Garrett Ferguson makes his pick:
For me, this is one of the most anticipated Ravens games in a long time. The Ravens haven’t hosted New England in Baltimore since Week 3 of their 2012 Super Bowl season and hopefully the outcome is the same. This will be Lamar Jackson’s first home prime time game on Sunday Night football so all eyes will be on him.
I expect Belichick to do his best in trying to stifle the Ravens dynamic run game but it’s going to be much more difficult than one could imagine. The Patriots aren’t trying to slow down one star player at running back or wide receiver, they’re trying to slow down an offense specifically tailored to one of the most dynamic athletes of all time.
Jackson is going to have to pass the ball more Sunday night than he has in recent weeks and I believe he’ll be up for it. The nation will be watching his arm and he knows it. We haven’t seen Jackson back down from anything so far and I think he’s going to be more prepared than ever to show what his arm can do. Having a successful game against the “best defense of all time” will work wonders for Jackson’s confidence and erase the bad memories from that Chargers playoff game last season.
One thing I’m looking forward to is the Patriots fascination with playing man coverage because Lamar Jackson has flourished against man all season. Why does he flourish against man coverage you may ask? Well, when defenders have their backs turned trying to keep pace with a receiver they take their eyes off the quarterback and all Jackson has to do is make one man miss and by the time the corners realize he’s running he’ll already be 15+ yards down the field.
I expect Jackson to break off some back breaking runs against this Patriots defense while using his arm to keep the defense in check. As you can probably tell, I expect a huge game from Jackson and I won’t be surprised if he ends the night with 250+ passing yards and over 100 rushing yards. My bold prediction is Marquise “Hollywood” Brown will have a 60+ yard touchdown.
Score Prediction: 27-20, Ravens