ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Which Route Would You Want to the Super Bowl?

Updated on January 7, 2015

The Patriots' Path

The New England Patriots had 1 of their toughest regular season schedules in recent history.

They struggled in the 1st quarter of the season for a few reasons:

First, Brandon LaFell was still acclimating himself to NE's offense in his 1st year with the Pats. So, early on, Tom Brady didn't have a trusted weapon on the outside (as Aaron Dobson hasn't panned out).

Second, Rob Gronkowski was still getting back into game shape after tearing his ACL the season prior.

Third, and maybe most important, the offensive line wasn't giving Brady any time to find his open receivers or establish a running game.

This led to a 2-2 start for the Pats. It also led many to question their preseason predictions as New England was considered a Super Bowl favorite with the addition of Darrelle Revis to their defense.

The Pats righted the ship against the Bengals, Bills and Jets as they headed into the toughest stretch of their schedule with a 5-2 record.

Their opponents, in this 6-game stretch, ended up with a combined record of 60-36 (and 55-25 if you take out the Bears).

And the Pats went 5-1, only losing to Green Bay at Lambeau.

After that, New England took care of business against divisional opponents to secure a 1st round bye and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

The Ravens' Path

My recap of the Ravens' regular season will be shorter as I don't follow the team as closely as the Patriots.

Baltimore went 10-6 this regular season. When looking at their season, the 1st thing I noticed is their 2 losses to the Cincinnati Bengals.

You just can't lose to the Bengals. It's the Bengals.

But those 2 losses came in the 1st half of their regular season. They are a different team now.

They may be a different team now, but they still lost to the Texans in Week 16, who ended up with a 9-7 record. The Texans are certainly a beatable team, even if the game was in Houston.

With a 10-6 record, the Ravens had to play against the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Wild Card Weekend. And out of all the games that weekend, they probably had the most dominant win, holding the Steelers' offense to 17 points and putting 30 up against their defense.

It is important to note that Pittsburgh didn't have their starting RB, Le'Veon Bell, and had to start a RB they just signed earlier in the week. The Steelers' D is nothing to write home about, either.

With the Ravens being the lowest seed left, it set up this weekend's matchup with the Pats.

Which Path is Better?

After an up and down regular season, the Ravens come into Gillette playing their best football of the year. They didn't get a week of rest with a playoff bye, but they are in game-shape and ready to play.

Meanwhile, the Patriots didn't have to play their best in the last 3 games of the season to secure their playoff bye and they lost their last regular season game to the Bills. And their biggest concern this year, the offensive line, didn't play well in that game (or the last 3).

New England did get a week to rest and they don't have to travel as they have home-field advantage.

So, let's put it all together.

I'd rather have the Pats playing their best football going into the postseason, but let's face it, their last game had no implications on anything.

The Ravens aren't scared of going on the road, but the Pats still have the advantage at home. They've had an extra week to rest and gameplan against their possible opponents after Wild Card Weekend.

In sum, you have to take the Patriots' path. They will be more rested and better prepared for this matchup.

New England didn't play their best football at the end of the regular season, but everyone in the organization knows this game's significance and they will bring their best.

The Pats were the better team in the regular season which gave them their path. It doesn't mean anything once the game starts Saturday, but they are the better team and that should show up on the scoreboard when this game is over.

-

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      JBV 

      3 years ago

      Very nice Leland, you are a talented young writer! Keep up the good work.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)