Here’s how The Baltimore Sun sports staff views the outcome of Sunday afternoon’s Week 3 game between the Ravens and New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts:
Jonas Shaffer, reporter
Ravens 24, Patriots 17: New England has invested heavily in its receiving corps, but this group doesn’t pose the same downfield threat that Miami’s did — especially if Jakobi Meyers is unavailable Sunday. Bill Belichick should have a couple of curveballs ready for Lamar Jackson, who struggled mightily in a rainy 2020 matchup. After losing a wealth of secondary talent over the past year, that might not be enough to stop the Ravens’ explosive passing attack.
Mike Preston, columnist
Ravens 27, Patriots 24: The Patriots have the No. 4 ranked defense in the NFL and will be able to control Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, but Jackson will still make his share of plays. This is a dangerous game for the Ravens because this will be New England’s home opener and quarterback Mac Jones can get on a roll, but Baltimore should prevail.
Childs Walker, reporter
Ravens 27, Patriots 20: The Patriots do not have enough offensive weapons to keep up with the kind of performance Lamar Jackson delivered against Miami. So the question is whether coach Bill Belichick can devise a way to throw off the Ravens quarterback. Another shootout would be a surprise. The Baltimore defense will find its footing enough to help Jackson pull out a tough road win.
Ryan McFadden, reporter
Ravens 24, Patriots 17: I think the Ravens learned their lesson from being on the wrong end of a historic comeback. Even though there are questions regarding the health of the secondary and the depth at outside linebacker, New England doesn’t pose as much of an offensive threat as Miami. Lamar Jackson will have another strong performance, but it will be essential for Baltimore to chew the clock down the stretch.
C.J. Doon, editor
Ravens 24, Patriots 20: If quarterback Lamar Jackson keeps playing at an MVP-level, it’s going to take another fourth-quarter collapse — or maybe another New England monsoon — for the Ravens to lose. Baltimore must be wary of the Patriots’ stout defense, strong running game and bespoke Bill Belichick game plan, but the Ravens are far too talented and too well-coached to let Miami beat them twice.
Tim Schwartz, editor
Ravens 30, Patriots 21: The Ravens showed for three quarters against the Dolphins how dominant they can be. Yes, the meltdown in the fourth quarter was epic, but based on improving health and the fact that the Patriots don’t have a wide receiver on their roster nearly as good as Tyreek Hill or Jaylen Waddle, I don’t expect a repeat of that collapse. The X-factor is New England coach Bill Belichick, who has led the Patriots to wins over the Ravens in four of their past five meetings and is still a mastermind of the game. But New England’s roster isn’t nearly as talented as Baltimore’s, and only one side has Lamar Jackson at quarterback. Expect Jackson to continue his MVP-level performance and lead the Ravens to their first regular-season win in New England.