At the halfway mark of the season the New England Patriots find themselves at an undefeated 8-0 as they head into their week 9 Sunday Night Football matchup vs. The Baltimore Ravens. The Patriots defeated the Cleveland Browns 27-13 last week to keep their perfect season alive. The 5-2 Baltimore Ravens were able to turn a tied game at the half into a 30-16 win over the Seattle Seahawks last week and head into this primetime game with some positive momentum.

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson had rather pedestrian numbers as a passer going 9-20 for 143 yards and no touchdowns or interceptions. However, as a runner Jackson had 14 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown as he continues to play at an MVP type level. Miles Boykin led all Ravens receivers with 2 catches for 55 yards.

Tom Brady has had to vary a poor New England defense for the better part of the last 5 seasons. This year the defense has played so well that the offense has not been required to do much. Brady went 20 -36 last week for 259 yards and 2 touchdowns. Running back Sony Michel had 21 carries for 74 yards. Julian Edelman led all receivers with 8 catches for 78 yards and 2 touchdowns. Running back James White had 4 catches for 75 yards. 7 different players caught passes in the game.

This is arguably the most anticipated game of the NFL season. A fascinating matchup of an historic (to this point) defense against an unprecedented offense that relies heavily on one person (Jackson) as both a passer and a ball carrier. Jackson has had some big games passing this season but for the most part he has done most of his damage with his legs, extending plays and keeping drives alive. Jackson's speed and agility make him a threat to run from a set play or when cornered in the pocket. The second-year quarterback is the focal point of a run-oriented attack that utilizes his quickness and the power bursts of running backs Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards

The New England defense has been fantastic this season but has yet to come across a team as unique as this years Ravens. New England is allowing an NFL-low 7.6 points per game and ranks second in both yards allowed (234.0) and passing yards allowed (148.8). It also ranks fourth in rushing yards allowed (85.2). Turnovers have been the Patriots' biggest calling card in 2019. They have an NFL-best 27 and lead the league with 19 interceptions. They have recorded at least one pick in each game. The Patriots will also have a new kicker as veteran Nick Folk replaces Mike Nugent who had missed 3 field goals an an extra point in his last 4 games. This game is going to which team is able to establish their own identity early and often. It will be critical that the Ravens get some points on the board and show they can move the ball early. Otherwise the Patriots defense will settle in and the game will essentially be over.

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