Mudbowl Match-up: Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots
Tonight, the Ravens take on the New England Patriots in a primetime match-up that is almost sure to disappoint the casual NFL fan, in part due to the spectacular weather predicted in Foxboro. No wonder why Massachusetts is so expensive to live in, who doesn’t love 50 degrees with high wind gusts and a frigid November rain?
I truly could not tell you who this weather favors more, as both teams love to run the ball, and in fact, their offenses rely on it. Overall, the Ravens are favored due to New England’s abysmal front seven on defense, and the fact that their offense is effectively made up of wet noodles for WRs and TEs (besides Jakobi Meyers, keep cooking my man).
I’ve already complained about the Pats’ atrocious receiving core so I won’t dwell on it too much here, though it certainly doesn’t help their chances tonight against Baltimore.
One thing is certain: this game will be a mud bowl, and if you enjoy watching seventy grown men run around in puddles for three hours you are in for a real treat tonight.
In addition to the weather, let’s go over the three keys to tonight’s game:
- Which version of Lamar Jackson are we going to get tonight?
Will we get MVP Lamar or 2020 Lamar Jackson? Lamar has put up solid stats against the league’s bottom feeders, however against premier teams he has consistently come up short.
Now, I am painfully aware that the Patriots are a shell of the team they used to be, but they’ve still been competitors this season. If you’ve been watching closely, they are really only a few plays away from a 6–2 or 5–3 record and would be there now if a few plays had gone differently.
If the Ravens want to keep up with the Steelers and Chiefs, they need MVP Lamar to make an appearance tonight in the rain.
2. How do the New England Patriots deal with all these injuries?
The only thing more expansive than the Patriot’s injury list is the number of comments tonight on Twitter claiming to be betting gurus and taking the under for this mud bowl.
Last week, the Patriots nearly lost to one of the worst teams in NFL history because of lack of depth on both sides of the ball, and because of Joe Flacco, that majestic has-been.
They looked a bit lost at times and came out in the same single back formation with a fullback on almost every play. Hopefully, for the Patriots’ sake, a lot of those players listed as questionable will be suited up tonight, or else the same lack of depth could make the game get ugly.
3. TACKLING. Just tackling.
From Lamar Jackson to Cam Newton, everyone running the ball tonight is going to be hard to take down — and it will be even harder to do in the rain.
The team with better tackling tonight is going to get the W, full stop. Tonight is not a night to go for the Sportcenter highlight; just wrap up and let the other team make a mistake.
As a Patriots fan, I so badly want to predict the outcome as a Pats upset that sparks a fire to rejuvenate their season, but coming into tonight’s game it seems the Ravens have the edge. Truth is, this is a make or break game for the Patriots, and we’ll all be watching to see if they can deliver.