History Shows Patriots May Be Prone to Losing to Ravens Again in Postseason
Heading into a bye week, one typically wouldn't bat an eye at a New England Patriots team that has one loss on their record after nine weeks of the regular season. The reigning Super Bowl champions are in first place in the AFC and have a 99% chance of making the postseason.
But this 8-1 Patriots team has a lot to worry about going forward, not just because of the opponents they have to face going forward in the regular season, but because of the AFC rival they may have to face again in the postseason.
The one loss on New England's record came at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens, who beat them on primetime football in Week 9 by a score of 37-20. Lamar Jackson and company had their way with the Patriots defense, rushing for 210 yards as a team and three total touchdowns. The end of New England's undefeated streak showed a large weakness in the Patriots' defense that needs to be fixed over the bye if they want to maintain a high level of success going forward.
However, even if they managed to shore up their run defense, the Patriots, for their remaining seven games, will not face a quarterback or a run game quite like Baltimore's. As mentioned in a piece last week at PatriotMaven, the 2019 Ravens are on pace to be the first team since the 1977 Chicago Bears, who had running back Walter Payton, to average over 200 rushing yards per game as a team. The Ravens have stayed on that pace after their Week 9 performance against New England. The Eagles, Cowboys, Texans and Chiefs, all who are teams New England has on their remaining schedule, have strong, potent run games. But none match up to what Baltimore has accomplished thus far this season.
So while the winning may still come over the course of the remaining seven games of the regular season for the Patriots, if they meet Baltimore again in the postseason, they will be facing a team that has shown how to beat up on this year's Patriots team. And as history shows, that specific recipe has lead to success over the Bill Belichick-led Patriots.
Per NFL Research, New England is 3-6 in playoff rematches versus teams they lost to in the same regular season since 2001. More importantly, over the past five such games, the Patriots are 0-5. The two most recent games were the 2015 AFC Championship game against the Denver Broncos and the 2011 AFC Championship game against the Ravens.
As a coach that seems to have a pedigree for getting the best of an opposing coach, Belichick seems to struggle with game planning against a team in the playoffs that he has already lost too in the same season.
While now is not the time to panic about a situation that might take place in January, it's something to stash away in the back of your head as you watch this defense try to fix the issues that Baltimore exposed to the rest of the NFL.