Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots: Picking the Toughest Game of Week 6
When I look at the lineup for Week 6 in the NFL there is one game that jumps out as being the toughest game to predict a winner. Picking winners isn't easy, last week when most people sat down to make projections I bet it seemed pretty straight forward.
I don't know anyone who picked all four of the following to win; Redskins, Raiders, Buccaneers, and Cardinals. If you did your either a genius or an idiot—probably the later.
I have done a good job of picking games this season with a record of 48-28 through five weeks (for picks on all 14 games in Week 6). As the weeks go on it becomes tougher to choose because we have teams like the Eagles and Packers with key injuries and the Patriots who just traded away Randy Moss.
The game I struggled with the most this week was Baltimore at New England.
Many people immediately think it's the 4-1 Ravens for a few reasons. 1) If you watched the Bruce Lee style beat down they took last season in the playoff game against the Ravens you might have been scared off from picking the Pats.
2) The Ravens defense has looked even better this year than it did a year ago. 3) The Pats gave up their biggest offensive playmaker for a question mark and essentially picked up a so-so constellation prize.
Anyone who thinks that Deion Branch will bring anything close to what Moss did is suffering from a severe lack of oxygen to the brain. If you entered a contest and first prize was $1,000, and the constellation prize was a PSP, which one would you want?
Don't get me wrong, the Patriots are still a playoff team and have weapons on offense without Moss.
I'm really looking forward to the emergence of Brandon Tate and Aaron Hernandez. Also, I'm really starting to like Danny Woodhead—he looks like the love child of Wes Welker and Rocky Balboa.
The Patriots special teams looked great against the Miami Dolphins in Week 4. The Dolphins special teams appeared to be giving away big plays like the Salvation Army gives away toys on Christmas.
I don't expect the Ravens special teams to do the same on Sunday.
The defenses aren't even close, huge advantage Baltimore. The offenses in this game are pretty even now that Moss is gone. If you gave Tom Brady the offense of the Ravens it would be hands down advantage Pats.
Joe Flacco has more weapons, but doesn't have the talent or the pretty hair of Brady.
John Harbaugh is a very solid coach, but nowhere near the level of Bill Belichick. I have to give some kind of an edge to Belichick's impressive history and game planning ability.
With a clearly inferior defense and what I see as an offensive adjustment period for life after Moss I have to pick the Ravens to win. Although in the long term I believe the Patriots are better off without Moss, I don't think they are better off in the present.
It's tough to pick against the Pats, but you have to pick the team with the better defense, superior running game, and more play-makers on both sides of the ball.
I won't be shocked if the Patriots win, but most signs point to a Ravens victory.
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