in the stands. I remember a certain colleague going after a referee. It was crazy.

"You look at it now and you can laugh about it, but at the time we were just like, 'Wow, we can't believe all that just happened.' I just remember all of the disappointment and the heartache. They were a great team that year."

The 2007 version of the Patriots were a perfect 16-0, and the Ravens offered the biggest test during the regular season.

Still, in order for New England to make history, they had to win on the road.

It is a lesson the Ravens seem to have learned.

"We respect everything they're about," said receiver Derrick Mason of his next opponent. "That's the thing: You've got to respect them, then you've got to attack them. You've got to go out there and play your game plan.

"We respect who we play every week. The history, what they've done – Super Bowls that they've won – we respect it all. But we feel like we have to go up there to play a game."

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