The Ravens will look to move to 5-1 today as they take on the Patriots, who are currently 3-1 and coming off their bye week.
Here are three keys to today's game from the Ravens' perspective:
Don't lose on special teams
The Patriots dominated the special teams aspects of their most recent game, blocking a punt and a field goal (both of which were returned for touchdowns) and getting a 103-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in a 41-14 rout of the Dolphins. The Ravens haven't been spectacular on special teams this year, but they've been solid, and this group will need to be on their game again on Sunday. Safety Patrick Cheung, who blocked both of the kicks, and Brandon Tate, who handles the kickoff returns, are the two key guys to watch.
Control the clock with the run game
The less time that quarterback Tom Brady and the Patriots' No. 1-ranked scoring offense are on the field, the better off the Ravens are. That's why establishing the run, moving the chains, and putting together long, time-consuming drives will be big for Baltimore today. In the Ravens' postseason win over the Pats last year, they rushed for 234 yards and had New England's defense on its heels the whole game. Coming off a dominating performance on the ground last week against Denver, the Ravens would love to have a similar effort today.
Avoid Brady penalties
We all know who's playing quarterback for the Patriots and we all know that means the officials will be closely watching out for any roughing the passer penalties. Last October, the Ravens were flagged for two such penalties which contributed to a New England win. They can't have a repeat performance in that regard today. The Ravens have said this week that they won't change their style of play and be afraid to bring Brady down, but they need to be aware of the "strike zone" and be smart with their hits on the Patriots' QB.