BOSTON (CBS) — Last week, a Boston columnist earned a lot of national attention for expressing over-the-top optimism for the home team. This week, some Baltimore sports writers are taking the opposite route.

Members of the Baltimore Sun sports staff gave their predictions for Sunday evening’s AFC Championship Game in Foxboro, and five of the seven people said that the Patriots will beat the Ravens.

Kevin Cowherd, Edward Lee, Matt Vensel, Aaron Wilson and Jeff Zrebiec all picked the Patriots to come out on top. Four of them called for a close margin of victory of four or fewer points, while Cowherd forecast a nine-point Patriots win.

“The Ravens will need more than emotion from Ray Lewis’ ‘last ride’ to neutralize Vince Wilfork in the middle of the Patriots D-line,” Cowherd wrote.

“I’m not a big believer in the whole ‘Team of Destiny’ storyline, but the Ravens are making it hard not to at least contemplate the possibility, Zrebiec wrote. “However, it’s even harder to go against Bill Belichick and Tom Brady in a big game at home.”

The two writers who picked Baltimore, Mike Preston and Peter Schmuck, called for tight games that are decided by a field goal.

“The Ravens have already proved the oddsmakers dead wrong once and now they are going to do it again,” Schmuck wrote. “They’re on a mission and they’ve already proven they can compete with the Patriots in the postseason at Gillette Stadium. Now, it’s time to get over the hump.”

“Quarterback Joe Flacco and the offensive line are hot, and desire and the law of averages should put the Ravens over the top,” wrote Preston.


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