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Belichick sees a championship contender in the Baltimore Ravens

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff  December 18, 2013 10:52 AM

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FOXBOROUGH -- After a come-from-behind win over the Detroit Lions on Monday night, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said the Baltimore Ravens appear to be in championship form Wednesday.

The Ravens, led by kicker Justin Tucker's six field goals, beat the Lions 18-16 and are sitting in second place in the AFC North division at 8-6.

"Obviously their kicker is having a big year," Belichick said. "Good returner, good specialist, good coverage people."

But what's been key, Belichick noted, was how the Ravens have pulled out wins as the season has progressed.

"[They] made a lot of good plays on defense," he said. "One of the best situational teams in the league in the red area, third down. Big physical team that's tough to throw the ball against."

The Ravens, Belichick said, are coming into form. They've won four straight games to get back into the playoff hunt.

"They look like the championship team that they are," he said. "It'll be a big challenge for us down there in Baltimore to play 'em well. They've made a lot of key plays at the end of games when they needed to make them on offense, defense, special teams, whether they be kicks, returns, 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 and it'll be a good test for us down there."

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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