Media roundup: Who's picking the Ravens?

Here's a collection of Ravens-Patriots picks from around the Web

January 19, 2012|The Baltimore Sun

• FoxSports.com's Peter Schrager predicts the Ravens will be heading to Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLVI.

The only time these two teams played in a playoff game, it was a 33-14 win in the wild-card round up in New England in 2010. Joe Flacco's 1-0 in playoff games in Foxborough. He's already played in seven road playoff games. There will be no "jitters" from the fourth-year quarterback.

It's going to come down to the Ravens linebackers covering those Patriots tight ends. Suggs, Lewis, Johnson and McClain will be up to the task.

I know it sounds crazy, but I like the Ravens on Sunday. Like the Cowboys did earlier this season vs. New England, the defense should stifle Brady just enough to give the offense a chance. And unlike the Cowboys earlier this season, the Ravens offense will be able to get the job done. The pick: Ravens 30, Patriots 27

• CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco thinks the Ravens' season will end with a loss in New England.

Patriots 31, Ravens 21: The Ravens went into Foxboro and beat the Patriots in the playoffs two years ago, dominating from start to finish. But these are much different teams. Even so, that has to help Baltimore's confidence. The Ravens lost 23-20 in overtime to the Patriots last season in Foxboro. Tom Brady is coming off a six-touchdown game. He looked as comfortable as he has looked all season in carving up Denver. But this Ravens defense is much better. The Baltimore secondary will have to try and take away Rob Gronkowski and force Brady to go elsewhere. He doesn't have a deep threat, which will help make that easier to do. New England's defense has really struggled this season, but played well against Denver. That's because Denver is a run-first team. The Ravens can't be that here. Even though Ray Rice is key, they have to make some plays down the field, and they will. Joe Flacco will have some shots and hit a few. But he won't be able to keep up with Brady. The Ravens won't be able to hit him enough and Brady will make them pay. Patriots take it and move on to the Super Bowl.

• All five CBSSports.com analysts predict a Patriots-Giants Super Bowl. Only Clark Judge and Will Brinson expect the Ravens to be within the 7 1/2-point spread.

• Vinnie Iyer of The Sporting News believes the Ravens will lose by one point.

Patriots 24, Ravens 23: On the other side, Baltimore will lean heavily on running back Ray Rice to move the ball, but that won't be enough. On top of asking their defense to force turnovers, the Ravens must trust quarterback Joe Flacco to take shots against the Patriots' weaknesses in coverage.

No offense to Flacco, but Brady looks like a man on a mission. He played brilliantly against the Broncos with six touchdown passes. And he will get his team a step closer to accomplishing it.

• Warren Sapp of Showtime's Inside the NFL picks the Ravens to win, but Cris Collinsworth expects the Patriots to march to Indianapolis. Phil Simms' pick is withheld due to commentating rules.

• The Madden 12 simulation on ESPN.com predicts a 10-point loss for the Ravens.

Tom Brady throws four touchdown passes, including two scores to the beast of all beastly tight ends, Rob Gronkowski, as the Patriots simply manhandle the Ravens defense in their 34-24 victory. If anything, it's New England's defense that steps up in the AFC Championship sim, picking off Joe Flacco twice, while holding Ray Rice to just 59 yards rushing.

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Seeing other predictions on this week's NFL games? Leave them as a comment below.

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[Compiled by Dean Jones Jr.]

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