- Dolphins- 30 overall 32 points
- Cardinals- 29 overall 29 points
- Chiefs- 24 overall 17 points
- Browns- 21 overall 22 points
- Steelers- 10 overall 13 points
- Bengals- 32 overall 23 points
- Seahawks- 23 overall 20 points
The Patriots take their supposedly fake 8-0 record on the road to Baltimore tonight. According to many people who get paid to give you their opinion on sports, this is going to be a tough game and the Patriots will be extremely lucky to come out with a win.
What you are about to read here is different than what you've been hearing. Is it because I'm an unpaid homer who relies on the occasional advertiser or Amazon purchase to keep this blog afloat? Or is it because I have eyes and a functioning brain which give me insight instead of "hot takes" and "talking points"? Whichever it is, here goes.
FAKE RAVENS' OFFENSE- By now you've probably heard that the Patriots' defense hasn't faced anyone this season, so that 7.6 points per game that they are giving up is fake. Everyone wants to conveniently forget that they faced a fully loaded Steelers' offense to start the season and held them to a field goal. Regardless, why haven't we been hearing how fake the Ravens' offense is? Here is a list of their opponents with their current defensive rankings (1 is best, 32 is worst) for overall defense and points allowed.
PATRIOTS DEFENSE- Whether or not the Ravens' offense is truly the 2nd best, I have faith that the Patriots' defense will be able to shut them down. I'll admit, Lamar Jackson is pretty great at running with the ball in the open field. Of course, being the quarterback one would hope he was adept at throwing the ball. This season Jackson has completed 63% of his passes and thrown 11 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. If we look at his one game against a real defense, he was 19 for 28 for 161 yards with 1 TD, 3 interceptions and 5 sacks. I'm expecting today's interception and sack numbers to be similar. Although Lamar may turn out one highlight worthy run tonight, I'm not expecting his legs to be the Patriots' kryptonite. Jackson puts up his yeoman rushing yards by making his way out of the pocket untouched. That is not going to happen today. As usual the Patriots will keep the opponent's quarterback in front of them and not get caught rushing past him. Jamie Collins 2.0 will once again lead the Patriots in tackles while setting his teammates up for sacks.
PATRIOTS OFFENSE- The Patriots' offense struggled against the Browns last week. Had it not been for the defense causing turnovers, the Patriots could have easily lost the game. Mentally I've put last week's game into the "loss column". Sure it wasn't a loss, but when it comes to how the Tom Brady offense responds to a loss, that's what we are in store for today. While the offensive line still won't be great, they'll do a decent job to keep Brady upright. Having more weapons at his disposal will also positively affect both the play calling and execution. Expect Brady to target ten different players and connect with all of them at one point or another. Sony Michel will have his first 100 yard rushing game of the season as the early passing game will open up the running game.
SPECIAL TEAMS- There will be a big play on special teams today and the Patriots will be the beneficiary. Will it be a muff by our old friend Cyrus Jones or a block of Mr. Reliable, Justin Tucker? I'm actually thinking a trick play on 4th down or a solid return by Gunner might be on the docket. Like most, I'm curious to see what the Patriots do after scoring touchdowns today. Do they go for 2 or kick the PAT? If they need a field goal at the end of the half or game, do they go with Nick Folk or Jake Bailey? Both have career bests of 56 yards.
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