The Ravens already beat the Patriots earlier in the season with a thrilling 31-30 victory, but no one can forget the dropped game-winning touchdown or the missed game-tying field goal attempt from last year's 23-20 loss.
Many players will say that this is a new team, a different season and that game is not on their mind. That all sounds good, but there is little doubt that many of the players feel like their is unfinished business after handing the Patriots the AFC championship a year ago.
There will be a few keys to the game. The Ravens have to win the turnover battle, they need another strong effort from Joe Flacco, and the defense must hold the Patriots to a few field goals once they get into the red zone.
With Rob Gronkowski out for the season after re-injuring his forearm, the Patriots are without arguably their top offensive weapon. Still, New England has played a number of games without Gronkowski already this year and saw little to no dip in their scoring output. Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez figure to be the top two targets for Tom Brady, but an underrated running game featuring Steven Ridley and Shane Vareen can't be overlooked.
The Ravens are on a mission, and it was pretty clear that they hoped to make a return trip to New England once they knocked off the Broncos. Winning on the road is never easy, and the Ravens are coming off a very long, tiring game against the Broncos. Flacco has the chance to solidify his legacy and become a hero in the eyes of many by giving Ray Lewis a chance to leave the game riding off into the sunset.
Brady and Bill Belichick have a chance to solidify their legacies as the greatest quarterback and coach of all-time. They have their last two Super Bowls and want to hoist another Lombardi Trophy before time runs out on their decade-long run.
It should be a tremendous game, one that is likely to be high-scoring and very close. My heart says the Ravens, but history says that everything is going according to script, and this will be a typical letdown for Baltimore. Patriots 33, Ravens 30