Week 2 of the NFL season wasn't kind to the New England Patriots or Baltimore Ravens. In the team's home opener, the Patriots lost to the Arizona Cardinals 20-18 in what seemed to be somewhat of a fluke loss for the talented Patriots squad.
The Ravens were on the road for their second game of the season, as they took on the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Despite going into halftime with a 17-7 lead, the Ravens couldn't seem to get things going on offense in the second half, ultimately leading to a 24-23 comeback victory for the Eagles.
On Sunday night, the Patriots and Ravens square off in Baltimore in a rematch of last year's AFC Championship Game. Both teams are looking to rebound from poor performances last week, and the Ravens are looking to get revenge on New England for the heartbreaking loss in the playoffs in January.
Here is a bold prediction for each team for Sunday's prime time matchup:
Joe Flacco Throws for More Than 300 Yards
After a stellar first half last week, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco completely fell apart in the second half. He threw his first pick of the season, and at times he simply looked confused when staring down Philadelphia's defense.
Flacco finished the day with 232 passing yards, much less than the 299 yards he passed for in the season-opening win against the Cincinnati Bengals. The fifth-year quarterback has shown throughout his career that he is capable of rebounding from poor performances, and that's what will happen on Sunday night.
Going up against a Patriots secondary that allowed Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker to throw for 229 yards in his first start, there's no reason why Flacco can't greatly exceed that. If Flacco can once again get 40 or more pass attempts, there's a chance he could throw for more than 300 yards Sunday night.
Tom Brady Gets Intercepted Twice
In the last three games against the Ravens, New England quarterback Tom Brady has thrown at least two interceptions in each game. In the 2009 Wild Card round against Baltimore, Brady threw three interceptions in a 33-14 loss.
With the Ravens still unraveling their new no-huddle offense, this game could turn into a shootout, which would cause Brady to throw the ball possibly 40 or more times, just like he did last week against Arizona when he had 46 pass attempts.
With tight end Aaron Hernandez out and wide receiver Wes Welker playing a more limited role, Brady may struggle to find open receivers. If the Ravens can correct their underneath coverage that they've struggled with this season, they will be able to contain the talented New England receivers, leading to Brady having to force many of his throws.
While the Patriots are still certainly capable of winning the game even if Brady throws two or even three interceptions, it will be much harder against a talented Ravens team.