By: Derek Havens
With Sundays match-up between the Ravens & Patriots rapidly approaching, I thought I would share some quick points to keep think about for the upcoming game.
- While the Ravens are a very good football team, one aspect they do struggle in is turnovers. They are tied for 30th in the league in turnover differential at -6.
- The Ravens are playing their 4th road game in 6 weeks. They have had some nagging injuries and are naturally a bit tired from the traveling. With the Patriots rested and coming off a bye week, they certainly have an advantage playing this Raven while they are vulnerable.
- In the Belichick era, the Patriots have done very well coming off a bye. Since the 2000 season, the Patriots are 8 – 2. With the last loss coming in the 2002 season against the Denver Broncos.
- Motivation has been the word flying around in the press this week. The Ravens embarrassed the Patriots last time they met. Look for the Patriots to come out fired up for this game. Although, if the Ravens come out and grab momentum early. Does the team have the mental toughness to respond?
- A lot has been made of this Randy Moss trade, as well it should, I believe we all are curious to see how this offense responds in his absence. I would be surprised if this team does not put out a solid effort in this new post-Moss era.
- The Patriots have the best 3rd down success percentage in the entire league at around 55. 3. On the other hand the Ravens are the best 3rd down defense in the league at 5.2 percent.
- The Patriots have highest scoring offense in the NFL this season, averaging 32.75 points per game. Keep in mind however, the Baltimore Ravens have only allowed an average of 12.3 points per game on the road this season.
With all of these thoughts taken into consideration. I believe the Patriots can win this game. While I don’t believe it will be a blow out on either side, I see the Patriots pulling it out at home. The Pats have a lot invested into this game emotionally and they are physically rested to come out looking to get even. With an extra week to prepare for the Ravens and playing at home, my prediction is Patriots – 24, Ravens- 20.