If the NFL Playoffs were to begin today, the Baltimore Ravens would hold the 3rd seed in the AFC. Meanwhile, the New England Patriots would hold the number 1 seed. As of now, the only chance these two teams have to play each other in the playoffs would be in the AFC Championship Game. But who would win?
Currently, New England is sitting at 8-0 and has arguably the best defense we’ve seen in years. Currently siting at 61 total points allowed, that averages out to 7.6 points per game. Mind you, this is the NFL, not baseball. The Tennessee Titans are the closest the AFC has to compare, and they’re currently averaging 16.9 points per game. Of course, the casual NFL fan would argue that NE’s schedule has been favorable for them to be in this position.
Though I won’t argue that the teams they’ve played have been mediocre at best, the NFL has changed a lot in twenty years. These athletes are superior in conditioning, strength, stamina, speed, etc… Regardless of how easy or not easy their schedule may appear, they’re still dominating grown men on the football field. I want to emphasize the dominating part, because that is exactly what they are doing.
Meanwhile, Baltimore currently has one of the most exciting quarterback prospects the NFL has seen in years. Lamar Jackson, who is sitting at 2,226 total yards and 14 total TD’s, is an undeniably great talent. His ability to scramble and create plays is unlike almost any QB we’ve seen, and his speed is unnatural for a QB. He also has the talent to throw the football, as he correlates his game a lot like Aaron Rodgers did in his early years. However, will this be enough to finally overthrow the defending Super Bowl Champions?
Let’s not be silly. There is a head coach by the name of Bill Belichick, who happens to be a genius on the football field. If ever there was someone who could completely shut down Lamar Jackson, it’s him. With the talented defense NE has, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Jackson look flustered more often than he does comfortable. Though he has found success on the field, Jackson has also turned the ball over 8 times. Belichick has more than likely been studying Jackson for weeks, and will use this to his advantage. This means he has a game-plan that’ll completely thwart Jackson’s ability to move the football down the field. Don’t be shocked if his stats at the end of the game are more horrendous than we’ve seen all year from him.
Below are some predictions for the game this evening from our NFL Analysts. As you can see, New England is heavily favored. Judging by their play so far this season, they should be able to take care of business at M&T Bank Stadium. Either way, there is no doubt that this game will be exciting.
- Bryan Beggs: New England 35-10/Tom Brady has 3 TD’s but less than 200 yards
- Jason Williamson: Baltimore 27-17/Marcus Peters has 2 ‘pick sixes.’
- Joshua Witherbee: New England 35-14/Tom Brady has less than 10 in-completions.
- Jakub Dodson: New England 38-35/Lamar Jackson has at least 80 yards rushing. He will also add a passing and rushing touchdown to his stats. Tom Brady will also have 250+ yards and 3 touchdowns in the air.
- Kaleb Alan McChesney: New England 27-17/Lamar Jackson will have a 50 yard scramble.
- Kyle Miller: New England 24-13/Patriots will get 3 INT on Lamar Jackson, on of which will be returned for a touchdown.
- Matthew Boyce: New England 35-28/Lamar Jackson rushes for over 100 yards and a touchdown.
Who do you think will have the upper hand? Discuss below!
Feature Photo Credit: Kyle Hernandez GCSN
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