Friday, November 28th, 2014

Ravens (3-0) @ Patriots (2-1)

45

Ravens vs. Patties

Ravens vs. Patties Stats

:shaking head:

I’m sorry, I still have trouble getting over the fact that the Ravens enter their Week 4 matchup with the Patriots with the BETTER offense of the two teams. It’s going to take more than 3 games for us to collectively thaw our frozen offensive hearts here in B’More, but I promise if we stick together, and take it 1 game at a time, we’ll get through it with Joe Flacco and Cam Cameron at our sides.

Going into the season I thought the Ravens had no better than a 25% chance of winning in Foxboro. Naturally, after the hot start, I am much more optimistic. Let’s look at some reasons why:

Offense!

Through 3 games, the Ravens offense is reaching heights that nobody saw coming. If I’ve seen one national media piece this week on Joe Flacco’s awesomeness, I’ve seen 20. Willis McGahee leads the NFL in touchdowns. He and Ray Rice are averaging, combined, an absurd 5.5 yards per carry – NCAA numbers. Kelley Washington has emerged as a very legitimate #3 WR, and he seems to pick up a first down every time he touches the ball. The young offensive line is playing out of their minds, opening gaping holes and giving Flacco plenty of time to scan the field and fire up his shoulder-cannon.

Injuries

While the Ravens enter the game relatively healthy, the same can’t be said of New England. With MLB Jerod Mayo already out, DT Vince Wilfork’s ankle injury becomes even more problematic for the Pats. Wilfork is very important to Bill Belichick’s run defense, and with him likely out, the holes that Matt Birk, Chris Chester, and Ben Grubbs are able to create between the tackles just got a bit wider.

They have issues on the offensive side as well. Randy Moss, after his 100-yard day last week against the Falcons, revealed that he was enduring excruciating back pain during the game, and could barely walk on Monday. Moss will play, and surely be effective, but anything that can slow him down, even a little, is a plus for the Ravens.

Wes Welker was listed as questionable for the Atlanta game with a knee injury, and did not end up playing. His status for Sunday is similarly up in the air, after he was limited in practice all week. Welker is as important as Moss to the New England offense, as he keeps the chains moving as expertly as any WR in the league, and is always getting open quickly for Brady when the defense brings pressure.

However, the Pats have no shortage of tiny white WRs sure to get on your nerves. Filling in for Welker is rookie Julian Edelman (11 rec, 118 yards). Fret not. Despite what this guy will try to tell you, Edelman is no Welker – at least not at this point. Wes Welker is a VERY GOOD veteran wide receiver. Julian Edelman has played 3 games in his career. Having #11 in there is a huge step down from #83.

Tiny White WRs

Another injury affecting New England is one that happened over a year ago. Of course, I speak of the season-ending blow to Tom Brady in 2008. Tom Terrific hasn’t regained his old form yet, and has shown the typical jitters-in-the-pocket symptoms that tend to follow such horrific injuries (see: Palmer, Carson; McNabb, Donovan). He’s obviously still great, but he isn’t playing like the 2007 Brady (yet), and so the Patriots seem, for the moment, incapable of blowing teams away like they did during their 16-0 regular season. Brady is susceptible to pressure, and can be forced into early, errant throws if the Ravens defense can get in his face.

Legless Tom

None of this is to say I’m predicting a Ravens blowout. Far from it. Let’s shift to the things that make me a bit uneasy going into this one.

Defense

Sure, the Ravens’ D redeemed themselves a bit last week…but there is no getting around the fact that it was against the BROWNS. The Patriots, even with a hobbled Moss, no Welker, and a Timid Tommy Brady, are not the Browns. On paper, the Ravens have nobody to match up with Moss 1-on-1 like the Jets did with Darrell Revis in their victory over New England in Week 2. Fabian Washington has the pure speed to keep up with Moss, but is severely undersized. I feel confident that he can match up well with Welker, but the Pats like to move Welker inside to the slot, where he would face Chris Carr or a linebacker. I’d like to see the Ravens play a lot of Cover 2 Sunday, keeping Ed Reed and Dawan Landry deep over the top. The Pats have struggled in the Red Zone this season, so the weakness of their Red Zone offense versus the strength of the Ravens Red Zone defense is a match-up B’More should try to exploit.

Letting them pile up yards between the 20′s, but keeping them out of the end zone will go a long way towards a purple win. Red Zone offense and defense don’t matter a lick if you are giving up 40+ yard touchdown strikes (because Ed Reed tries to jump an out route and leaves the deep middle of the field completely open like he did several times against San Diego – thank you, NFL Network.)

Holding the Pats into the low-20′s is probably a realistic goal for the Ravens D this week.

