New England Patriots @ Baltimore Ravens (8:20 PM, NBC)
After impressive opening weeks, both the Patriots and Ravens were disappointing in Week 2. The Patriots lost to the Cardinals in a stunner at home, while the Ravens couldn’t close the deal against the Eagles. Considering both of these teams believe they are Super Bowl contenders, they certainly will be looking to avoid a 1-2 start on the national Sunday Night Football stage.
At home, the Ravens looks almost perfect against the Cincinnati Bengals. Their always-stable defense made stops, while the offense clicked on all cylinders. In Week 2, the offense stalled a bit as they had trouble getting Ray Rice going. The Eagles found a way to score 17 second-half points on them as well, which led to a 24-23 loss.
In New England, there was some talk of a 16-0 regular season. The Cardinals were not expected to be much of a threat, but they kept the Patriots out of the end zone until the fourth quarter. To make matters worse, New England now has to deal with a variety of injuries that could slow their offense down even more. The offensive line for the Patriots has been terrible so far this season, and they will definitely be tested by Baltimore.
If there is one team that always seems to bounce back from a tough loss, it is the New England Patriots. Even though they are forced to go to Baltimore, fans have to imagine that Tom Brady will take things personally and show the world on a national stage that the Patriots are still one of the Super Bowl favorites.
Even though the Patriots are not known for their defense, they should be able to prevent Joe Flacco from looking like a top five quarterback. Unless Rice ends up having one of his best games of his entire career, this matchup favors the Patriots as they attempt to go 2-1 on the season.
Pick: New England Patriots 27-24 (New England Patriots even, over 49)