The New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens have become familiar foes in recent years. In their nine meetings to date, the Patriots appear to have a significant advantage with a 7-2 record. But it is the more recent games that are troubling:
In their lone meeting during the 2012 season, the Ravens squeezed by the Patriots by a single point.
At the end of the 2011 season, the Patriots managed to do the same in a close-call scenario that saw the Ravens miss a touchdown for the win, and then a 32-yard field goal and a chance to try for the win in overtime in the Championship game.
The preceding year saw the Patriots grind out a win in OT; and the year before that was the only other loss that the Patriots suffered at the hands of the Ravens, in that season's Wild Card round.
Based on that synopsis, the rivalry appears to be at an all-time high. Add to that the announcement that this will be Ray Lewis' final season, and the least we can say is that the Patriots have their work cut out for them.
Here are five keys to a Patriot win.