The qualifiers that have dogged the Patriots throughout their 13-3 2011 season are easy to list.
They didn't beat a team that finished the season with a record over .500. Godawful pass defense. A run defense that's inconsistent. Slow starters. And we've visited and revisited those topics.
But there are indictments in the Baltimore Ravens stat pack as well from 2011. And most of them are related to how badly they tend to play away from Maryland.
The Ravens lost at Jacksonville, Tennessee, Seattle and San Diego this season. None of those teams made the playoffs. Baltimore managed just 51 points total in the four games.
And while the losses to the Jaguars and Titans are lessened by the passage of time (they happened in September and October), the loss to San Diego on December 18 is a glaring toe-stub from the tail end of the year.
Baltimore lost that one 34-14 and it wasn't even that competitive as the Chargers got up 31-7 by the end of the third. In that game, the Chargers did things similar to what Houston did last week. Pressured quarterback Joe Flacco (five sacks) and created turnovers (two picks).
Houston just didn't have the quarterback to finish Baltimore off.
There are creditable wins on the Ravens schedule. Two over Pittsburgh, one over the 49ers and two over the Bengals - all playoff teams.
But comparing the Ravens losses and the margins to the teams the Patriots lost to - Pittsburgh, the Giants and Buffalo by a total of 15 points - leaves the impression that the Ravens are extremely capable of flat performances especially away from home.
The key, as mentioned yesterday, is bothering Joe Flacco and making him less than average.