Patriots vs. Ravens: Out-of-Sync Offense Will Doom New England in Baltimore

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer ISeptember 23, 2012

FOXBORO, PA - SEPTEMBER 16:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots walks off the field following a failed drive against the Arizona Cardinals in the fourth quarter during the game on September 16, 2012 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Not only has Tom Brady struggled historically against the Baltimore Ravens, the New England Patriots offense has some kinks to work out after a 20-18 loss to the Arizona Cardinals last week.

That doesn't bode well for Brady and Co. on Sunday in Baltimore.

In four career games against Baltimore, Brady has completed 56.3 percent of his passes for 6.8 yards per attempt and four touchdowns to three interceptions. The Ravens have held him to his lowest QB rating (77.8) against any team in the NFL.

Throw in the fact that he averaged 6.9 yards per attempt while throwing one touchdown to one interception against the Cardinals last week, and the Patriots may have a problem in Week 3.

If you haven't heard, there's talk that the Patriots are phasing out Wes Welker in the offense, who signed his franchise tag this offseason at 31 years of age. Welker racked up 122 catches for 1,569 yards and nine touchdowns last season, but he's second on the team in targets this season (behind Brandon Lloyd) and he's seeing fewer snaps.

And while running back Stevan Ridley had a big game against the mediocre run defense of the Tennessee Titans in Week 1, he only rushed for 71 yards and 18 carries against the Cardinals.

Now, it is fair to point out that the Ravens haven't looked as good defensively against the pass this season (8.6 yards per attempt, 27th in the NFL), but remember what they did against Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals at home in Week 1. 

Dalton went 22-of-37 for 221 yards and one interception in that game as the Bengals scored only 13 points. 

There's also the fact that struggling left guard Logan Mankins will be be matched up against the right side of the Ravens defense, which features defensive end Haloti Ngata and linebackers Albert McClellan and Courtney Upshaw. Mankins was burned by Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell last week.

Obviously, you can never underestimate the Patriots' ability to game plan under Bill Belichick, but there are just too many obstacles offensively for me to see New England winning this one.


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