Here’s what you need to know about why the Patriots face an uphill battle for Sunday’s Ravens game:
First off there are 3 incredibly tough matchups for them to overcome. After that there are 3 more reasons that I read somewhere. Can they do it? Absolutely. Is is probable? I’ll let you decide after reading the matchup breakdowns.
1. Tom Brady is facing defensive coordinator Dean Pees again:
Brady and Pees are very fond of each other as Pees was stationed in Chowdertown for 6 seasons. Pees started working as the linebackers coach and then became the defensive coordinator, a fact that has become blatantly obvious when these two have met as opponents. The Crows are the only team that have been able to consistently give him grief over the years, and that couldn’t be more true over the last few seasons. In fact, look at each of the previous 4 seasons even throw in playoff games and Brady’s worst single game passer rating came against the Crows.
2.Pats ‘go to’ tackles Solder, Cannon and Mankins square up against Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil:
Scary thought I know. That weird squeaking noise we all kept hearing last night? Well lets just say someone kept waking up screaming because there was a monster in their closet. I won’t give away who it was but his initials are TOM BRADY. But on the serious side, the Crows pressures off the edge come from Suggs and Dumervil the majority of the time. They have 18.5 sacks, and they have a proven record when it comes to harassing quarterbacks and offensive linemen. Why does this matter? Because the Pats aren’t looking great at tackle, with Cannon and some meatball named Svitek are trying to fill Vollmer’s shoes and Vollmer was filling someone else’s shoes. On the other side of Brady, Solder got knocked out vs the Fins and Mankins came in (no kin). Look for Brady to go pop gun pass attack.
3. Former Adderall abuser CB Talib gets to cover Torrey Smith:
Talib has been mediocre lately. Whether you chose to blame it on matchup issues or his hip issues, now he gets to deal with Torrey Smith issues. Smith’s stat sheet is a paltry 59 catches, 1,032 yards, four td’s, as well as 17.5 ypc. These two will spend lots of time in one-on-ones Sunday. Oh and Dennis Pitta who has now returned to the Crows offense will get some closeups with “Mr. ADD” as well.
4. Shining Star Opportunity? Pats fans please meet Darryl Smith.
The middle LB has been great this year all around. His stat sheet is an impressive 4.5 sacks 3 int’s and 17 passes defended in 13 games. No big deal right, but the PD set a single season record for a Crows LB. Smith is 6’2, 248-lbs and will have deep responsibility against Pats TE Hoomanawanui and RB Vereen.
The Crows won’t be the squad to let one slip away. But a lookback this year says the Pats have played a (most in the league) 11 games this year that were decided by 7 pts or less. They won 7 of them.
6. Locker Room Motivation:
Devin McCourty says: ‘There would be no better feeling than us beating them Sunday and . . . we eliminate their season right there. For me and for a lot of my teammates, there’d be no better feeling.’
Response from Joe Flacco: o.O
Prediction: Betting lines have the Ravens at +2.5 this week at home. Ravens win by 3.