Can the Ravens pull off the upset against New England on Monday Night Football? RSR Staff predict the game here…
The Ravens are improving and they are as healthy as they’ve been all year. The Patriots will be without their best offensive weapon (Gronk) and a very nice complementary piece (Amendola). Look for the Ravens to play a lot of press coverage and force Brady to hold the ball longer than he’s accustomed to. Offensively the Ravens need to continue the up tempo offense that Joe Flacco prefers and not get hung up on the idea of playing keep away with Brady by feeding the Patriots a steady diet of West and Dixon.
* Joe Flacco eclipses the 100.0 passer rating mark with 275 yards, 2 TD’s and 0 INT’s.
* Kenneth Dixon runs one in from 15+ yards out.
* Brady has thrown only 1 INT on 302 attempts in 2016. He’ll double that INT total tonight, the second pick occurring at inside of 1 minute.
* Mr. Bundchen will have at least 2 temper tantrums when things don’t go his way.
* The Ravens average only 3 yards per carry.
* LaGarrette Blount runs for 100+ yards.
THE MEGAN FOX
* Joe Flacco has a passer rating of 97.5 at Gillette during his last 3 visits there. Brady’s rating during those same three games is 74.3. This game plays out the same way as number 5 keeps the Ravens’ loss total at 5 and they leave Foxborough with the win.
Ravens 24, Patriots 20
This certainly won’t be the cake walk the Patriots are used to, despite their stellar regular season record against the Ravens.
The defense has been playing lights out as of late and Terrell Suggs will have his unit ready to play. Suggs leads the way for the defense, sacking Brady twice and recording a forced fumble. Brady will get his, however, but Lardarius Webb gets an interception late in the game giving the Ravens great field position.
On offense, Flacco will attack the Patriots through the air recording three touchdown passes including two to Steve Smith Sr. On the ground, Terrance West and Kenneth Dixon combine for 70 yards rushing with West finding the end zone.
It won’t be easy, but the Ravens come away with a 28-23 victory.
This is a very different team from the 4-game losing streak. The Ravens have had a rare recovery to health during the season, and it’s evident nowhere more than in the secondary, where all 4 starters are playing well and nickel Jerraud Powers is coming off a game of big plays. The weakness defensively will be underneath throws when Zach Orr, Powers, C.J. Mosley, or Albert McClellan are in coverage. That’s where the Ravens pass rush will have to step up with enough pressure to get Brady off his spot and in his throwing lanes. The Ravens have had success reducing Brady’s effectiveness in the Harbaugh-era games at Foxboro.
Offensively, the Ravens have won once in New England with 52 running plays (AFC WC game, 2009) and once by letting Flacco take over the game with the no huddle/shotgun (AFCC 2012). I’m expecting more balance this game, but at some point I do expect we’ll see the pace of the first half against the Dolphins.
–Dixon pulls away with more touches this week, including 5+ receptions for at least 50 yards and a run of 20+ yards.
–The Ravens get a tip-drill interception from 1 defender to another.
—Timmy Jernigan reemerges from his slump to record several pressures and a tipped pass.
–Flacco drives the Ravens offense with crossing routes, slants, and screens that take the Patriots pass rush out of the game, particularly on the game-winning drive.
—Justin Tucker misses for the first time this season in windy conditions, but comes back to kick the game winner.
Gronk-less Pats will rely heavily on underneath routes to Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan, and for a tick early in the game they’ll be effective. But I expect the Ravens D to make adjustments and keep Thomas Brady on his heels for the final 3 quarters.
I like Baltimore in a final-second-field-goal-kinda-game here. Why? Because even if the Ravens had the Browns record, I refuse to predict a Pats win.
There seems to be a lot of confidence in the Ravens after their beat down of the Dolphins. They jumped up the power rankings, they’ve once again been dubbed the team that no one will want to face in the playoffs, and there are a handful of pundits picking them to win this game. Don’t count me among them.
The Patriots are banged up and the Ravens are fairly healthy for this time of the year but I’m not confident that last week’s offensive explosion is something the Ravens can do consistently. The forecast for Monday night looks dicey with rain and snow possible which could play into the Ravens’ favor but I’m just not sure they’re on the same level as the Patriots. I will be there so I’m hoping they prove me wrong.
The Patriots start off the first half slow, and the Ravens go into the half with a disappointing 13-3 lead. It’s disappointing because the Ravens will squander 2 opportunities deep into NE territory in the first half. The Patriots will come back in the second half, take a 17-16 lead early in the 4th quarter and hold it for the rest of the game.
Patriots win 25-16 (they’ll go for two to make it a 2-score game).
Some individual stat predictions:
Joe Flacco will throw for over 200 yards in the first half, but will be held to under 300 total.
Tom Brady will throw 3 interceptions.
LeGarrette Blount will score a TD late to seal it.
Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman will destroy New England’s secondary if Baltimore continues to give Flacco ample time in the pocket.
If the Ravens can defend the “pick play” the Patriots love to run on the goal line, they will have a great shot to win.
As far as special teams go: advantage Ravens. Let’s hope this is the game Devin Hester takes one to the house, although I’m not counting on it. Either way, field position will be big.
Ravens win, 23-20.
Ed Reed won’t be on the field for the Ravens, but with Baltimore’s secondary healthy and playing at a high level, Brady and Belichick will get flashbacks to being terrorized by #20 – for a half, at least. I expect the Ravens to take a 13-6 lead into the locker room after the first 30 minutes. Unfortunately, the Patriots will be the ones to successfully adjust at halftime.
Brady finds his mojo after the break, leading two touchdown drives, while the Ravens offense makes the mistake of trying to eat clock and sit on their lead.