Patriots QB Tom Brady has had tough times against Ravens

Tom Brady (12) has had some of his worst games against the Ravens, New England's AFC title game foe.    AP
Tom Brady (12) has had some of his worst games against the Ravens, New England's AFC title game foe.    AP
Posted: January 17, 2013

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - There's something about the Baltimore Ravens that brings out the worst in New England Patriots QB Tom Brady.

Against most teams, he plays like one of the NFL's best. Against the Ravens, he gets outplayed by Joe Flacco.

So what's the problem?

Start with the Ravens' hard-hitting leader, Ray Lewis. Add a talented secondary led by Ed Reed. And throw in a strong defensive line with Haloti Ngata leading the charge.

"They have a lot of playmakers at each level of the defense," Brady said on Wednesday. "It's not like you beat this team 50-0. It's always a tight game. There's tight coverage. There's tight throws, tough reads because schematically they do quite a few things. So it's never easy."

He doesn't expect it to be in Sunday night's AFC championship game.

Brady is 5-2 in his seven games against the Ravens, not a bad record. But his personal stats are among the poorest against any of the 31 teams he's faced in his 13-year career.

His 58.6 completion percentage and 74.1 passer rating are the lowest against any opponent. The Ravens are the only team he's thrown more interceptions against (eight) than touchdowns (seven). The Ravens have sacked him 16 times; they're one of five teams averaging more than two a game against Brady.

In five games against the Patriots, Flacco is 2-3 but has completed 64.7 percent of his passes with a 95.7 passer rating. He's thrown for nine TDs and just four interceptions.

Brady's 49.1 rating in a 33-14 playoff loss to Baltimore on Jan. 10, 2010, is his lowest in his last 101 games and sixth lowest in his 198 career starts, including the postseason.

He next played against Baltimore in last year's AFC championship game. The Patriots won, 23-20, but Brady threw two picks and no TDs, had a 57.5 passer rating, and helped keep the Ravens in the game.

But Brady, winner of two regular-season MVP awards and two more in Super Bowls, has no time to dwell on that now.

"I don't really think about any of that," he said. "I'm just trying to win a football game this week."

The Ravens know how good Brady can be even though he's struggled at times against them.

"We've got to play smart. We're dealing with a brilliant quarterback," safety Bernard Pollard said.

In their most recent meeting, the Patriots led by 30-21 on Sept. 23 in the fourth quarter but punted on their last two possessions. The Ravens then scored 10 points in the last 4:01 and won, 31-30, on Justin Tucker's 27-yard field goal on the final play.

That was typical of Ravens-Patriots - close, with the game decided late.

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