BOSTON (CBS) – The WBZ-TV, WBZ NewsRadio 1030 and 98.5 The Sports Hub sports teams make their prediction for Sunday’s Patriots-Ravens tilt.
Scott Zolak, 98.5 The Sports Hub
This one is going to be a grinder that will go down to the final four minutes of the game.
I think the Patriots will play pretty consistent on offense, but they have to play enough defense to hold Joe Flacco and Baltimore to field goals.
Patriots 23, Ravens 21
Andy Gresh, 98.5 The Sports Hub
This is a dangerous one for the Patriots here because of the play-action game of Baltimore. They did it against Denver, where they really pounded the play-action, and that really compromises your linebackers and forces your safeties to think.
For the Patriots it’s paramount to get off to a good start and try to get the lead like they did last week in Miami. They need to give the defense as much margin for error as possible. I don’t know if Baltimore can score 23 points on this defense, because they aren’t great offensively, but I do think the Patriots can score 24.
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Get ready because you’re probably going to puke on your shoes a couple of times, but the Patriots will eke this one out.
Patriots 24, Ravens 23
Steve Burton, WBZ-TV Sports
My heart says New England, but my head says Baltimore.
The Ravens are playing to survive and need this win more. Although Baltimore QB Joe Flacco has a mild MCL sprain and will be wearing a knee brace, the Ravens are winners of four straight and one of the hottest teams in football.
But Baltimore is beatable. They barely squeaked out a win Monday night in Detroit, and the Patriots rarely lose back-to-back games. The Patriots should be more focused than ever after losing another nail-biter last week to the Dolphins.
So I’ll let my heart do the talking.
Patriots 24, Ravens 21
Dan Roche, WBZ-TV Sports
All signs point to the Ravens in this one. The game is in Baltimore, and the Pats are just 3-4 on the road this season. The Ravens have played Tom Brady tougher than any other team in the NFL recently. Even though Baltimore lost Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, Daryl Smith and the rookie Matt Elam have filled in well.
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The Ravens have won four straight and at 8-6 are fighting to defend their Super Bowl title. Meanwhile, the Pats are banged up.
However, these are the games Tom Brady love. I’ll go against the chalk here and take the Pats in an upset.
Patriots 24, Ravens 21
Levan Reid, WBZ-TV Sports
All of a sudden this is a bigger game than maybe the league thought it would be. The Pats and the Ravens are two teams that don’t like each other and on Sunday they once again will play a game that’s extremely meaningful.
I’m going back and forth with this one. The Pats didn’t play horrible against the Dolphins but when push came to shove, their defense just couldn’t make the stop. That can’t be the case this week.
The Ravens have lost some parts but their defense is still the same. They still get after the quarterback and put pressure on all the receivers. Without knowing who’s going to play for the Pats, this could be a tough one.
The Pats have played close ones but I would love to see them get out there and lead from beginning to end. I just don’t think that’s going to happen. The Ravens are tough in their house and they will be tough on Sunday.
Ravens 20, Patriots 14
Walt Perkins, WBZ NewsRadio 1030
Ravens 36, Patriots 34
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