There is no hiding the dislike that the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens have for each other. And that dislike stretches from the field to the front office as Patriots president Jonathan Kraft sounded like someone who is enjoying the Ravens’ rough start to the season.
In an interview before the Super Bowl champions thrashed Jacksonville, Kraft was asked about a number of winless teams through Week 2, and resonded:
“It’s too bad about Baltimore, isn’t it? It’s really too bad.”
“The Ravens are sweethearts. [Ravens coach] John Harbaugh, he’s a sweetheart.”
The rivalry between the two really began during the Patriots unbeaten regular season in 2007 when the Pats beat the Ravens 27–24 in Baltimore on a controversial late score. Add in a couple of hard-fought playoff battles an intentional low hit on Rob Gronkowski and you have the makings of a rivalry.
But the intensity and dislike between the two teams reached a new level after last season’s AFC divisional playoff game which the Pats won 35-31. Afterwards, Harbaugh complained about the Patriots’ trick plays and Pats quarterback Tom Brady responded by saying the Ravens should study the rulebook.
Later this past offseason, there were reports that the Ravens tipped off the Indianapolis Colts about underinflated footballs before the AFC Championship Game. The Ravens have denied any involvement in Deflategate, but within the Patriots organization it is believed that the Ravens are responsible for Deflategate.
The Patriots and Ravens don’t play each other in the regular season, and a postseason matchup is looking unlikely considering Baltimore’s start. Under the current playoff format (since 1990), only the 1998 Bills, 1995 Lions and 1992 Chargers made the playoffs after an 0-3 start. The 1992 Chargers are the only ones of that group to make it after an 0-4 start.
The Patriots and Ravens next face each other in the regular season in 2016, with the game slated to be played in New England.