BOSTON (CBS) – In previewing this Sunday’s game between the Baltimore Ravens and the New England Patriots, Felger & Massarotti looked back on the rivalry and how the Ravens are perhaps the one team that’s stood up to the Pats consistently.
Although Ray Lewis and Ed Reed no longer roam the Ravens defense, there’s still plenty of interesting characters and storylines to sink your teeth into.
This rivalry isn’t a historical one like Red Sox-Yankees or Bruins-Canadiens. However, the matchup is filled with bad blood and hatred even though it’s a fairly new development as far as rivalries goes.
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And it all traces back to 2008 when Baltimore drafted quarterback Joe Flacco and hired John Harbaugh as head coach. With the elder Harbaugh brother at the helm the Ravens have been the biggest challenge to the Patriots success, mainly because they’re not scared of them.
“There really has been nobody in the conference that has stood up and poked the Patriots in the chest with their finger the way the Ravens have. This Baltimore team has stood in their way constantly over the last five years,” opened Tony Massarotti.
“They have played now six times since Harbaugh and Flacco got there and they’ve gone 3-3. But the Ravens have outscored you over that period of time, and you’ve gone 3-3 despite the fact that five of those games have been played in Foxboro – so they’ve come here and beat you. They’ve beaten you in the playoffs twice,” said Mazz.
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Speaking to the rivalry, it doesn’t have the same pizzazz of a Manning-Brady showdown. However, the difference with this rivalry is that the Ravens have actually had success against the Patriots.
And as far as the New York Giants go it would be different if they were in the same conference.
For Michael Felger, the Baltimore Ravens stand as the Patriots biggest foe.
“You beat Peyton Manning. You beat Peyton Manning consistently. You don’t beat Baltimore consistently. Look at the scoreboard: you lose to the Ravens just as much as you beat them, and in the big games you lose to them more. There’s no other team you can say that about other than the New York Giants.”
“This is the team where the blood boils,” added Felger.
Plenty is at stake this weekend for the two franchises, who are both fighting for their playoff lives.
Baltimore is on one of those classic late-season streaks while New England seems to be trending downward – couple that with the playoff implications of this game it will surely be a playoff atmosphere at M&T Bank Stadium Sunday afternoon.