Special Teams

The Ravens return games have been crap in 2009. Chris Carr has looked hesitant and unsure, and continues to leave yards on the field. A big game like this may not be the ideal time to give Ledarius Webb his shot, especially considering his preseason fumble issues, so it would be nice to see Carr get on track.

Steve Hauschka is 4/5 on the season, but has yet to face a high-pressure kick, let alone a high-pressure kick in a very hostile environment the likes of which he will see Sunday. In a game that could very well come down to 2 or 3 points, the young kicker leaves us just a little worried.

Bill Belichick

Finally, there is the evil genius himself, New England head coach Bill Belichick. A master of having his teams completely prepared and of exploiting any weakness, however small, in the opponents, the hooded one can never be overlooked. The New England offense was very balanced against Atlanta, as the ageless Fred Taylor ran for over 100 yards. Nobody runs on the Ravens, so was that all part of a master plan to fool them into thinking the Patriots are back to a balanced attack? And with the way his defense held the Falcons’ strong offense to just 10 points…

Belichick is good. Very good.

That said, the Ravens coaches are no slouches themselves. I think Cam Cameron will unveil some new wrinkles this week that will surprise old Bill, and Greg Mattison will show that he does indeed know how to use the Ravens’ plethora of defensive talent effectively against a great offense.

Also, Joe Flacco will step up and show everyone that which we already know, but which nobody outside of B’More wants to admit – he is better than Matt Ryan.

Ravens 28 Patriots 23

Comments

45 Responses to “Ravens (3-0) @ Patriots (2-1)”
  1. urmom says:

    I like your score prediction. I agree.

  2. Matt says:

    We are such a badass team that we got Ape to root for the Pats…. NO ONE DENIES THIS

  3. UnbiasedGuy says:

    Here are a couple points for consideration:

    In the last 3 weeks, the Ravens have played some of the worst defenses in the league:

    Kansas City (#21 overall)
    Cleveland (#30)
    San Diego (#14)

    So, my question is do you think those Ravens offensive stats are a bit inflated?? Don’t get me wrong, I think what your team is doing is amazing. But, have they really played a team that will challenge them? I think the real challenge will be this game. Here is my take on the matchup: if Wes Welker plays, the Pats will win. Why? Because it puts less pressure on Randy Moss to do something. Without Welker, Moss will get consistent double coverage. Galloway and the other WRs have yet to prove themselves. Welker is a guy who can be a game-changer. He can get those improbable first downs and take those big hits inside the hash marks. Expect Brady to pass 40-50 times against the 17th worst passing defense in the league. The run game will be nonexistent though.

    I also think that this game could be a defensive struggle. Pats are ranked #6 overall in defense (also 6th best in passing defense) and Baltimore is #7 overall. Patriots also have the 4th best passing offense in the league, and as mentioned before, we know that the Ravens are 17th in pass defense, but #1 vs the run.

    Another interesting fact to throw in is that the Pats have faced better offenses statistically than the Ravens. Buffalo (#17), Jets (#20), and Atlanta (#23) = avg 20…vs Cleveland (#32), Kansas City (#30), and San Diego (#8) = avg 23.

    Having said that, I have yet to decide who will win this game until I find out if Welker is playing. He is currently listed as questionable and a possible game-time decision. But, even with Welker on the field, I think this will be a very close one perhaps decided by a field goal on either side.

  4. MARK CLAYTON FOR PRESIDENT!

    /cue Ravens fans complaining about the refs

    Also Matt talking about me when I haven’t been at the site for months, you creepy little stalker.

  5. http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/ravens/blog/2009/10/it_was_a_bad_day_for_nfl_officiating.html

    Uh oh. Someone alerted the waaaaaahmbulance!

    Yup. I knew it.

    Can you whining little turds ever NOT blame the refs?

  6. Matt says:

    Yawn….we are still in first place and Ape can suck my cock

  7. Matt says:

    I loved that Ape mentioned me I feel touched… Sort of like a hotel worker in Big Ben’s hotel suite

  8. NestMinder says:

    Right, cuz Mike Preston is such a HUGE Ravens fan.

  9. NestMinder says:

    And yeah, how funny that the Ravens start 3-0 and the squealers 1-2, and you haven’t been here. Curious.

  10. We’ve lost some games. At least Steelers fans haven’t pitched a fit about the refs like Ravens fans do EVERY TIME THEY LOSE (e.g. your own boycotting the Super Bowl because somehow the refs were to blame for the Steelers winning an AFC Title Game with no controversial calls).

    Ravens fans are an embarrassment to the league. And even among them you’re bad, Nest.

  11. Plus, it’s not just Preston. Ray-Ray and Ed Reed were being little bitches about the refs too.

  12. Matt says:

    Yawn…. Ape should go drink some Iron City piss water and worry about the Chargers.

