Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots
Date and Time: Saturday, January 10th at 4:35pm (EST) on NBC
Game Line: New England -7 (from WagerWeb)
Saturday NFL Football Analysis: The New England Patriots take on the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Divisional round playoff on Saturday from Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. It will be the fourth playoff meeting between the two teams in the past 6 years. The Ravens advanced to Saturday’s divisional playoff with a 30-17 over division rival Pittsburgh. The Ravens were able to grab the #6 seed by winning in an ugly fashion over Cleveland coupled with a San Diego Chargers loss at Kansas City. New England finished the season 13-3 and had the #1 seed clinched entering the final week of the season. Head coach Bill Belichick sat many players and only played quarterback Tom Brady only in the first half, yet many of their offensive linemen were shuffled and it really was a head scratcher why he even played. The Patriots had an impressive season with key wins over Denver and Indianapolis, and both in impressive fashion. They had a slow start to the season yet after their week 3 loss at Kansas City, the Patriots went on to win 12 out of their final 13 games, with the only loss on the road to an impressive Green Bay team.
I’m recommending a play on the New England Patriots on Saturday. Yes, Baltimore has had a successful history in the playoffs in Foxboro, but that was then this is now. New England now has a top tier defense and an outstanding secondary. Not only that, but they have athletic linebackers in Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower. Not only can they rush the passer but they can play in coverage as well. Their offense features a great running game and a healthy Rob Gronkowski and of course, 2-time MVP Tom Brady. With Baltimore? Let’s just say that this team is average at best. Yes, Joe Flacco has had a great run in playoff games, but he hasn’t faced a defense like the Patriots this season. In the final two games, New England made the plays they had to, but they didn’t show much, especially on defense. That leads me to believe the Patriots definitely have some schemes that will be put into play on Saturday. Baltimore’s defense had Ed Reed and the leadership of Ray Lewis, they are now gone. While they do have some great pass rushers in Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil, they have a very suspect secondary. Their key to beating Pittsburgh last weekend mainly had to do that the Steelers run game was non-existent due to Le’Veon Bell being out due to a knee injury. Any time a team is one dimensional, it’s an automatic disadvantage. Many people are picking Baltimore for the upset based on the history of the past two matchups…but that’s just what it is…history. That was then and this is now. I think New England is the far superior team and will show it on Saturday.
Saturday NFL Divisional Round Free Pick: New England -7, Under 47.5
Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots Score Prediction: New England 28 – Baltimore 10