Keys matchups today
New England LBers vs Ray Rice: All the talk about Flacco, but Ray Rice is the Ravens best offensive player, and I expect that the Pats will play zone, blitz and spy Rice on passing downs. Rice's ability to beat the Pat LBs or safety in space will determine a lot of the team's offensive success. The last time these teams played to dumpoff game to Rice was what Flacco went to in OT, with no success, really.
Ngata/Redding vs. interior of Pats line: Pressure up the middle will be huge for the Ravens and if Halioti can beat expected double-teams that would be a big factor. Redding should be one on one.
Ed Dickson vs himself Dickson should have 2-3 chances for big plays, and he will need to convert them.
Pats DL vs Ravens OL This is probably the most crucial matchup of all. if the Pats DL can stop the Ravens run, and leave Flacco in third and long, it will be much easier for the them to defend. If the Ravens OL can control the LOS their offense should put up a lot of points.
Prediction: Ravens 28 Patriots 23 Pats will move the ball all day but have to settle for FGs. Raven score on special teams and win the turnover battle.
Way Down South in New Orleans