2019 Pre-Game Thread: Wk. 9 at Ravens

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Also, the great hidden strength of the 2019 Patriots (our relative and consistent health, despite the obvious exceptions) is also a strength of Baltimore's. Their IR'd players of greatest consequence have been two backup CBs (Tavon Young and Jimmy Smith) and their backup SS (Tony Jefferson, backing up Earl Thomas and Chuck Clark, and to a lesser extent Anthony Levine and Jordan Richards). That's borderline miraculous injury luck year-to-date.
Tavon Young was supposed to be a key component of BAL's defense as slot corner - I believe he graded out very highly last year on PFF and Ravens signed him to an extension that made him one of the top paid slot corners in the league (if not the highest paid). However, the Ravens mitigated that by picking up Marcus Peters.

BAL has lost their second best pass rusher - Pernell McPhee - for the year. They also lost their starting safety (Jefferson, although he wasn't playing well) and another back-up safety (DeShon Elliott, who was highly regarded).

Brynden Trawick is a special teams Ace who is out for the season.

BAL has suffered other injuries - Smith (for all but six plays), Hollywood Brown (who is supposed to be BAL's #1 receiver) and Patrick Onwuasor (who started the season as the MIKE but is probably better suited for the WILL), but they apparently will be back for NE.

Not terrible injury luck but they haven't remained unscathed. Fortunately for BAL, the unit that has received most of the injuries was their deepest unit when they began the season.
 

BusRaker

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Any chance Vince Wilfork can come out of retirement for this game? Nothing helps set the edge more than a nose tackle taking up 2-3 interior OL
 

InstaFace

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Fun fact: the Browns have as many regular season victories against the Pats as the Ravens do this era
That is a fun fact, sure.

Less-fun retort: What is Belichick's playoff record against the Harbaugh Ravens? Would you say that playoff contests matter more, less, or the same, than regular season?

There's a wikipedia page for the Patriots-Ravens rivalry. That ought to strongly suggest that the two teams are both notable and peers.

I'd also say the replacement of an overpriced and underperforming Joe Flacco with a high-performing Lamar Jackson who is on a rookie contract (meaning the rest of the roster has an extra $20M of value put into it) is a major factor, even if the D is missing some of its legendary performers from the Flacco era.

I'm expecting Ed Reed to have some sort of ceremonial role in this game, maybe honorary captain at the coin toss, just to freak Brady out a little :)
 
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tims4wins

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That is a fun fact, sure.

Less-fun retort: What is Belichick's playoff record against the Harbaugh Ravens? Would you say that playoff contests matter more, less, or the same, than regular season?

There's a wikipedia page for the Patriots-Ravens rivalry. That ought to strongly suggest that the two teams are both notable and peers.
2-2, but this is a regular season game, so I'm not sure what matters more, honestly.
 

Captaincoop

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That is a fun fact, sure.

Less-fun retort: What is Belichick's playoff record against the Harbaugh Ravens? Would you say that playoff contests matter more, less, or the same, than regular season?

There's a wikipedia page for the Patriots-Ravens rivalry. That ought to strongly suggest that the two teams are both notable and peers.

I'd also say the replacement of an overpriced and underperforming Joe Flacco with a high-performing Lamar Jackson who is on a rookie contract (meaning the rest of the roster has an extra $20M of value put into it) is a major factor, even if the D is missing some of its legendary performers from the Flacco era.

I'm expecting Ed Reed to have some sort of ceremonial role in this game, maybe honorary captain at the coin toss, just to freak Brady out a little :)
I'll take a wild guess that whoever created that wikipedia page is a Baltimore fan.
 

djbayko

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Yes. The flaw in this sort of analysis is that it assesses the single-game probabilities based on current information, then treats the games as independent events. A more realistic calculation needs to consider the variance of the probability forecasts themselves - particularly the possibility of a systematic downward shock like an injury to a key player. I imagine this has already been studied to some degree by the analytics sites... if not, it would make for a good SoSH/ITP research project.
I generally agree that these playoff percentages can often be exaggerated for winning teams, but I'm not convinced it is so in this case. If the unthinkable happens and we lose our best player in tomorrow's practice or from falling in the shower, we probably still sail into the playoffs under BB, needing to win only a couple more games.
 

