NFL Week 3 picks: Expert predictions for Patriots vs. Ravens originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The New England Patriots got into the win column for the first time this season in Week 2, but a much better opponent awaits them in Sunday’s home opener at Gillette Stadium.
The Patriots host the Baltimore Ravens in one of the most anticipated matchups on the Week 3 NFL schedule. New England’s defense has played very well in two games so far. This unit has averaged 13.5 points against, including 13 points allowed to a Miami Dolphins offense that dominated the Ravens for 42 points in a Week 2 win over Baltimore.
Lamar Jackson poses a unique challenge for the Patriots defense, though. The Ravens star is the best dual-threat quarterback in the league and has totaled 528 yards with five touchdowns and one turnover in two career games against the Patriots. Jackson tallied 438 yards and four total touchdowns versus the Dolphins last week.
If the Patriots don’t slow down Jackson, it’s hard to envision how they will win this game. Baltimore’s offense has scored 64 points in two weeks. New England’s offense has put up just 24. The Patriots don’t have the offensive firepower to win a shootout against Jackson.
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Most experts wrongly predicted the Steelers would beat the Patriots in Week 2. What about Sunday’s game?
Here’s a roundup of picks for the Week 3 matchup between the Patriots and Ravens, with a score prediction if provided.
Tom E. Curran, NBC Sports Boston: 20-16 Ravens
Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk: 24-14 Ravens
Albert Breer, Sports Illustrated: Ravens
Zach Berman, The Athletic: Ravens
Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com: 23-19 Ravens
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: 27-26 Patriots
Bill Bender, Sporting News: Ravens 27-24
Bleacher Report NFL Staff: 28-23 Ravens
Jeremy Fowler, ESPN: Ravens
Dan Graziano, ESPN: Ravens
Seth Wickersham, ESPN: Patriots
David Hill, New York Times: Patriots +3
Sheil Kapadia, The Ringer: Ravens -2.5
FiveThirtyEight’s model: Ravens 51 percent chance to win