Baltimore Ravens

Media roundup: Who's picking the Ravens?

• It's unanimous -- all eight ESPN "experts" believe the Ravens will win on the road over Tennessee.

• All four ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown analysts also predict a victory by the Ravens.

• Peter King of thinks the Ravens will continue to excel offensively against the Titans, but the score might be closer than some people think.

Ravens 30, Titans 20. I know Tennessee offensive coordinator Chris Palmer, and I have been around him when he has a difficult defensive matchup coming, and the one thing about this underrated offensive coach is this: He will not butt his head against the Baltimore wall. He won't send Matt Hasselbeck into the game with a 60-40 pass-run ratio. He has an M-80 in his control, ready to be lit, in Chris Johnson. He knows the Ravens are coming, with Terrell Suggs the most dangerous pass-rusher in the game right now. And I think he sends Johnson at the Ravens 27 times and makes this a ballgame.

• All three "insiders" on Showtime's Inside the NFL pick the Ravens.

• The New York Post's Bart Hubbuch expects the Ravens to cover the six-point spread.

Ravens (-6) at Titans: If Chris Johnson could manage all of 24 yards rushing against Jacksonville's defense, imagine how few holes he'll find against Baltimore.

• All five CBS Sports analysts believe the Ravens will beat Tennessee, but only Mike Freeman thinks they'll win by more than the 6.5-point spread.

• Peter Schrager of Fox Sports speaks highly of Joe Flacco and picks the Ravens to win.

Baltimore at Tennessee: I had a weeklong debate over email last week with a buddy over Flacco's proper placement in the NFL's quarterback club. With four road playoff victories in three seasons and an AFC Championship Game appearance under his belt, I said Flacco was another AFC Championship Game away from being placed in the second tier of NFL quarterbacks (which currently houses Philip Rivers, Michael Vick and Eli Manning). I was mocked, laughed at, and called a Baltimore "homer" because I was once caught wearing a Ravens skull cap in a blizzard on the streets of Hoboken, NJ, a few years back. (Damn you, Facebook!) After Flacco's flawless performance Sunday afternoon versus the Steelers, that same friend emailed me Sunday night with the following: "OK, Flacco's pretty good. Another AFC championship game, and I'll put him there. A Super Bowl? He's first tier." Couldn't agree more. Flacco has been the most underappreciated quarterback in the NFL for three years. This season, with that first win over Big Ben finally in his rearview mirror, he'll get some props. The pick: Ravens 30, Titans 13

• The Sporting News' Vinnie Iyer expects a big game from Ray Rice against Tennessee.

Matt Hasselbeck is still settling in as the quarterback for the Titans, and the Ravens' defense will keep him from getting comfortable. The Titans, who had trouble with mighty mite back Maurice Jones-Drew last week, face another one in Ray Rice, who will sustain what he did last week against Tennessee's retooled front seven. Ravens 27, Titans 16.

• Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times foresees a 10-point win for the Ravens.

These teams are already heading in opposite directions. If the Ravens stay focused, there's no reason they shouldn't control the clock (and Kenny Britt) and win. Ravens 24, Titans 14.


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


[Compiled by Dean Jones Jr.]