For the past 18 weeks, the Patriots have comfortably cruised along the desolate highway of the AFC East, thwarting imposters like the Bills and Dolphins and subjecting the CYO-League Jets en route to their sixth consecutive divisional title. The switch behind the steering will be pushed off and the Patriots likely forced back down to earth come Saturday, however, as they ready to welcome the Baltimore Ravens in an AFC Divisional Round Game at Gillette Stadium.
A brewing rivalry has formed between the two teams in recent years. Dating back to the 2010 postseason, the Pats and Ravens have met three times in January and have traded wins in each affair. If trends hold true to Saturday’s matchup, it’s the Patriots who are due to advance and play either Denver or Indianapolis next week. Focus remains on exposing Baltimore’s weak secondary on Saturday at home first, where Patriots tickets on the secondary market are the cheapest for a postseason game between the teams past the Wild Card Round in the last five seasons.
Patriots vs Ravens tickets on TiqIQ now own an average secondary price of $332.82, which is 35.2% cheaper than 2011’s AFC Championship Game’s average of $514.29 and 37.2% cheaper than 2012’s AFC Championship Game’s $530.78 average, both of which were also played in Foxborough. Only the Wild Card Game at the conclusion of the 2009 season was cheaper, where average price for the January 10, 2010 game was $205.25. Get-in price for Saturday’s game is currently listed at $130.
While each team takes one step closer to this year’s Super Bowl festivities in Arizona, the Patriots will have Rob Gronkowski on hand in a playoff game for the first time since 2011’s Super Bowl loss to the Giants. The 25-year-old tight end has played an integral role on New England’s thriving offense this season and has risen to superstardom following a series of arm and leg injuries that sidelined him significantly in 2012 and 2013. He’ll serve as one of the many threats the Patriots will display on the field this weekend, with Tom Brady hoping to rid the naysayers who believe he’s playing in his swan song season.
Baltimore won’t be that easy to get rid of, however. The Ravens struggled in the secondary this season and fishing a disappointing 23rd in the league in pass defense, but the rush defense was elite and ranked 4th in the league. Joe Flacco will look to counter the Patriots with his offensive rush as he gives Justin Forsett the ball, who rushed for 1,266 yards this season and scored eight touchdowns.
With ticket prices at their cheapest since 2010’s Wild Card Game, the Patriots will look to find holes in a streaking Ravens team this Saturday. A win would solidify a spot in the AFC Championship Game, which would be played in New England if the Patriots defeat the Ravens. Expect Brady and Gronkowski to link up and exploit Baltimore’s defensive weakness while Joe Flacco relies on Forsett to take his team to their third AFC Championship Game in the last four seasons.