Curran's Keys: Discipline; Keep Brady healthy

Curran's Keys: Discipline; Keep Brady healthy
December 21, 2013, 8:30 pm
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Whenever the Patriots and Ravens meet up, it always makes for good viewing. 

Good viewing does not always mean low-stress, and Sunday's game, like most meetings between these teams, figures to be a nail-biter. 

Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran checks in with three keys for the Patriots if they want to guarantee a playoff spot with a win.

Be disciplined in the secondary

When Joe Flacco and the Ravens shocked the Broncos in last year's playoffs, it was a series of high, lofted, rainbow-makers from Flacco that helped the Ravens advance. 

The New England secondary needs to be disciplined on Sunday because Flacco will be lofting those same types of hang-time passes. If the secondary isn't aware of ball location, they could easily get tangled up with receivers and hand the Ravens 30, 40 or 50-yard pass interference penalties.

Be patient

"If it requires a bunch of punts because you ran the ball on 3rd and 4 and didn't pick it up with Stevan Ridley, too bad," says Curran. "Punt the ball, play good defense, play field position. I'm telling you this game is not going to be played in the high-20s. It's going to be played in the high teens or low 20s."

Keep Brady healthy 

The Ravens have an aggressive defense and they will get to Tom Brady.

The key is making sure Brady leaves the game healthy.

New England's offensive line must give Brady enough time to look down the field, but when he is under pressure, the hits can't be jail-break rushes. 

Final score: Ravens 21, Patriots 20