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Bill Belichick on the Ravens: ‘They look like the championship team that they are’

12.18.13 at 12:28 pm ET

FOXBORO — Bill Belichick gave due props to the defending Super Bowl champions Wednesday as his Patriots prepare to take on the team that is getting hot again at the right time.

After Justin Tucker connected from 61 yards Monday night, the Ravens are suddenly an 8-6 team that is just one game behind the Bengals in the AFC North and riding a four-game winning streak.

“We have a little bit of a chance to catch up on the Ravens,” Belichick said. “Obviously, an impressive football team, like they usually are. [They are] a real solid organization. They do a great job, from all the way at the top with Steve and Ozzie. They put together a good football team. They’re well-coached.”

Doing the coaching is John Harbaugh, who appears to have his Ravens playing its best football at the most critical time of the season.

“John and his staff have done a great job,” Belichick said. “They play very well in all three phases of the game. Excellent on special teams. Obviously, their kicker is having a big year. Good returner, good specialists, good coverage people and made a lot of good plays on defense; one of the best situational teams in the league ‘€“ red area, third down.

“Big, physical team that’€™s tough to move the ball against. Offensively, they’€™re an explosive group: outstanding quarterback, running backs, tight ends have been solid ‘€“ [Dennis] Pitta’€™s back ‘€“ big receivers, physical receivers, good offensive line. They look like the championship team that they are. It will be a big challenge for us down there in Baltimore. [They’€™re] playing well, they’€™ve made a lot of key plays at the end of the games when they needed to made them, on offense, defense, special teams, whether it be kicks returned, stops, scores, moving the ball into field goal range, whatever it happens to be. They’€™ve made a lot of consistent big plays and they’€™re playing real well right now. It’€™s a good football team. It will be a good test for us down there.”



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