Posts Tagged ‘Ravens vs. Patriots picks’

Ravens @ Patriots AFC Championship Game Predictions, Picks 1/20

January 13th, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NFL Football   Comments Off on Ravens @ Patriots AFC Championship Game Predictions, Picks 1/20
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AFC Championship GameThe 2013 NFL playoff picks are going to be difficult to make, and in this one, the Baltimore Ravens and the New England Patriots are set to do battle with one another. Check out our Ravens vs. Patriots predictions and the keys to the AFC Championship Game for Baltimore vs. New England.

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#4 Baltimore Ravens @ #2 New England Patriots
Ravens vs. Patriots Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
Ravens vs. Patriots Date/Time: Sunday, January 20th, 6:00 p.m. (ET)
Ravens vs. Patriots On TV: CBS

Key #1: The Ravens need to figure out how to keep from being on the field for 80+ snaps
There are only so many snaps that a defense can be on the field for. The Baltimore defense has been on the field for exactly 87 plays over the course of the last two weeks against the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos. The team only allowed three field goals against the Colts, and though there were 35 points allowed to the Broncos, 14 of those points were allowed on special teams. Conceding 21 points in over five quarters on the road to the No. 1 team in the AFC is nothing to be ashamed of. Though emotion has gotten this team thus far, and LB Ray Lewis has been tremendous in his farewell tour, there is still only so much that can be asked of for a team that allowed 350.8 yards and 21.5 points per game this year. QB Tom Brady is the master of running play after play and taking advantage of a tired defense. He did it all last week against the Houston Texans, and he might be able to take advantage of that against the Ravens as well. New England ran 77 plays when these two teams met the first time. If it does that again, Baltimore is going to be in a heck of a lot of trouble. If the Ravens can get the job done on defense and keep control of the ball on the ground with RB Ray Rice, this could be a very interesting game.

Ravens @ Patriots Odds at Diamond Sportsbook
Baltimore Ravens +9
New England Patriots -9
Over/Under 51
Click Here to Bet Your Ravens vs. Patriots Picks!

Key #2: The Patriots have to get over all of their injuries
Brady might be healthy and ready to get back to the Super Bowl for the second straight year, but he doesn’t quite have the healthiest team in the world around him. TE Rob Gronkowski is out for the rest of the year with his second forearm injury of the campaign, and RB Danny Woodhead might be out of the lineup as well. Granted, last week, we saw RB Shane Vereen step up with three total touchdowns, and RB Stevan Ridley had himself a great game, too. Ridley only had 37 yards on 13 carries when these two teams met the first time around, and both Woodhead, RB Brandon Bolden, and WR Julian Edelman were the three offensive touchdown scorers. Bolden will likely have to suit if Woodhead sits, and Edelman’s season is said and done with. All of a sudden, there is a huge difference from entering last week’s game when the Pats were as healthy as they have been all season long, and now when they have a few vital injuries that could prove to be costly. Just about everyone is going to be on notice this week to get into the lineup for New England, and whomever it is that is out there is going to have to be at his best beat the Ravens.

Key #3: Joe Cool has to stay calm and continue to deliver the big time throws
QB Joe Flacco ended up with a raw deal last year. He is still looked upon as the man that is never going to take his team to a Lombardi Trophy, yet in the AFC Championship Game, he still played his heart out. On a day when RB Ray Rice and RB Ricky Williams combined for just 89 yards on 27 carries without a touchdown, and on a day where the weather was awful and the New England defense was swarming, Joe Cool threw for 306 yards and two TDs against one pick. What’s worse for Flacco is that he delivered the ball right on the money that would have won the game if it weren’t dropped by WR Lee Evans, and it’s anyone’s guess as to whether he would have won the game in overtime had K Billy Cundiff not missed that chip shot of a field goal attempt. Over the course of the last two weeks, Flacco has thrown for 613 yards and five TDs without tossing a pick, and the argument could be made that it is the best stretch of football that he has played in his entire career in the postseason. If that continues, the Ravens will have a shot at winning once again. If it doesn’t continue and Flacco resorts back into the quarterback that is largely known for blowing it when the games count the most, Baltimore has no chance.

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