Not many AFC Championships have gone by in the past decade that didn't involve Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Under coach Bill Belichick, Brady has led the Patriots to the Super Bowl five times, which is a record for a QB – head coach combo.
However, before we just let the Patriots waltz into Super Bowl XLVII, they have some unfinished business to take care of – a rematch of the 2011-12 AFC Champions vs. the Baltimore Ravens.
Almost a year to the day (Jan. 22, 2012) the Ravens and Pats will battle for AFC Championship supremacy a shot to head to this year’s Super Bowl.
In case you forgot, the Patriots won 23-20 in last season’s AFC Championship over the Ravens, but were very lucky in doing so.
Trailing 23-20 with a minute left, the Ravens Lee Evans dropped a sure touchdown pass, and on fourth down kicker Billy Cundiff missed a chip shot field goal that would have sent this game into overtime.
This Sunday’s game may be just as close.
The Ravens are on some kind of roll after knocking off the Colts and No.1 seeded Denver Broncos to make it back to the AFC Championship. The Patriots are also rolling as they smashed the Texans last weekend.
The bottom line: New England is like a machine. They just keep changing parts around Tom Brady and just keep right on winning. They led the NFL in points scored in 2012 and once again played well at home going 6-2 in the regular season. The Ravens have struggled a bit on road in 2012, but seem to have lady luck on their side.
I don’t see the Ravens winning Sunday, but I do love them with points. New England will be without TE Rob Gronkowski and possibly the versatile Danny Woodhead. Patriots win, but it’s a close one.
AFC Championship facts:
- Who: Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots
- When: Sunday, Jan 20, 2013
- Vegas line: New England -9
- Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. EST
Pick: Ravens +9