Here’s how The Baltimore Sun sports staff views the outcome of Sunday night’s game between the Ravens and the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium:
C.J. Doon, editor
Ravens 30, Patriots 13: Don’t let Bill Belichick and Cam Newton fool you; this is a bad Patriots team. New England ranks 26th overall in efficiency, per Football Outsiders' DVOA, and 31st on defense, their usual calling-card under Belichick. They let Joe Flacco throw for 262 yards and three touchdowns in a narrow victory over the winless Jets on Monday night. The Ravens should be able to run the ball effectively and keep Newton and a lackluster group of receivers contained, leading to a comfortable win.
Daniel Oyefusi, reporter
Ravens 26, Patriots 17: This season’s Sunday night meeting between the Ravens and the Patriots doesn’t pack as much juice as last year. However, it presents a similar opportunity for the Ravens to begin a second-half surge with a resounding performance in front of a nationally televised audience. The Ravens aren’t a perfect team, but the first half of the season has shown that it takes superb play at quarterback and a collective defensive effort to knock them off. That’s a tough ask for an undermanned Patriots team with quarterback Cam Newton, who has struggled to throw the ball consistently after a hot start to the season.
Mike Preston, columnist
Ravens 28, Patriots 14: The Patriots still have perhaps the best head coach ever on their sideline and that makes them a threat. No one puts together a better game plan. But the Patriots have few playmakers on their roster and quarterback Cam Newton is struggling in several areas. The Ravens are too physical for New England and should take charge by the beginning of the fourth quarter.
Jonas Shaffer, reporter
Ravens 28, Patriots 13: These aren’t last year’s Ravens, but this is not a vintage New England team, either. The Patriots have allowed at least 24 points in six of their past seven games, and Cam Newton doesn’t have a lot of help in the passing game. If New England were even reasonably healthy, this could be a tossup. But the Ravens have favorable matchups in every phase of the game.
Childs Walker, reporter
Ravens 31, Patriots 20: It feels strange to view a trip to Foxborough, Massachusetts, as a relatively light week on the schedule, but the Ravens are better than the Patriots in almost every area and will benefit from an extra day of preparation. Lamar Jackson will need to avoid turnovers against a good secondary, but the Patriots match up poorly against the Ravens' power and don’t have enough offensive weapons to keep up.