Patriots vs. Ravens: Game Preview and Prediction

Kellen Winslow Patriots

How long will it take for Kellen Winslow to have an impact? (Photo: US Presswire)

NEPD Staff Writer: Joon Lee

This is in replacement of this week’s NEPD Mailbag due to a lack of questions. So to make sure we have one next week, follow me on Twitter @iamjoonlee and ask me questions throughout the weeks so we can put one together!

Lets quickly take a look at this week’s injury report:

Out: Defensive lineman Justin Francis (ankle), Tight end Aaron Hernandez (ankle) Questionable: Offensive lineman Dan Connolly (concussion), Defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick (ankle), Cornerback Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring), Tight end Daniel Fells (shin), Wide receiver Brandon Lloyd (thigh), Left guard Logan Mankins (hip), Offensive lineman Nick McDonald (shoulder), Cornerback Sterling Moore (knee), Running back Shane Vereen (foot), Tackle Sebastian Vollmer (back) Probable: Safety Patrick Chung (shoulder).

Some of the notables are Lloyd, Deaderick, Mankins and Vereen. Vereen has yet to produce in his Patriots career and with the emergence of running back Stevan Ridley. Vereen may be running out of chances to make an impression on this team as Ridley, Woodhead and even Bolden are in front of him on the depth chart. While Vereen was drafted in the second round, it doesn’t appear that Belichick would be afraid of cutting him due to the various high-profile cuts made during training camp.

Notables

Although the bum knee of new tight-end Kellen Winslow has been notable lately, he has played all 16 games the last three years and 5 of the last 6 years. “The thing I concentrate on is not missing games, because then there is nothing held against me.” Winslow admitted that he plays through a lot of pain, “but that it doesn’t matter.” In the end, it’s mind over matter. “I would say will, man. Overcome,” said Winslow. “This is my dream to play.”

Winslow looks to make a big impact on the field filling in for the injured Aaron Hernandez.

One possible theory that I thought about this past week with the signing of Winslow and Branch was how the two of them would fill in the stats missing from the production of Hernandez. In 2011, Hernandez had a total of 79 receptions for 910 yards and 7 touchdowns. Winslow pulled in 73 catches for 763 yards and two touchdowns. Branch had similar numbers, bringing in 51 receptions for 701 yards a five touchdowns.

While a lot of the yards are going to go to Julian Edelman and Wes Welker, Branch and Winslow may be able to fill in the void admirably as both had pretty solid seasons last year.

Speaking of Edelman, it will be very interesting to see the production of Edelman as the number two receiver in the system. Edelman continued to practice as the second receiver in two receiver sets, while Welker stood on the sidelines. Boston Herald reporter Karen Guregian called this sight “very strange” during this week’s Blitz video recap.

One thing the defense has done admirably in the two games this season was how the unit was able to shut down the most dangerous offensive weapons for the Cardinals and Titans. Chris Johnson had his lowest yards total ever week 1 and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was a non-factor in last week’s game. While Ray Rice has killed the Patriots in the past, I fully expect the Patriots to shut him down on Sunday to force quarterback Joe Flacco to throw to his receivers.

Final Score Prediction: 24-21 Ravens

While the Patriots have had a stellar record in the past following losses, I don’t think the Patriots will be able to bounce back against a tough Ravens defense. Still led by the un-aging Ray Lewis, the defense has been absolutely stellar over the last couple of years. Even with the absence of Terrell Suggs of Ball So Hard University, the defense still has studs in Ed Reed and Haloti Ngata.

The Ravens offense has also been good thus far this year. Flacco has had more poise in the pocket and has been using his weapons very effectively.

While Brady will try his best to lead the Patriots to victory, I don’t think they’ll be successful in the end.

Tags: Game Preview, Julian Edelman, Kellen Winslow, Tom Brady

7 Responses to “Patriots vs. Ravens: Game Preview and Prediction”

  1. McTash says:

    This isn’t 2011, or 2010 or 2007, it is 2012 and the OL has been terrible from day one. This is not the team or time you want to be playing the Ravens who are coming off a loss of their own.

    • Lundahl says:

      O-line, terrible ? You speak like NFL.com and PFW. Brady was sacked once in week 1. It was the only time he was hit all day. THE ONLY TIME. Also, the Pats had 125 rushing yards. How can a terrible o-line manage to give his RB 125 rushing yards and only allow one hit on his QB (Brady said it himself). Then, in week 2, he was sacked four times, but he dived on two of them simply because no one was open. And the Pats had nearly 60 rushing yards in ONE HALF. You’re a dork, you spit back those embarrassing media analysis. “O-line terrible”. People complained about the o-line as well in 2010,I remember perfectly the local medias bashing BB, bashing Vollmer and Connolly. Vollmer is an all-pro now and Connolly is very good. We really need Vollmer to get back in 2010 mode, this guy is a brick wall, doesn’t allow a sack, and also Connolly. We’ll be fine with that. And just to let you know, people like you shouted hysterically the same way in 2010 after the Browns loss and playing Pit on the road. Where were those people after that game ?

  2. Lundahl says:

    Typical NYC media junk article. “The Patriots won’t be able to bounce back against a tough Ravens defense.” And it goes and goes on and on, years after years, no matter what the Patriots have accomplished, the local and national medias are seriously obsessed in bashing on the Patriots.

    Remember the 2010 season, when the Pats lost to a second tier Browns team ? Remember when the entire country and local medias shouted “oh my god they are going to get destroyed by the Steelers !!!” Does anyone remember what happened to the Steelers at home ? The Patriots destroyed them.

    No, the same circus was brought up again, when the Patriots lost to the Giants and had to travel to NY to play the Jets. Everybody rallied against the pats, saying they had no chance and will never win a single game of their life. Remember what happened to the Jets at home ? The Patriots destroyed them.

    Ok, granted, the Ravens have good weapons on offense. But did they ever shine against our D ? Rice, what they he do in the AFC game ? Nothing. How did CJ2K do ? Caca. What about Wells last week ? 44 rushing yards. What about McCoy last year ? 30 rushing yards.

    What did Ngata do in the AFC game ? Nothing. Seriously, nothing. He got owned by gronk on the goal-line TD.

    The Ravens had one sack in the AFC game. Solder made a lousy block on Johnson (who’s not there anymore).

    Stellar D ? Wes Welker had 5 receptions for 95 yards vs Patrick Peterson. Not sure who can stop him IF he’s back in Welker mode.

    Fitzgerald also had one reception for barely 10+ yards. One of the best receivers in the game, so I do have hope our secondary can contain their receivers. Even though every week is different.

    Flacco, may have improved, but he’s still a bust for a guy that was drafted in the first round. His stats are ones of a underachiever. And he’s capable of throwing four picks a game. Not saying the Ravens stink and we’re so better that we’re gonna beat them. Not at all. But when I read or hear about people propelling the Ravens to a stellar level that they aren’t, I stand against them. Just my opinion.

    BTW: the Patriots did beat the Ravens back in 07 on the road. The Ravens defense was younger. They also how hostile that environment is.

    • ANB says:

      u mad bro?

    • Max says:

      I agree with you, the Patriots can win this game.
      Statistically the Patriots have the better defense this year, btw…

      The big question is, is Welker going to start playing “full time” and is Lloyd healthy to play close to 100%?

      I think the Patriots will play more aggressively against the ravens, unlike how they played verse the cardinals that was terrible coaching..
      Patriots win by 7.






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