Experts share their picks for the Patriots Week 9 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens.
Mike Reiss, ESPN:
Pick: Ravens 20, Patriots 17
Bold prediction: Ben Watson will catch a touchdown pass from Tom Brady. The Patriots have struggled to run consistently, so the odds are greater that the offense will once again need to rely more on the passing game.
Jamison Hensley, ESPN
Pick: Ravens 27, Patriots 17
Lamar Jackson has produced an NFL-best 262 scramble yards this season -- 88 more than anyone else -- by sidestepping and sprinting past tacklers. Meanwhile, the Patriots have allowed the second-most yards per rush on scrambles in the past 10 years.
Mike Golic, ESPN: Patriots
Seth Wickersham, ESPN: Patriots
Mina Kimes, ESPN: Patriots
Dan Graziano, ESPN: Ravens
Trey Wingo, ESPN: Ravens
Kevin Seifert, ESPN: Ravens
Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com
Pick: Ravens 20, Patriots 17
The Ravens' defense and Patriots' offense have been two of the most consistently dominant NFL units of the decade, but they started 2019 looking unwell. Then they began making adjustments, because that's what good organizations do. Ravens linebackers L.J. Fort and Josh Bynes fortified their middle, with Patrick Onwuasor set to return against New England. The addition of cornerback Marcus Peters via trade completed a secondary where Earl Thomas improves each week and Jimmy Smith is also back practicing.
The Patriots' offense still appears undercooked. Left tackle Isaiah Wynn is weeks away from returning from IR, and guard Shaq Mason may miss another week. New receiver Mohamed Sanu will help, but it is disarming to see a Patriots offense rank 23rd in yards per play, 30th in yards per rush and third in punts. As transcendent as Bill Belichick's defense is, Lamar Jackson could be the difference Sunday night by exposing New England's biggest weakness: team speed. The Patriots-Ravens matchups have taught me for most of the decade that the better offense usually wins.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports:
Pick: Patriots 22, Ravens 17
This is the game of the week. The Patriots are playing outstanding football on defense, which will make for a tough go for Lamar Jackson. I expect the Pats to limit his running and keep him in the pocket to beat them. He won't. Pats keep rolling.
Jason La Canfora, CBS Sports: Ravens
Will Brinson, CBS Sports: Ravens
Dave Richard, CBS Sports: Patriots
Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: Ravens
John Breech, CBS Sports: Ravens
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk:
Pick: Patriots 23, Ravens 15
The Patriots haven’t seen a quarterback like Lamar Jackson this year, but Jackson has never seen a defense like New England’s.
Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk:
Pick: Patriots 20, Ravens 14
Lamar Jackson and the Ravens will be the toughest opponent the Patriots have faced this season, but not tough enough to hand them their first loss.
Jenny Vrentas, MMQB: Patriots
Conor Orr, MMQB: Patriots
Andy Hart, WEEI
Pick: Patriots 24, Ravens 20
So far this season the Patriots have taken care of business through limited challenges. The games that appeared likely to be their biggest tests – in Buffalo and against a talented Browns squad – pretty much were just that. Now they head to a tough environment to face a team coming out of its bye feeling good about itself. On paper this certainly is the toughest test to date. As good as the Patriots defense is, it’s going to be hard to maintain a turnover pace that’s seen New England take the ball away from the Giants, Jets and Browns 13 times in the last three games, especially against a Ravens team that’s given it away just seven times in seven games. Look for New England to try to establish the short passing game – maybe going with some tempo offense – and a little bit of running to keep possession. Look for the defense to throw a lot of looks but not as much all-out aggressive calls at Jackson. Keeping a safety back to avoid big plays and trying to put forth controlled rushes will be key. Overall, look for the Patriots to be in probably their first real battle of the season against a team that’s very much capable of pulling of the upset. But in the end, look for Brady and Co. to prove their worth yet again in the 24-20 win to appease the “Who have they played?” masses to improve to 9-0 on the season heading into the bye week.
Paul Perillo, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 23, Ravens 17
Tight defensive struggle turns when defense forces some mistakes from Lamar Jackson.
Mike Dussault, Patriots.com:
Pick: Ravens 23, Patriots 16
This Ravens team seems primed to play the clean game necessary to hand the Pats their first loss of the season. If Lamar Jackson turns the ball over or the Patriots suddenly find their running game all bets are off, but the timing feels right for New England to finally drop one. If 2007 taught us anything, a regular season loss can be a good thing and this Pats team drops the game in Baltimore that Pats team should’ve.
Erik Scalavino, Patriots.com
Pick: Patriots 20, Ravens 17
This is going to be a battle, perhaps even with a couple of lead changes before New England eventually escapes with its ninth victory of the season. As has been the case through the first eight weeks, it’ll be the Patriots’ D that leads the charge.