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|Tom Brady and the Patriots haven’t played the Ravens since a 24-3 win in Week 12 back in 2004. (Courtesy of NFL.com)|
The Game: New England Patriots At Baltimore Ravens
The Day: Monday, December 3
The Time: 8:30pm
The Channel: ESPN
The Skinny: The Patriots come in 11-0 and the Ravens have lost five straight games. Yet as each week progresses, the pressure of a perfect regular season mounts on the Patriots. The Ravens are down but playing at home on Monday night, stranger things have happened.
Sure, the Ravens possess some key defensive players in name, but few will agree that the Ravens D resembles that of their Super Bowl winning team (that WAS seven years ago). Ray Lewis has undoubtedly lost a step and Chris McAlister has had a less than superb season. Terrell Suggs and Ed Reed also can provide the Patriots with potential problems. It’s also possible that the Ravens possess many of the qualities of the Philadelphia Eagles defense which nearly beat the Patriots last week.
Here are my 3 Keys to the game:
The Eagles gave the Pats a scare last week but I don’t see a repeat performance. Lito Sheppard is a much better CB than Chris McAlister this season and Kyle Boller has never showed the ability to stand in the pocket and deliver a ball while taking a hit like Feeley did last week. McGahee poses much fewer problems for the Patriots defense than Westbrook and with Adalius Thomas moving to OLB it will be tough to find space on the outside for the former UMiami running back. Moss will create match up problems for the Ravens secondary and if McAlister has problems and forces a constant double team with Reed, the rest of the Patriots receiving corps will be licking their chops. The only real mystery will be if Laurence Maroney plays a snap in the first half!
Patriots 41, Ravens 10