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Media roundup: Who's picking the Ravens?

• In the "Bet On It" feature, SI.com makes a bold prediction about Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.

Joe Flacco will throw at least three TD passes: Flacco has one touchdown toss in Baltimore's last three games, so we're not exactly playing the odds here.

But Week 7 was a debacle for Flacco and the Ravens -- they stunk up the joint on Monday night against Jacksonville, mustering just seven points and losing a game they never should have lost. Hosting Arizona at home in Week 8 provides a great chance for a bounce-back performance, both from Baltimore and its quarterback.

• Led by Ray Rice, SI.com's Peter King thinks the Ravens will edge Arizona.

And the little man shall lead them. Ray Rice's 165 total yards get the Ravens back on track. Meanwhile, all over M&T Bank concession stands Sunday afternoon, fans in purple from head to toe ask each other: "How is it possible in this day and age of the air filled with footballs that our quarterback is barely completing five of every 10 throws?"

• All of ESPN's NFL "experts" expect the Ravens to bounce back with a win at home against the Cardinals.

• All four ESPN NFL Sunday Countdown analysts think the Ravens will be victorious.

• ESPN's Madden 12 simulation predicts a 27-13 victory for the Ravens.

Ray Rice rushed for 103 yards and one touchdown as the Ravens offense bounced back from one of their worst performances in franchise history to beat the Cardinals 27-13. Ray Lewis added a pick-6 in the third quarter to help Baltimore ice the game.

• All three of Showtime's Inside the NFL hosts pick the Ravens to beat the Cardinals.

• Mike Florio and Gregg Rosenthal of NBC Sports' ProFootballTalk both believe the Ravens will rout the Cardinals.

Florio's take: The Ravens play well at home. The Ravens don't play well against bad teams. The Ravens are playing at home. The Ravens are playing a bad team. But the Cardinals are really bad, and the Ravens have gotten a kick in the pants after losing to the Jaguars. Florio's pick: Ravens 31, Cardinals 17.

Rosenthal's take: The Steelers struggled in the second half against the Jaguars two weeks ago, and took out their aggression on the Cardinals in Arizona. The Ravens lost to the Jaguars Monday night, and can take it out on the Cardinals in Baltimore. Passing game problems magically disappear when teams play Arizona. Rosenthal's pick: Ravens 31, Cardinals 13.

• Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com says the Ravens will win.

The dirtiest secret in the league? It has nothing to do with Mr. Suh's dirty antics. It's that Kevin Kolb, the guy Arizona's paying $21 million guaranteed this season, has been downright awful this season. In any other media market, with any other backups on the roster, Kolb would be feeling the heat. The Cardinals have lost five straight games and Kolb's been consistent with only one thing: missing receivers. Don't count Arizona out of the "Suck for Luck" sweepstakes just yet. They're paying their QB a lot of money, and he's not delivering the goods. The Pick: Ravens 31, Cardinals 21

• All five CBSSports.com analysts believe the Ravens will win, but only four of them think they'll cover the 13 1/2-point spread.

• The Los Angeles Times' Sam Farmer believes the Ravens will win in a one-sided affair.

Ravens 27, Cardinals 10: The Ravens were embarrassed on Monday night, and that's bad news for the Cardinals, a struggling team in the cross hairs of a very tough defensive front seven.

• NESN's Michael Hurley doesn't think the Ravens will cover the 13 1/2-point spread, but he also doesn't think the Cardinals have a chance of winning the game.

Only in the NFL can you gain 146 total yards of offense one week in a loss to a 1-5 team and be favored by two touchdowns the following week. And only in the NFL does that two-touchdown spread present a difficult challenge.

Sure, the Cardinals have lost five straight and have no chance of winning this game, but the Ravens have much too much work to do on a short week to have an offensive outburst against anyone, let alone the ... oh, wait. The Cardinals allow 388.3 yards and 25.6 points per game. This one's tricky.

When it gets tricky, though, you just pick against Joe Flacco when he needs to cover a 14-point spread. It's easy, really. Look -- I just did it!

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Seeing other predictions on this week's NFL games? Leave them as a comment below.

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[Compiled by Dean Jones Jr.]

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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