NFL Sunday Night Football: New England Patriots vs. Baltimore Ravens Preview, Odds, and Prediction
This primetime game between the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens would have been an intriguing matchup last season, but this season, it's a different story Sunday night. Both of these teams are headed in opposite directions as the Ravens are looking to contend for a Super Bowl, while the Patriots are looking to get to .500. Let's see how these familiar foes matchup...
New England Patriots (+230) vs. Baltimore Ravens (-280)... Spread: Ravens (-7)
Is Bill Belichick the most overrated coach of all time? His reign with QB Tom Brady is over and his Patriots are really struggling this year with just a 3-5 record with wins over the Miami Dolphins, Las Vegas Raiders, and New York Jets. And let's face it, the Patriots were lucky to beat the Jets last week and that's a terrible look going into this primetime matchup with one of the best team in the AFC. In week 9, the Patriots beat the Jets 30-27, but they had to comeback in the 4th quarter with 13 unanswered points and a last minute field goal to do so. QB Cam Newton started out the year in good form, but since he got taken off the COVID reserve list, he hasn't been the same. In week 9, Newton managed to put up 274 passing yards, but he had no TD's. However, he managed to get 2 TD's on the ground and showcased his ability to find the endzone using his big body. His arm has been a major question mark this year as he has failed to find rhythm in the passing game. The Patriots 'run first' gameplan is an effective strategy if they can get the lead in games, but when they fall behind it's nearly impossible for them to comeback. With the injury to WR Julian Edelman, the Patriots are left with WR's Jakobi Meyers and Damiere Byrd to pick up the slack. They can expect the Ravens to put up points on their defense in this showdown, so their offense needs to have a huge game to keep up to Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense.
As for the Ravens, is Lamar Jackson the most overrated QB in the NFL? Last years MVP is elusive and makes big plays on the ground, but his passing production has been riddled by costly turnovers in crucial games. The Ravens are coming off a convincing 24-10 win over the Indianapolis Colts in week 9 where their defense dominated, and also managed to have a INT returned for a TD. Jackson had a below average game in the passing department as he only managed to put up 170 yards with no TD's. But, he was the leading rusher for the Ravens in week 9 with 58 yards and 1 TD on the ground. Much like the Patriots, the Ravens are a 'run first' team with 3 solid options at RB. At RB, the Ravens have a 3 headed monster that includes J. K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, and Mark Ingram. They serve as great compliments to Jackson on the ground as the Ravens like to use a lot of run option plays in the running game. Also, the Ravens will get there all star CB back in this game as Marlon Humphrey has been activated off the COVID reserve list. Overall, this Ravens squad is a much more well-rounded team compared to the Patriots. The Patriots secondary is their strength, so look for Jackson and the Ravens RB's to have a field day on the ground while mixing in some play-action deep passes to Hollywood Brown. Let's take the Ravens to cover the -7 spread and dominate this game from start-to-finish.
Prediction: Ravens -7 (+100)