  13. Matt says:

    Lose one game and the trolls show up, at least I don’t go to Steelers blogs and talk shit when the Steelers lose…. Bandwagon bitch and your book sucked

  14. NestMinder says:

    Again, reading comprehension-challenged book author – the boycott of the Super Bowl was because I refused to watch the Steelers win another one. I knew they would win, and I had no desire to watch it. It had nothing to do with the refs in the AFC championship game, or the fact that the Ravens were even in that game. The Ravens could have went 5-11 again last year, and the Steelers beaten the Titans in the AFC championship, and I still wouldn’t have watched it.

    Now Ed Reed and Ray Lewis qualify as “Ravens fans?” I guess if you take that term to its fullest logical extent, yeah, they probably have a stake in the team’s fortunes, but it’s still a new one for me.

    Steelers fans are an embarrassment to themselves. Especially ones that get all uppity over a city that they have absolutely zero claim to (cough APE cough). It would be like getting upset when somebody talks shit on Rotterdam or Sydney.

  15. NestMinder says:

    @ Matt

    didn’t Iron City leave pittsburgh, like everyone and everything else?

  16. Matt says:

    Well you can say the same thing about Natty Boh

  17. Again, reading comprehension-challenged book author

    Ooooooh, so you didn’t tune in because you didn’t want to see the Steelers win? Hmm. Because that’s completely at odds with what you actually wrote.

    Here’s the money quote from your post, Nest:

    “Well, I’m happy to say that those numbers had exactly zero to do with my household, as I abstained from watching the “big game” for the first time in my life. Why? Because I knew exactly what would happen. I can’t comment on the officiating, because like I said – I didn’t watch.”

    Of course, that passage included links to rants from Simmons (who denigrates the achievements of any AFC team who isn’t the Pats) and Jason Whitlock (who’s generally a retard about, really, everything) about officiating in the game.

    So, obviously, you were complaining about the refs. Like you always do.

    You’re a craven little lying frontrunner, Nest. You’re pathetic. Not to mention a laughably bad writer (“Here’s a purposefully lame joke. Did I just do that? CRAZY!”) And when I call you out on any number of the terribly contradictory things you write, you come back to my background. Because that’s your tactic whenever I make you look stupid, which is basically all the time.

    Honestly, it’s getting old. Because all of your responses are predictable and and staid. And your commenters are mouthbreathing idiots (“APE IS A FAG! DID YOU KNOW HE’S A FAG!?”). It’s not worth my time anymore. So carry on with your whining sad idiocy.

  18. Matt says:

    Wow Ape really is craving for some attention he is like a sad 5 year old boy. Your team is still in 3rd Place and you are a still a 3rd rate Bill Simmons wannabe. Again who gives a shit if Nest didn’t watch the Super Bowl…well guess what neither did I.

    *Of course I was out of the country at the time and had better things to do than watch a football game.

  19. Matt says:

    I have some good news it looks like Jared Gaither is going to be fine. He was able to fly back with the team. But this is kinda funny for a guy who is 6’9 and 340 lbs he was unable to fit in the MRI machine in Boston and will get more tests tomorrow in Baltimore. Bad News though Brendan Ayanbadejo has a torn Quad and will probably be out for the season.

  20. NestMinder says:

    Not to mention a laughably bad writer

    Ah, of course. I’ll be sure to throw in more racism and SAT words next time. Then maybe I’ll be a REAL BLOGGER!

    And when I call you out on any number of the terribly contradictory things you write, you come back to my background.

    Because its money in the bank. Unlike you, I don’t have the time to sit around and painstakingly analyze some random rival team blogger’s posts one by one and find contradictions. So I go for the #1 reason you are a sniveling little towel waving bandwagon driver. You picked a team out of a hat, and then they happened to end up being the model franchise. Congrats, champ (chump? chimp?)

    its not worth my time any more

    Do you promise? The mouhbreathing minions and I have all had enough of you too, you humorless asswipe.

  21. NestMinder says:

    “I abstained from watching the “big game” for the first time in my life. Why? Because I knew exactly what would happen. I can’t comment on the officiating, because like I said – I didn’t watch.”

    I knew what would happen – THE STEELERS WOULD WIN!

    That was the reason, moron. Others were bitching about the refs after the fact, so I linked to them.

    Yes, “reading comprehension-challenged” still applies.

  22. Matt says:

    I don’t think he is coming back, which means the mouthbreathing minions like me are free to call him a loser without reprocussions. He said he isn’t coming back but we all know he is full of crap.

  23. NestMinder says:

    It really is sad and a little disturbing how seriously he takes this shit.

    I hope its just a matter of the sarcasm not translating well on the internet, but considering he recently deleted me as a facebook friend, I have to think he really believes the nonsense he puts together.

  24. Matt says:

    I always read his writing in the Comic Book Guy’s voice, I find it to be the most accurate protrayal of him.

