Football picksSeptember 20, 2012

Week # 3 New England Patriots vs Baltimore Ravens Preview, Prediction & Odds

The New England Patriots have struggled mightily in the first two weeks. They nearly lost in week one before finally dropping a home game in week two. The Cardinals went into Foxboro and dropped the Patriots on their head. So is this a new trend? Are the Patriots going down the drain? Or are they simply taking a little while to get warmed up? That is the big question that the Pats will have to answer over the next few weeks. Going to Baltimore to face the Ravens is no easy task.

The Patriots have a central problem heading into this game. That problem showed up against the Giants in the Superbowl. It also showed up in the later part of the last regular season. They simply cannot protect Tom Brady. The New England quarterback can pick apart any defense when he has the time. When his feet are moving a little bit, he struggles to hit his receivers. This is a difficult thing to fix, as it might show that the New England offensive line is in trouble.

The Patriots also have an age problem. Wes Welker is getting old and has been a non-factor in the early going. Brady is slower in the pocket. Most parts of the offense are not as sharp as they have been in the past. Is this something that is going to get better with time? Many will say that the Patriots are going to run into even more trouble as they go along. Now, they are asked to go into Baltimore and face off against a team that nearly beat them in the playoffs one year ago.

The Baltimore club drubbed the Bengals in week one. They had a quick turnaround going on the road to Philadelphia, where they nearly won in a tough spot. There is no doubt that Baltimore has both the offense and the defense to get the job done. The big question has rests with Joe Flacco. If he can consistently exploit the New England defense, then the Ravens might cover the short spread in this game. The Ravens will also need to put pressure on Tom Brady. If they can get him moving his feet like the Cardinals were able to, the Ravens will have a much better chance of getting to 2-1.

Posted by Wunderdog’s trusty sidekick ” Wundercat “