Posted by The NFL Chick on Friday, October 2, 2009 at 12:30 PM
Why will the Pats win this game? Three reasons:
1. Wes Welker, Jerod Mayo, Vince Wilfork and Laurence Maroney are all predicted to return to the game Sunday. This will strengthen the underrated defense even further as well as return another Brady "go to" guy to the offensive lineup. I must admit I'm a tad giddy about the return of Welker!
2. The Running backs (tied in my book with tight ends for favorite position),The Patriots displayed last week why their running game may be seriously underestimated. With the return of Maroney this strengthens the options and opportunities even further. Both Maroney and Fred Taylor (as a Jacksonville Jaguar) have had career high success running against the Ravens.
3. It's very difficult to beat the Pats at home and it's statistically harder to beat them in October. They are 4-0 against the Ravens since they became a franchise back in 1996 (only beating us in a pre-season game last summer), and The Pats themselves are 22-4 in October games since 2003. Add that to the fact that slowly but surely Tom is getting his groove back and will be playing in a back-to-back home game on friendly grass, and that spells definite trouble for the Ravens. We of course know that this is a different kind of Ravens team, but game 4 will probably be their toughest game thus far this season.
So throw on your fave pair of fall boots, pull out your Belichick sweatshirt, pour some cocoa or maybe some wine and cozy up to what will be a great game.
The NFL Chick
I know that I picked the Pats in our weekly video blog. But not by much. If I had to choose pct wise, I would say 51/49, in Pats favor. But the Ravens have every chance to win this game and here is why.
Wacko For Flacco- The Ravens have a legit QB in Joe Flacco. Although this is Flacco's second year, Cam Cameron has taken the training wheels off of Flacco and allowed him to make plays downfield. He has done a great job at getting the ball to open receivers and checking down to the running backs when nothing is available. Flacco is no Brady at this point, but he is completing over 65% of his passes. Brady only at 61%
Pats D' decimated- I know that Belichick is a great coach and I will never take that away from him. But The Pats defense has made a lot of changes from just a year ago. Gone are Harrison, Bruschi, Seymour and Vrabel, not to mention Vince Wilfork and Jared Mayo are banged up. This allows some more time for the Ravens to pick their poison. My guess is, Belichick will take one phase of the offense away and make the Ravens beat them one dimensionally. Their defense is ranked 6th overall but the Ravens have a great, young offensive line that creates running lanes and gives Joe the time he needs to throw the ball. Right now they are clicking on all cylinders, so it's hard to figure out which to shut down, although my guess would be, stopping the run
Ravens D re surging- After giving up over 400 yards the Philip Rivers and the Chargers, the Ravens defense knows they were out of character. I fully expect defensive coordinator Greg Mattison to make adjustments. Last week's game wasn't a good indication of that, since it was against the lowly Browns. But I fully expect pressure on Brady pretty much the entire game.
The Ravens have seen this before. They know that if they give Brady time, he will eat them alive. They have to disrupt the timing on his throws by attacking the middle of the line and making Brady go outside the pocket to make plays. Brady doesn't seem to be 100% confident in his knee, so making him throw out of his comfort zone would benefit the Ravens D, possibly creating turnovers.
This will be a great game to watch, I'm so excited. The sky is the limit on what the Ravens can do right now. If they can finally get a win against NE, this team can become even more dangerous