Sunday Night Football Picks: Baltimore Ravens vs New England Patriots Predictions
- Per Establish The Run’s Evan Silva, Lamar Jackson has thrown 23 touchdowns and zero interceptions against man coverage, and the Patriots use man coverage at the highest rate in the league.
Sunday Night Football brings us a matchup of two of only four teams across the league that have recorded more rush attempts than passes to this point in the season. For both of these offenses, that’s by design, as each uses its quarterback as a key piece of the ground attack.
Baltimore has continued to not look like the offense that took league by storm in 2019. Some of that has been the result of a lack of competitive game late — just twice in eight contests have the Ravens played a game that finished within 14 points. One of those games, a two-point win over the Eagles, featured Philadelphia scoring two touchdowns in the final four minutes of regulation. The vast majority of the Ravens’ late-game offensive snaps this season have been in noncompetitive scorelines, and what we typically find is close, competitive atmospheres elevate scoring and offensive production.
But that doesn’t explain the Ravens’ troubles entirely. Their first-half offense has looked downright awful at times, including last week against the Colts. The Patriots haven’t been any easier to figure out, as they started the season looking pretty strong offensively before Cam Newton missed a game after testing positive. Since then, their play has fallen off drastically — they were the sixth-best offense in the NFL by success rate from Weeks 1-3, but have been 22nd in Weeks 6-9 since Newton returned.
So we have two struggling offenses that want to run the ball set to square off in a night game that looks like it will have around 15 mph of wind and some rain. But if you’re looking for reasons to be optimistic about the offenses, there are decent cases. For starters, Lamar Jackson tends to play much better against man coverage, and nobody plays more man than the Patriots’ defense. It will be interesting to see how the Patriots approach this matchup defensively after Jackson torched New England in 2019.
On the other side, the Ravens’ stout defense is without defensive linemen Calais Campbell while cornerback Jimmy Smith is doubtful. Both are key pieces, but they certainly aren’t the only difference-makers in the Ravens’ top-10 unit.
The Ravens aren’t the only side with injury issues. No team has a longer injury list in Week 10 than the Patriots, who list 17 players as questionable. Several will presumably suit up, but this is a banged up team coming off a come-from-behind victory over the Jets.
Ultimately, we don’t know what team will show up on either side. But if this game is close, Lamar Jackson will get called on for some rare competitive late-game snaps in a great matchup. I like his ability to lead Baltimore to a victory that can cover the seven-point spread.
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We're over the halfway point now as we enter Week 10 of this wild NFL season. The New England Patriots welcome the Baltimore Ravens to town on primetime this Sunday, and the following night we see the Vikings at the Bears. We see some big divisional games this week including the Seahawks and Rams. We also see two young rookies clash as Justin Herbert's Chargers travel to Miami to face Tua and the Dolphins.
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