The Baltimore Ravens (1-1) hope to bounce back from an epic second-half collapse in a Week 2 loss when they visit the New England Patriots (1-1) at Gillette Stadium.
Baltimore squandered a 21-point second-half lead to lose 42-38 to the Miami Dolphins Sunday. But, the Ravens bounced back from a terrible offensive display in Week 1 and Lamar Jackson was setting records this past Sunday.
The Patriots got a push last week as 3-point road favorites in a 17-14 victory at the Pittsburgh Steelers. One of New England’s touchdowns was a miracle jump-ball TD catch by Patriots WR Nelson Agholor. And Pittsburgh QB Mitch Trubisky vs. Bill Belichick isn’t fair.
Betting Deets (DraftKings)
- Moneyline: Ravens (-145), Patriots (+125)
- Against the spread (ATS): RAVENS -2.5 (-115), Patriots +2.5 (-105)
- Total (O/U) — 44 — O: -110, U: -110
Baltimore Has A Big Edge In The Trenches
The Ravens have better pass rush, run stop and run block win rates than the Patriots, per ESPN. Baltimore’s offensive line is top-eight in each of those aforementioned categories.
What’s more concerning is New England’s 26th-ranked run-blocking win rate vs. Baltimore’s fifth-best run-stopping win rate.
If the Ravens can force the Patriots and QB Mac Jones to 3rd-and-long often, New England’s offense isn’t scoring more than 17 points.
The Patriots spent a boatload of money last offseason to give Jones as much help as possible. However, the WR corp sucks. Jones really needs to step up if New England has any hope of making the playoffs.
Patriots’ No-Dimensional Offense
Jones has played like crap through the first two games of the season. He is 26th in QBR out of 33 NFL quarterbacks. Granted, the Patriots played against good secondaries in the Dolphins in Week 1 and Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2.
But, Jackson had success vs. Miami’s pass coverage and Baltimore’s secondary has as much talent as the Dolphins and Steelers.
Either way, New England’s WRs can’t put pressure on defenses like the Dolphins WRs Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. The Ravens can stack the box to stop New England’s ground game and leave their cornerbacks on islands.
Lamar is gonna chew up New England’s defense
Jackson has the sixth-best QBR in the NFL and Baltimore’s offense will get healthier. Ravens LT Ronnie Staley and RB J.K. Dobbins should be returning from injury shortly, if not this week.
All of the banged-up Ravens at least participated in practice Thursday. Plus, Staley’s and Dobbins’ returns would improve a Baltimore ground game that has struggled in the first two games of 2022.
This offseason, the Patriots lost Pro Bowl CB J.C. Jackson and linebackers Jamie Collins, Dont’a Hightower and Kyle Van Noy. That’s a lot of production and defensive responsibility to replace.
New England was able to slow Miami’s offense in Week 1 because of a coaching mismatch. Bill Belichick could scheme pressures vs. the Dolphins’ weak offensive line.
But, Pro Football Focus grades Baltimore’s offensive line sixth in pass blocking so Lamar will have time to throw. Also, Ravens coach John Harbaugh is a Super Bowl winner with one of the best win-loss records among active coaches.
Harbaugh can devise a plan for his MVP-caliber QB to get busy vs. a Patriots defense with mediocre talent. The departures of Jackson and Van Noy give Ravens WR Rashod Bateman and Pro Bowl TE Mark Andrews easier matchups.
The gist of my handicap is the Ravens’ more talented roster is going to overwhelm the Patriots and Belichick doesn’t have a big enough coaching edge to overcome New England’s talent deficiency.
Go to DraftKings Sportsbook and BET the BALTIMORE RAVENS -2.5 (-115).
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