If there’s one team in the NFL that has been a thorn in the Patriots’ side – aside from the Giants, who beat them in a pair of Super Bowls – it’s the Ravens. Yes, whenever the Ravens play the Patriots, it’s almost always a close game, and Baltimore seems to beat Brady and Belichick with more regularity than just about any other team.
“Because they don’t fear them,” Bart Scott said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “That’s half the battle right there, believing that you can win when you go out there and not beating yourself. It’s been a nice little feud, a nice little rivalry. I’m sure that the Patriots blame DeflateGate on the Ravens because I’m sure the Ravens called the Colts because Chuck Pagano was on the coaching staff and said, ‘Hey, man, check the footballs.’ So you got some hatred there.”
The Patriots beat the Ravens, 23-20, in the AFC Championship in 2012. The Ravens returned the favor the very next year, beating New England, 28-13, at Gillette Stadium.
“The Ravens have taken some things from them,” Scott said. “They’ve won a Super Bowl, the Patriots won a Super Bowl in recent years, and T-Sizzle (Terrell Suggs) hates Tom Brady. They have the recipe for success that can make them one dimensional with a light box, but then they have the defensive pass rushers that can harass Brady and make it difficult. The only difference is without Gronk, somebody’s going to have to step on (Malcolm) Mitchell because he’s really stepping up and becoming one of Brady’s favorites. Chris Hogan is sneaky as well because he’s a vertical threat.”
Hogan, by the way, has 27 receptions for 484 yards this season. That’s 17.9 yards per catch. That’s No. 1 in the league among wideouts and second overall to Rob Gronkowski (21.6).
So yeah, Hogan isn’t a possession receiver. He’s a bonafide deep threat.
“I hate when people always want to take white players and they want to put them in the same box,” Scott said. “He’s not Amendola, he’s not Edelman. He’s more of a vertical threat than those guys and you have to give him his respect.”
The Ravens (7-5) and Patriots (10-2) square off Monday in Foxboro at 8:30 p.m. ET. New England is a seven-point favorite.