  25. NestMinder says:

    Wortht. Blogger. Everrrr.

  26. Matt says:

    He deleted you as a facebook friend… he is like a 14 year old girl.

  27. Ah, of course. I’ll be sure to throw in more racism and SAT words next time. Then maybe I’ll be a REAL BLOGGER!

    Or something other than “San Diego is whale’s vagina! Did I just write that!? Oops!” Besides, pretty sure you’ve indulged in the Hines Ward speak more than a few times, so getting all high and mighty is a failed tack. Here’s an example:

    http://dcsteelernation.blogspot.com/2009/09/things-id-like-to-see-sunday.html?showComment=1253288242725#c1861893169974184237

    And another:

    http://kissingsuzykolber.uproxx.com/2009/08/for-burnination-you-have-selected-terrible-towel.html/comment-page-1#comment-139133

    Nest being dishonest, yet again.

    So I go for the #1 reason you are a sniveling little towel waving bandwagon driver.

    Heh. Co-opting one the adjective I use for you. Grade school taught you a lot, didn’t it? Nice touch for a guy who doesn’t contribute anything but cheerleading to his dipshit commenters. Even at KSK you’re deadweight. I don’t snivel about shit. You’re the one who only whines about officiating and pushes his team. Lying again, Nest.

    In fact, you spent half the aforementioned post talking about officiating. Here’s another example:

    “Well, that’s not totally true. I DID happen to turn it on for a moment – I just couldn’t resist. It was the end of the first half when I finally gave in to temptation and flipped it on – much to my pleasant surprise, the Cards were about to be at least tied, and at best (GASP!) winning going into halftime! Then came the James Harrison interception and 100 yard TD – complete with it’s multiple holds and at least one blatant block in the back during the return. All of which, of course, went unflagged. At that point, my suspicions confirmed, I swore off watching any more NFL football until the 2009 season (and knowing what happened in the fourth quarter, I couldn’t be happier with my decision).”

    Again. Complaining about the refs, like you said YOU DIDN’T DO. Explain that away, you fucking liar. Let me guess your response: “You’re not from Pittsburgh, Ape!” I didn’t pick a team “out of a hat”. I was born in the state and I had another Steelers fan get me into the team when I was a kid. Better than the scores of Redskins fans who have switched over to the Ravens in the last few years. You’re probably one of them, Nest. You’re right in the age bracket for it.

    You can twist your own words as much as you want, but you’re full of shit. And we both know it.

  28. Oh my god, now you’re pissing your pants that you’re not my facebook friend?

    BAHAHAHAHA!

    APE JILTED ME!

  29. Matt says:

    How long did you fill out that thesis statement…thought you weren’t coming back.

  30. Seriously, now I feel embarrassed ever coming here. The fact that you’re grousing in a public forum about being Facebook friends.

    That’s some seriously sad middle school shit.

    I should get a restraining order against the both of you.

  31. Matt says:

    Knock your socks off homeboy…usually restraining orders in real life and not on the internet.

  32. NestMinder says:

    Maybe you should be worried about your team blowing a 28 point lead.

  33. NestMinder says:

    A guy who wrote a post titled “Who do you hate more, Steelers or Redskins?” obviously used to be a Redskins fan.

    More super-advanced reading comprehension.

  34. They got it. The Chargers got a freak special teams TD and a couple garbage scores. Never in doubt.

  35. What’d I tell you? Your most impressive win means nothing.

  36. NestMinder says:

    Except that the Ravens’ was a west coast road game, and the Steelers barely held on at home after going up 28-0. Considering the other team they have beaten is 0-4, explain to me which of those wins means “something” again?

  37. Matt says:

    Still in first place baby

  38. Considering the other team they have beaten is 0-4,

    Funny, since the only other two teams the Ravens beat are both 0-4, perhaps you should reconsider that piece of trash talking.

  39. Or not.

    Nest doesn’t know shit about the league anyway.

    LOOK I MADE A CHART ABOUT WHAT RANKING EACH TEAM HAS!

  40. Matt says:

    15 comments and all about nothing…. Ape is like Larry David minus the talent or the money

  41. NestMinder says:

    Funny, since the only other two teams the Ravens beat are both 0-4, perhaps you should reconsider that piece of trash talking.

    No, I shouldn’t. The point is, if the Ravens win over the Chargers means “nothing,” than the Steelers’ must mean even less.

    LOOK I PROVIDE VALUABLE INFORMATION INSTEAD OF DICK JOKES!

  42. Matt says:

    Nest is actually funny and informative. Where is his book deal?

  43. NestMinder says:

    lol @ “was a Redskins fan.” My brother’s sister-in-law’s third cousin on his father’s side’s best friends uncle’s dog tried to get me to be a Skins fan…but I know a steaming dog turd when I see one.

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