Koufax

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So KC showing up as just average? I find that surprising.
 

Koufax

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Why? Their offense hasn't been that great given the injuries to Hill and Mahomes and the defense is bad.
Their record is 5-2. ESPN and SI power rankings have them at no. 5. That sounds above average to me.
 

Euclis20

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They are 5-3, and a skin of their teeth victory over the Lions from being .500. It's fair to assume that with a healthy Mahomes they are around #5, but he's not healthy, whether he plays this week or not.
 

j44thor

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This week's NFL Power ranking by Massey Peabody show Pats #1, Bal #2:

https://massey-peabody.com/nfl-2019-power-rankings/
This says that Pats would be favored over the Ravens by 4.71 points at a neutral site
Did this get adjusted since you posted? I'm seeing NO as a clear 2nd followed by SF/LAR/BAL/KC. The spread diff between NE vs. BAL is down to 3.5.
LAR are way too high given Goff's struggles when facing any team that can trot out some semblance of a pass D.
 

Koufax

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Yes, they changed dramatically. (KC is back up to #6).
 

InstaFace

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Attention NFL: This is how to talk yourself up in advance of a game against the Patriots.

"We'll see how good they are once we play them," Baltimore tight end Nick Boyle said. "I don't think they've seen anyone like our offense or like Lamar [Jackson]. They're a good team and we'll need to bring our 'A' game."

"We're definitely the type of team that's prepared to play this team and definitely one that's going to give them a run for their money," Ravens defensive tackle Brandon Williams said.
There you go. Almost impossible to make bulletin-board material out of that. "Going to give them a run for their money", plus some various quotes of respect while not underselling yourselves.
 

Van Everyman

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If you squint, you could probably get pissed about the first two sentences. But agree that’s a bit more restrained than what we’re used to.
 

tims4wins

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Attention NFL: This is how to talk yourself up in advance of a game against the Patriots.



There you go. Almost impossible to make bulletin-board material out of that. "Going to give them a run for their money", plus some various quotes of respect while not underselling yourselves.
Not sure if serious... the Pats are going to eat that up. "We'll see how good they are"??? Are you kidding me??
 

rsmith7

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Of course they do. But in the NFL if you do not see it often it is going to be more difficult to stop.
To some extent. The core, and the LB keys of this play are the guard and tackle pulling. Cleveland did that quite a bit.
I was hoping for more from Lazar, I guess, but this clip makes a good compare and contrast.
Watch the middle LB. Hands on knees past the snap of the ball. He then stays flatfoot and watches the misdirection. Then it is too late.
Patriot LBs never have hands on knees, and if ever not past the snap.
The sign of a well coached team - the Patriots LBs reads the pulls, which take you to the ball, they don't read backs.
 

RedOctober3829

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To some extent. The core, and the LB keys of this play are the guard and tackle pulling. Cleveland did that quite a bit.
I was hoping for more from Lazar, I guess, but this clip makes a good compare and contrast.
Watch the middle LB. Hands on knees past the snap of the ball. He then stays flatfoot and watches the misdirection. Then it is too late.
Patriot LBs never have hands on knees, and if ever not past the snap.
The sign of a well coached team - the Patriots LBs reads the pulls, which take you to the ball, they don't read backs.
You would think a Belichick coached team would be ready for a gimmick college-style offense, but in 2008 the Dolphins ran the wildcat against the Patriots and completely destroyed them.
 

rsmith7

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You would think a Belichick coached team would be ready for a gimmick college-style offense, but in 2008 the Dolphins ran the wildcat against the Patriots and completely destroyed them.
They hadn't practiced against it. What a few weeks later they stoned them?
 

InstaFace

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And they haven't seen this offense either. I'm not saying the Ravens are going to run all over them because of the scheme, but having not playing against it yet presents certain challenges.
At least it's on tape. Miami's wildcat was so effective a surprise because there was nothing to prepare for.

And yeah, you can fool Belichick once, if you work hard enough at it. But I can't recall any instance where he was fooled twice. Maybe the Scottish Game (following week 17), or @DEN 2015 / Wade Phillips, or even @DEN 2005, but none of that was really scheme-based, just line execution predominantly. The instances where he's lost to the same team twice in a season at all are damned few and far between, at least with Brady under center.
 

tims4wins

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At least it's on tape. Miami's wildcat was so effective a surprise because there was nothing to prepare for.

