The Sports Daily > Foxboro Blog
Round Table: Key to the Game

What is your key to the game for the AFC Championship?

Stephen:  The key to making it back to the Super Bowl will be preventing big plays. Joe Flacco played a great game in the 2012 AFC Championship, but his team came up short thanks to Billy Cundiff. Flacco shredded the Broncos last week and is out to prove he's elite. The Patriots must limit the big plays from Jacoby Jones and Torrey Smith and force Baltimore to be one-dimensional.

Jason:  The key is for the defense to keep everything in front of them and get off the field on 3rd down. The Ravens are not great in the red zone, but they hit plenty of big plays in the passing game. If the secondary doesn't give up easy points and stops drives when the opportunity presents itself, it's hard to envision a scenario where Baltimore finds a way to grind out a win.

Raj:  If I was BB, I would really stress both the defense and offense to just PLAY YOUR GAME. They should know that the Ravens are a team that's riding high on destiny and it doesn't seem like they're stoppable. If the Patriots' defense plays the same way as it did against Houston in the 2nd half, Baltimore will repeat what they did to the Denver Broncos. That cannot happen. I trust that the Patriots players recognize that there is a lot on the line (more than meets the eye).

Derek: I think the key is to establish the running game. In Week 3, the Pats ran dismally and they ended up sputtering out on some key drives late in the game.  If the Patriots get the ground game going, it will open up the opportunity for Brady to run his patented hurry-up.  After the battles that Baltimore has found themselves in this post-season and given their age on the defensive side, I just don't see Ray Lewis and Co. being able to keep up with the Patriots' motor.  They will tire out, and when they do, Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez will have a field day zipping passed the gassed Baltimore D.