Most critics expect crows to prevail on the road
If the Ravens are to return to the winning track on Sunday after last week’s loss to the Miami Dolphins, they will have to do something the franchise has never done: win the regular season game in New England.
The Ravens are 0-6 against the Patriots at Foxboro during the regular season (they’ve won two playoff games there).
In the last meeting between the two teams at Gillette Stadium two years ago, the Patriots 3–5 beat the Ravens 6–2, 23–17, in heavy rain. The worst of the severe weather came late in the last quarter when Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense entered the field for a possible campaign.
“I’d say the weather played a big part the last time we played,” Jackson said this week. “Every time we got up and lined up to attack, there was a lot of rain; you can’t even throw the ball through that rain, you can’t run the ball, and you probably can’t even see your opponent if you try to make him miss. But I hope the weather is perfect.”
It may not be perfect, but it could possibly be better. The weather forecast for Sunday in Foxboro calls for overcast skies with little chance of rain.
As for the match, the vast majority of critics expect the Ravens, who would prefer a three-point lead, to win. Of the 50 pundits we looked at, 46 picked Baltimore (1-1) to spoil New England’s opener (1-1).
Here’s a sample of what critics have to say about the game:
The Ravens will win because they are the better team overall.
Matt Verdiram from Fanside: “The Ravens should rebound after that miserable calamity in the fourth quarter on Sunday, and they should, because they are more talented than New Englanders in all three stages.”
Jackson will lead the crows to victory.
Greg Rosenthal of NFL.com: “The Patriots defense only gave up two touchdowns in as many weeks, and made some mental mistakes. But… Lamar Jackson is that guy who makes New England defenses look ridiculous, even at the best of times.”
Michael David Smith of the Pro Football Talk team: “Lamar Jackson is playing some of his best football at the moment and will be sailing for a big game in New England.”
CJ Doon Baltimore Sun: “If quarterback Lamar Jackson continues to play at top player level, it will take another fourth-quarter crash – or perhaps another New England monsoon – for the Ravens to lose.”
The Ravens’ defense will bounce back against the Patriots’ attack of just 24 points, which ranks 29th.
Jamison Hensley from ESPN: “Bold prediction: The Ravens will bounce back and keep the Patriots under 10 points after collapsing in the last quarter of last week. Led by coach John Harbo, Baltimore has shown perseverance, dropping an average of 19.5 points per week after allowing in 40 points or more. New. England midfielder Mac Jones has crossed 20 points in three of his past eight starts (including playoffs), and the Patriots’ 24 points are the lowest in two games since 2001 (20)”.
Vinny Eyre Sports News: “The Patriots don’t have receivers to keep the Ravens secondary and Mac Jones not getting what he needs from an accelerated attack.”
Shell Ringer Kapadia: “[Wide receiver] Nelson Agulor provided a nice snatch from TD for 44 yards last week in the win over the Steelers. But their crime does not contain much juice. I hate going against [Patriots Head Coach] Bill Belichick as a home underdog, Jackson is playing through an elbow injury, but I think the Patriots are going to have a tough time here.”
Bleacher Report’s NFL Team: “Fortunately for Baltimore, New England expanded their defenses a few games and spaced out. Quarterback McJones only had two touchdown passes with a few interceptions.”
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