It used to start with the Running Game, and containing Ray Rice, but these days after paying Joe Cool all that grip, He is asked to do much more and Ray Rice is an afterthought. He is still a dangerous runner if you ignore him and is still a factor in the passing game on screens but Benard is used a lot and Joe Is a legit GunSlinger now. Their running game has been anemic so that may be good or they may use the game vs us to get it in gear again for the playoff. Advantage - Patriots
Joe Flacco is still sporatic in the passing game, but its his ability to make big plays in the clutch that has kept this team in the hunt. He has some big play WRs to lob it up to in Torrey Smith and newcomer Marlon Brown who will surely be a problem for us (I mean arrington). He is an undrafted rookie free agent that has 40 catches and 6 TDs and was out there making some clutch plays last night for his team. Lets hope Dobson returns for us and provides a similar impact. This unit got Pitta back last week and he looked pretty good which is bad news for Gregory. Ray Rice will be a factor as they test hightower to see if he can hang. This team likes to get it downfield and gives you chances for turnovers but do we have the playmakers? Advantage - Ravens
The Patriots got the running game going early last week with nice power runs to Blount to loosen up the Miami D but I wouldnt suggest against this group. Led by Ngata, they are still a dominating front seven that slaps RBs on the way to the QB. Smith has come over from J.Ville and took over nicely for Ray Ray and they have linebackers of all types roaming the field and its best to spread this group out imo rather than trying to run on them in conventional fashion. Advantage - Ravens
Tom Brady had a pretty decent day passing the ball vs Miami up until he got in the redzone. This is why I think its imperative to get Dobson back because with him, maybe you can take a shot from the 30-40 yard range and score so you are not bogged down in the 20 where coverage is tighter and things happen quicker. We saw how ugly it was last week if you have to continue to score inside the redzone. Take some shots BEFORE you get there with your speedy 6'3 wideout. I have to think the Pats go back to draw up more creative plays to get Vareen involved and maybe we see some DJ Williams but with L.Webb back and playing great I dont see where our production is gonna come from honestly. Danny and Jules will combine for 10-15 of catches again but will they punch it in? I fear the Ravens have too much to throw at Brady and he doesnt have enough playmakers. Suggs, Dumerville, Upshaw and offensive line issues?! Advantage - Ravens
Special Teams unfortunately sqaurely goes to Bmore. Last game their guy Tucker came through with ALL of Bmores points in kicking 5 field goals plus a 61 yarder to win the game while our guy shanked a 48 yarder and kicked a kickoff out of bounds that contributed to a lost. I didnt even get to Jacoby Jones yet vs who? Boyce/blount/vareen? This one aint even close guys.
Coaching is a wash in terms of the head man and I hate to say it that Dean Pees has the advantage over Patricia but thats likely due to him having more of a leash but when I see Bmore I see a team that is on the same page and always around the ball. With Patricia we look like we have 9 guys out there. Joshy gets nod over Calwell but not by much. They both pass too much
Sorry to say but these are two totally different teams. One is on the way up and one is trending down. As much as I want to say we can win this game, I just dont see it at the moment but anything is possible. I'll be right there rooting them on but injuries have finally caught up IMO. We may be fighting for our playoff lives vs Buffalo in week 17 who will also be a tough out.
Thoughts are welcome...