Baltimore Ravens VS New England Patriots, AFC Playoff Prediction: Like I said earlier in the week in my Just Picks newsletter, the Patriots rarely lose games against an opponent without an elite passing attack. Now, the Ravens are much better this season than they’ve been in years’ past, and Joe Flacco has definitely grown as a pro-quarterback in his sophomore season, but the Ravens are far from elite in the passing game.
In the running game, they are as scary, if not more-so than ever before. Ray Rice has transformed into one of the game’s most explosive rushing/receiving threats out of the backfield, and Willis McGahee has shown brilliant flashes of his old self when given the opportunity to run the ball. As an offensive line, the Ravens have dominated the line of scrimmage this season.
The question will be, can the Ravens keep up with the Patriots offense. And that depends which offense shows up. Already, the Patriots will be without their leading receiver this season, as Wes Welker and his 120+ receptions suffered a bad knee injury in the season finale and will likely be out into next season. But Julian Edelman is a good young player in the Welker mode, and it will likely come down to Tom Brady and the great quarterback’s accuracy. Tom has had his ups and downs this season, a year after shredding his own knee on opening day, and it’s been tough to predict which Brady will show up, and how consistent he’ll be from half to half.
But I like the Patriots in this one. They have an underrated defense, and especially in the run-D aspect of it. They are sure tacklers and have a plethora of sound tacklers. If Brady can find the same holes in the Ravens secondary that other elite passers have found, the Patriots should win and cover at home.
Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots (-3)