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|New England Patriots||+7
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The Baltimore Ravens have far too powerful of a rushing attack to not run right over these Patriots who are ranked 25th at stopping the ground game.
Ravens -7 (-110)
|Ravens vs Patriots Information|
|What||Baltimore Ravens vs New England Patriots|
|Where||Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA|
|When||Sun, November 15, 2020; 8:20 PM ET|
|How to watch||NBC|
The Ravens have the unfortunate honor to share their division, the AFC North, with the league’s only undefeated team remaining, the Pittsburgh Steelers, so this Baltimore franchised led by quarterback Lamar Jackson could use a win against these Patriots just to help secure a Wild Card bid in the competitive AFC.
Nobody is really sure what happened to New England quarterback Cam Newton, but once he got back from his COVID related absence, the team has been doing poorly and he has not looked like the superstar who was supposed to fill the giant quarterbacking shoes of ex-Pat and still GOAT under center, Tom Brady.
These two AFC teams have only played each other 14 prior times (including 4 postseason games), with the New England Patriots winning 10 of those games and the Baltimore Ravens winning the other 4 games.
Right now, the Ravens have the eighth-best defense against the run, so they should be able to keep Patriots QB Cam Newton contained in the pocket enough to where he will have to rely on his throwing arm, which has been more accurate these last two games.
Before that, Newton threw three interceptions in Week 7 and two interceptions in Week 6 after his return from COVID protocol, causing many to wonder if he still has the type of passing abilities required of someone who can’t make his full living being mobile all the time.
But then “Super” Cam shows up in Week 9 and helps his Pats beat the Jets with no picks and a completion percentage of 77.14 – numbers that might be tougher to produce against the Ravens’ 8th ranked defense.
Take a look at the Patriots injury list that is as long as a CVS receipt right now, with 19 players currently listed as questionable for this Sunday Night Football matchup against the Ravens.
On top of that, New England is missing their star slot receiver, Julian Edelman, for the season, the reliable target out with a knee injury, his absence a huge part of the team’s rapid decline.
Baltimore only allows opponents 17.8 points per game, so Cam Newton and the Patriots need for HC Bill Belichick to draw up something special to outscore one of the best young AFC teams in the league.
One of the bright spots of the Ravens passing attack is second-year receiver Marquise Brown, who was instantly productive during his rookie campaign last season and who continues to contribute as a reliable target.
So far in 2020, Brown has caught 30 passes for 417 yards and 2 touchdowns, which is almost 14 yards per reception, a production that the team has begun to rely on every week in their march towards the playoffs.
Brown will be a key to a win over the Patriots on Sunday night, but it won’t be easy against a New England pass defense now ranked 9th best in the league.
One of the keys to helping the Patriots offense get on the board more often is having some of the young receivers step up as playmakers like N’Keal Harry get double-teamed in the secondary.
Pats receiver Damiere Byrd has been in the league since 2015 and was an undrafted free agent the team signed back in March, last year playing in 11 games for the Arizona Cardinals where he caught 32 passes for 359 yards and a touchdown.
So far this season, Byrd has been a contributor, catching 26 passes off 41 targets for 337 yards and no touchdowns, but he could find a permanent spot on the Baltimore Ravens roster if he could begin to find the end zone a bit more often.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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