Both the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots enter this matchup 1-1 with a loss to the Miami Dolphins.
The Patriots loss to Miami was your run-of-the-mill September loss in the September heat. But Baltimore’s loss to Miami was a true breakdown. The Dolphins outscored the Ravens 28-3 in the fourth quarter as Tua Tagovailoa torched the supposedly elite Baltimore secondary.
So, which parts of Baltimore’s Week 2 game can we take seriously? Which parts do we throw out? And which version will we get in Week 3?
Can the young and inexperienced Patriots keep up with any of those versions?
Let’s dive in. Read on for our Baltimore Ravens vs New England Patriots predictions and picks, alongside the betting odds, injuries, and depth charts.
Baltimore Ravens vs New England Patriots Betting Odds
This number opened at Baltimore -3 but has bounced back and forth between 2.5 and 3 for the past few days. I don’t know where it will settle, but make sure to get the best odds if you like one side or the other considering it’s right on the key number of 3.
The total looks about right. The only other time these two teams met in the post-Tom Brady era was in November of 2020. Cam Newton led the Patriots to a 23-17 win as the under hit with the total at 44.
Baltimore Ravens vs New England Patriots Prediction
The Patriots have a good defense. They might be a little vulnerable to the run game, and their numbers are slightly inflated by a horrendous Steelers offense, but this team’s overall statistical profile is strong.
The safety depth is tremendous behind Kyle Dugger and Jabrill Peppers – which is why the Patriots will be okay without Adrian Phillips – and newcomer Mack Phillips looks like a good addition to the linebacker core.
Bill Belichick is going back to his classic bend-but-don’t-break defense. The Patriots are third in red-zone touchdown percentage allowed through two weeks (25%). Remember, the Patriots allowed just one offensive touchdown to Miami and that was on a defensive breakdown at the end of the first half.
That brings us to the Ravens. What happened last week? The secondary includes Marcus Peters, Marlon Humphrey, and Marcus Williams. They shouldn’t allow Tagovailoa to have the game of his career.
But it was mostly later downs that cost the Ravens on defense. Baltimore allowed just .11 EPA/play on early downs but an unheard-of 1.74 on late downs. Early down success is usually more predictive of a defense’s true-talent level, so I’m not worried.
The Ravens should take a big step up against this Patriots offense. There are a million question marks surrounding the New England offense.
I’m pretty sure New England can run the ball. They moved the ball well against Miami but stuttered against Pittsburgh. So, that’s still in the air.
But this is an elite offensive line. They held Pittsburgh’s front seven – which lived in Cincinnati’s backfield the week before – to just one tackle for loss. They rank fourth in Pro Football Focus’s Pass Block and Run Block grades.
Pro Football Focus ranks the Patriots’ offensive line as third in the NFL, writing:
- “Weakest Link: G Cole Strange
Upcoming Opponent: Baltimore Ravens
Technically, rookie Cole Strange is the weakest link on this line, but he was able to go toe-to-toe with Cameron Heyward in his second start and look capable while doing so. He gave up some pressure and a few more losses that never got to become pressure, but the fact the team believed in him enough to give him that assignment speaks volumes. The Patriots offense isn’t playing well, but the line isn’t the source of the problem.”
For some reference on what rookie Cole Strange was able to do in his first week:
I don’t have much to say about Mac Jones. He’s been underwhelming, although he’s spreading the ball to more receivers (see: Nelson Agholor). Devante Parker hasn’t done a thing, however.
But when you have a top-five offensive line, you have a great starting point. The Patriots can build off that.
Meanwhile, the Ravens look like the best offense in the NFL. They rank first in overall Offense DVOA. Lamar Jackson is slinging the ball all over the field.
But I’m worried about the run game:
Image credit: RBSDM.com
The Ravens are allowing 4.8 yards per carry and rushing for only 4.7 yards per carry. An offensive spearheaded by Jackson should not be this weak in the rushing attack. But the offensive line ranks second-to-last in Line Yards and that will kill any rush attack.
That’s why I’m betting on the Patriots.
The strength of the New England defense is in the passing game. The Patriots are top-10 in both Passing Success Rate allowed and Pass Defense DVOA. The secondary depth is there and they forced a 40% pressure rate against Miami in Week 1. Plus, are we sure we believe in a Baltimore receiving corps led by Mark Andrews and (checks notes) Rashod Bateman?
This is a good matchup for the Patriot defense and I’m willing to catch three points with Belichick at home. Home underdogs are 9-5-1 ATS so far this season.
We just need the Patriot offense to move the ball consistently enough behind their elite offensive line to cover a field goal with a low total.
- Baltimore is 1-6-1 ATS in its last eight Week 3 games
- Baltimore is 1-4 ATS in its last five games after allowing more than 30 points the previous week
- New England is 4-1 ATS in its last five home games
- Bill Belichick is 7-4 ATS as a home underdog
Baltimore Ravens Injuries: QB Lamar Jackson (Elbow) P, CB Marlon Humphrey (Grion) Q, WR James Proche II (Groin), RB Gus Edwards (ACL) O,
New England Patriots Injuries: CB Jalen Mills (Hamstring) Q, WR Tyquan Thorton (Collarbone) O
Check out the key matchups and mismatches for Baltimore Ravens vs New England Patriots below.
Baltimore’s Secondary vs New England’s Wide Receivers
Baltimore’s secondary got roasted last weekend. The Ravens currently rank 24th in PFF’s coverage grades and finished Week 2 26th in Dropback EPA per play allowed.
That might just be Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill. Or there could be some issues in the back end of John Harbaugh’s defense.
We’ll find out more this week. The Patriots receiving corps has taken a lot of heat over the past year, but they currently rank 11th in PFF’s Receiving grades. This unit is running routes better than they were last season and getting open on a more consistent basis.
I’ll be watching closely to see who wins this battle.