Brady’s 49.1 rating in a 33-14 playoff loss to Baltimore on Jan. 10, 2010 is his lowest in his last 101 games and sixth lowest in his 198 career starts, including the postseason.
“For one, you’ve got a guy (Lewis) that’s been playing ball for 17 years sitting in the middle, so that tells you right there that their leadership is one of the best things that they have,” Patriots running back Stevan Ridley said. “They’re known for defense. They’re known for Ray Lewis. They’re known for Ed Reed.
“You’re going to see some of the greats going at it (Sunday night). What else could you ask for. This is what you live for. This is playoff football.”
Some quarterbacks say they establish their legacy with their postseason play.
Brady, winner of two regular-season MVP awards and two more in Super Bowls, has no time to dwell on that now.
“I don’t really think about any of that,” he said. “I’m just trying to win a football game this week. I think we’re very short-term focused and playing against a great football team that obviously deserves the right to be here. We know how challenging of a team they are.”
The Ravens know how good Brady can be even though he’s struggled at times against them.
“We’ve got to play smart. We’re dealing with a brilliant quarterback,” safety Bernard Pollard said. “We have to understand ... the pieces he has around him. He can fire that ball to anybody, and they’re going to play their tails off for him.”
The Patriots got off to a horrible start against the Ravens in their wild-card matchup three years ago and Brady was a major factor.
Ray Rice scored on an 83-yard run on the game’s first offensive play. Then Brady turned the ball over on three of his first four possessions, leading to 17 points and a 24-0 Ravens lead after one quarter.