Baltimore Ravens

Ravens vs. Patriots staff picks: Who will win Sunday night’s game?

Jen Badie, editor

Ravens 23, Patriots 21: Sure, the Patriots are undefeated. But take a closer look at their schedule and the teams they have beaten are a combined 14-37. In the Harbaugh era, the Ravens have typically played the Patriots well, winning three of nine meetings with all but one of the losses decided by six points or less. Factor in that the Ravens are rested and healthy, they’re at home and they are coming off a triumphant road victory against the Seahawks, and this could be another signature win.

C.J. Doon, editor

Ravens 24, Patriots 21: Statistically, New England has one of the most dominant defenses in recent memory. But here are the starting quarterbacks they’ve faced: Ben Roethlisberger, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Luke Falk, Josh Allen, Colt McCoy, Daniel Jones, Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield. None have the rare talent of Lamar Jackson, who’s vaulted himself into the MVP discussion. There’s no doubt coach Bill Belichick will be able to find ways to limit Jackson’s game-breaking running ability, but it’s another thing to actually get Jackson on the ground. With the Ravens defense rounding into shape, helped by the acquisition of Marcus Peters and the improving health of Jimmy Smith, Tom Brady might have trouble getting the ball to an uninspiring group of playmakers. Jackson, the home crowd and a resurgent defense is a recipe for an upset.


Daniel Oyefusi, reporter

Ravens 23, Patriots 21: The undefeated Patriots are sure to present the Ravens with their toughest test of the season. New England brings the NFL’s top-ranked defense, and coach Bill Belichick’s success against first- and second-year quarterbacks has been well-documented. But the Patriots have yet to face a quarterback this season the caliber of Lamar Jackson and an offense as efficient as the Ravens. The timely return of multiple key starters, as well as the Ravens being well-rested after a bye, all present the makings of an upset win for the home team on Sunday night.

Mike Preston, columnist

Patriots 21, Ravens 17: The Ravens have the talent to beat New England, and it wouldn’t be surprising if they did. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady isn’t as dominant as he used to be but is still effective in the team’s short passing game. New England has a strong pass rush and has enough athletic talent with their front seven to cause problems for Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. Over the years, I find it hard to bet against New England head coach Bill Belichick. His teams are well-coached, and they don’t beat themselves with dumb penalties, which have hurt the Ravens on occasions this season. The Ravens should be able to run against New England and that will keep the game close. The key is what scheme Belichick will come up with to defend Jackson and, if it does work, what the Ravens have as a counter.


Peter Schmuck, columnist

Patriots 24, Ravens 20: Evil genius Bill Belichick will find a way to neutralize Lamar Jackson just enough to sneak out of Baltimore with his undefeated record intact, but the game will still be an important one for the Ravens. They need to see how Jackson responds to the best-designed defense in the NFL and adjust accordingly for the second half of the season.

Jonas Shaffer, reporter

Patriots 20, Ravens 16: It’s not Tom Brady and this New England offense that the Ravens should fear; it’s the Patriots defense. Even if the Ravens run the ball well, this secondary can make them a one-dimensional attack. The Ravens will have some tricks up their sleeves, but at the end of the day, New England has Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Why start doubting them now?

Childs Walker, reporter

Patriots 24, Ravens 23: With their league-best running game, the Ravens are as well-equipped as anyone to dent New England’s overwhelming defense. But the Patriots force so many more mistakes than they make, and that will be the difference in a nail-biter.