Why Baltimore Needs to Win Out

 The Baltimore Ravens currently stand in a prime position to have home field advantage throughout the playoffs (before the Super Bowl).  They rank as the number one seed in the AFC, due to a tiebreaker from their week 9 victory over the Patriots by a score of 37-20. It is extremely important that Baltimore keeps the much sought after number one seed, given the immense success of home field advantage during the Belichick-Brady era.  Bill Belichick came over from Cleveland to head the Patriots in January of 2000. Tom Brady took over as the full time starter from Drew Bledsoe in the early weeks of the following season. Since 2001, there have only been two seasons in which the Patriots have missed the playoffs. This dynasty has been fortunate enough to play in 38 playoff games, 8 of which have been Super Bowl games played at a neutral site, 23 games at Gillette Stadium and only 7 games on the road.  New England has won 20 of those 23 games at Gillette, equating to an unprecedented 87% efficiency. In the seven games played outside of Foxborough, the Patriots have fared much differently. They hold a 3-4 record, losing most recently in the 2015 AFC Championship at Denver by a score of 20-18 Broncos.  Due to the success of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick at home, it is of the utmost importance that Lamar Jackson and the Ravens keep the number one seed.  Baltimore is arguably the best team in football as the league stands today, but giving Tom Brady home field advantage in the playoffs is the greatest x factor in NFL history, which they have to avoid at all costs.   

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