Friday, September 21, 2012

Week 3 AFC East game picks: Patriots at Ravens

Lead writer Nick St. Denis and AFC East Daily contributors Dan Begnoche, Sean Donovan and Sam Hollingsworth pick the New England Patriots' road matchup with the Baltimore Ravens.

Nick's pick:
Tom Brady's oft-targeted hybrid player in Aaron Hernandez is out to injury, and his leading receiver from a season ago was demoted last week at the hands of Julian Edelman. Fortunately, the defense is much-improved. However, the Ravens' balanced attack coupled with a high-energy home environment sends New England packing at 1-2.
Prediction: Ravens 24, Patriots 21

Sam's take:
After the game the Patriots had against the Cardinals last week, it appears they have their hands full going into Baltimore. The Ravens are one of the most badass teams, too. Vegas knows that; it has the Ravens listed as three-point favorites. Doesn't mean I have to agree.
Prediction: Patriots 32, Ravens 28

Sean's take:
With Welker being under-utilized and Hernandez out with an ankle injury, it will be interesting to see where New England finds its offense facing a depreciating, but highly-skilled, Ravens defense. Brady will find a way to keep them in it, and this is the game where New England's defense makes its mark on this season.
Sean's pick: Patriots 27, Ravens 19

Dan's take:
Baltimore has only beaten New England once in its history. With the disappointing loss the Pats had last week, coupled no doubt by their chastising at the hands of Bill Belichick this week, expect New England to get back on track. Let's be honest, there's only so many games Tom Brady can go with one touchdown and take four sacks. The Ravens' defense won't make it easy, though.
Prediction: Patriots 17, Ravens 13