There's nothing like a matchup against a potential playoff foe early in the season as the weather starts to chill the air and the fly fall coats begin to make their debut (“except for on those on the West Coast, please check your local TV listings”). This Sunday the Ravens (3-0) leave the Nest for a highly anticipated game with New England Patriots (2-1) and since fall is upon us it's time turn on the oven to enjoy a favorite complement to anyone's soup.
1 cup yellow cornmeal: These two teams are on somewhat opposite sides of the spectrum. The Ravens are hitting on all cylinders offensively and defensively, while the Patriots are rolling in a ride with a refined/tuned-up engine (Tom Brady) and some new retread tires (RB Fred Taylor and CB Shawn Springs). The Ravens come into the contest waxing each of their opponents with the second highest margin of victory (a team in Nawlins is first). 1 cup buttermilk: The Patriots have struggled out of the gate with a loss to a hyped Jets team and a red-zone offense that continues to stall in the pit stop by keeping K Stephen Gotskowski's foot ready for a penalty kick in World Cup qualifying.
1 cup flour: The pressure for the Ravens will be on the secondary because they haven't allowed a 100 yard rusher in 38 straight games and Father Time is not rewinding Fred Taylor's clock any more despite his recent output. The Patriots receivers may be down a key component with Wes Walker possibly out with a knee, but Randy Moss and Joey “when will he show up?” Galloway should give the secondary a true litmus test.
2 eggs: Offensively, the Ravens are no longer the pound the rock with the running backs and throw on third and long team. CC (Cam Cameron) has the best running back combo with Willis McGahee and Ray Rice in the league right now and with Joe Flacco commanding the pocket by shredding secondaries, the Ravens are going to test Bill Belichick's patchwork in progress defense.
Add ¼ cup heated vegetable oil: The ultimate key for the Ravens will be the pass rush and how much Organized Chaos can hurry Brady into throwing the ball away. Rex Ryan and his Jets provided his former team with a game plan when he brought the pass rush utilizing varying defensive schemes. Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison will need to do the same and keep Brady bird watching from the sidelines.
The Ravens have the ingredients for their first victory ever versus the Patriots and in Foxboro. The success of this recipe will more than likely come down to whether Joe Flacco can remember to add 4 teaspoons of baking powder to lead the Ravens to victory and have the fluffy cornbread rise in 30 minutes at 425 degrees.
For Granna's special “kick” swipe some butter on top, sprinkle some sugar, cut and serve piping hot!
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Written by Lea Anderson