Joe D'Amico's NFL Game of the Year
Baltimore vs. New England,
01/22/2012 15:00 EDT,
Score: 20 - 23
Point Spread: -7/-103 New England
This Sundays winner is New England over Baltimore. This is my NFL Game of the Year.
Let's face it, if New England didn't have a "soft" defense, this game would be a minimum of 12 1/2-13. But Belichik's stop unit has allowed a lowly 18.7 PPG in their current 9 game winning-streak. The Patriot's "D" has improved due to the fact that they have become healthy over the last month. Point in fact, they returned both LB Spikes and FS Chung. Their "D" will be able to slow down RB Ray Rice, who showed signs of distress LW against a mediocre Houston defense. Rice gained only 60 YR on 21 carries. The Ravens only once played a team with a Top 10 offense, getting shredded by San Diego, 34-14.LW with a rookie QB, Baltimore Had 315 yds and after scoring 14 early, they needed a deflected Hail Mary to beat Houston, despite a 4-0 TO edge. Their running game was shut down LW, averaging a sad 2.8 YPC. QB, Joe Flacco has a post-season QB rating of 66.2. Even against Houston, the Baltimore "O" had just 11 FDs and 227 yds. Flacco's success is depended upon the performance of RB, Ray Rice. When these two teams squared off 2 years ago in the Playoffs, Flacco completed just 4 passes. Baltimore is just 4-4 on the road this season, losing to 4 non-playoff teams. The "O" averages less than 20.0 PPG as a visitor. The Ravens passing game ranks 15th. New England is a machine, averaging 32.1 PPG (3rd), 2nd in total yards at 428.0, 2nd in passing with 317.8 YPG in the air, and have topped 40 points in each of their L4 games. Their play-caller, Tom Brady has 5602 YP, 45/13 TD/INT ratio, and a QB rating of 108.3. His receiving corps of Welker, Gronkowski, Hernandez, Ochocinco, and Branch are in sync with Brady like no other wide outs in the NFL. Over the 2nd half of the season, the Pat's won 9 straight, covering 6 of the 9, and allowing less than 20 PPG. At home, New England's "D" gives up a mere 18.0 PPG. In their L3 outings, their stop unit faced 13 of the league's top rushers, and stuffed them all. With the fact that Baltimore is in turmoil, as Safety, Ed Reed stated that Joe Flacco is easily rattled, Pat's HC, Bill Belichik will have his team prepped here. The NE 3rd ranked "O" posts 32.1 PPG and will go to town on a Baltimore defense that looks like Swiss-cheese when going up against a quality passing game. On the other side of the ball, just like the Giants pressured Tebow, so will the Pats annoy Flacco. The home team is 4-1-1 ATS the L6 meetings between the 2 teams. The Pats are 5-2 ATS their L7 vs. the AFC and 35-17 ATS their L52 games played as a favorite of 3 1/2-10 points. The Ravens are 5-11 ATS their L16 games played in January, 1-4 ATS their L5 games played against the AFC, and 1-4 ATS their L5 games played overall. Take New England. Thank you