The 4-1 Baltimore Ravens travel to Gillette Stadium to play the 3-1 New England Patriots.
Offense: Edge Ravens
New England Patriots decided to part ways with wide receiver Randy Moss by trading him to his old team, the Minnesota Vikings. Even though Moss wasn’t catching many passes, he was still altering the defense. New England doesn’t have a pass catching threat that demands the double team like Moss did. Tom Brady’s job just got much harder because he’s not going to have a wide open Wes Welker dragging across the field. Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski won’t be as open as they were in their previous four games. Ravens’ running game is getting on track with a healthy Ray Rice and Willis McGahee. Last game against the Denver Broncos, the Ravens rushed the ball for 233 yards. That makes quarterback Joe Flacco’s job much easier. The barometer of this Ravens offense is measured by how many turnovers they give up. If they can protect the ball, they will be one of the more balanced offenses in the NFL.
Defense: Edge Ravens
Ravens’ defense still needs to work on creating turnovers. They could be healed with the return of safety Ed Reed after this week’s game. The Ravens are ranked third in the league in average yards given up in a game, the Patriots are ranked 29th overall. The Ravens are leading the league on third down conversions. The Patriots are the exact opposites; they are the worst team in the NFL in getting of the field on third down. Teams have a conversion rate of 55 percent against the Patriots on third down. The Ravens are close in overtaking the New Jets as the best defense in the NFL.
Special Teams: Edge Patriots
The Patriots special teams put on a show against the Miami Dolphins. Patrick Chung blocked two kicks, one returned for a touchdown. They have an exceptional return man in Brandon Tate. In that same game, Tate had a 103 yard kickoff return for a touchdown. The Ravens could have their hands full with the New England Patriots special teams.
Prediction: Ravens 27, Patriots 23
The Patriots are at home and are coming of a bye. They have had two weeks to game plan against the Ravens. This game will be close because of that but, players win games not coaches. The Patriots don’t have the talent they use to have when they were on their Super Bowl run. I think you will see some inconsistency with the Patriots offense with Randy Moss gone. If the Ravens run the ball like they did against the Broncos, this game won’t be as close as I anticipated. Although, the Ravens could fine themselves on the losing side of this ball game if they get carried away with the turnovers. Turnovers usually tell the tale of football game.
About the Author
Written by Frisco Fahs