And yeah, you can fool Belichick once, if you work hard enough at it. But I can't recall any instance where he was fooled twice. Maybe the Scottish Game (following week 17), or @DEN 2015 / Wade Phillips, or even @DEN 2005, but none of that was really scheme-based, just line execution predominantly. The instances where he's lost to the same team twice in a season at all are damned few and far between, at least with Brady under center.
Right, in 2007 week 17 they put up 38. In 2015 they had a 21-7 lead in the 4th quarter in the snow and had the punt muff. Eventually Brady had to lead a game tying field goal drive - and he did. He just never got the ball in OT. The Pats weren't really "fooled" that game. Then in the AFCCG they were just flat out beat. 2005 is a fine example. That was 14 years ago. Ha.
 

InstaFace

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All true.

Because I'm bored, here are all the instances of Bill Belichick losing twice to the same team in the same year while in New England:

2000: Jets (19-20 away week 2, 17-34 home week 7)
2000: Dolphins (3-10 away week 4, 24-27 home week 17)
2005: Broncos (20-28 away week 6, 13-27 away DIV)
2010: Jets (14-28 away week 2, 21-28 home DIV)
2011: Giants (20-24 home week 9, 17-21 SB)
2012: Ravens (30-31 away week 3, 13-28 home AFCCG)
2015: Broncos (24-30 away week 12 [OT], 18-20 away AFCCG)

...that's it. Instances of "nearly getting beaten twice" are more frequent, where you could at least argue that an opponent's scheme "worked", even if not to the extent of winning a game. Also, I can't believe we beat the Ravens in the regular season in 2009.
 

DJnVa

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Not sure if serious... the Pats are going to eat that up. "We'll see how good they are"??? Are you kidding me??
Yeah, no kidding. I thought he was being sarcastic by saying that's not bulletin board stuff. As much as teams really care about that stuff, saying "We'll see how good they are once they play us" is kinda high up the "no respect" ladder.
 

DJnVa

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You would think a Belichick coached team would be ready for a gimmick college-style offense, but in 2008 the Dolphins ran the wildcat against the Patriots and completely destroyed them.
Are we really comparing the Wildcat, which was debuted against NE and was not on tape to the Baltimore Ravens offense which has every play available for all of us to see?
 

Pandemonium67

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Film will help the Pats prepare for the Baltimore O somewhat, but there's nothing like a real game to learn how someone plays.

Thus I'm glad they're playing the Ravens in the regular season. Should they meet in the post-season too, the Pats will be even better prepped. (And a rematch would likely be in Foxboro, too.)
 

RedOctober3829

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Are we really comparing the Wildcat, which was debuted against NE and was not on tape to the Baltimore Ravens offense which has every play available for all of us to see?
Yes I am. I don't care that it was debuted against the Patriots. It was not my point. A poster brought up how offenses that aren't typically run in NFL but are run in HS and college so NFL defenses should use the same principles(pulling guards/tackles so follow them to the hole etc.) to stop that offense as a pro-style offense. It did not help to stop the wildcat at first.

There's been multiple games on film now for opposing defenses to scheme to try to stop the Ravens rushing game and it hasn't happened yet. I hope the Pats are the ones to break the mold and stop them, but based on what's gone on this season it's going to be tough to do.
 

DJnVa

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Yes I am. I don't care that it was debuted against the Patriots. It was not my point.
It should be part of your point.

A--An offense not typically run in the NFL and not on film is hard to stop.
B--An offense not typically run in the NFL but on film is hard to stop but should be somewhat easier.
C--An offense not typically run in the NFL but on film being studied by the best coach ever should be even somewhat easier.

I think you're stopping at A when there's a decent argument that B and C matter too. By no means am I discounting Jackson and his talent.
 

Greekca

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An interesting debate would be who on the Patriots would make the best practice version of Jackson. I would think your top 3 would be Edelman, Sanu, and Meyers. I guess I would vote for Sanu. Too bad he is busy doing his day job this week.

Is Michael Vick available?
 

Greekca

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What I found interesting about this film vs. how the Patriots are likely to play this:

1. #58 on the Bengals should have been cut after this game. All of the big runs to the outside on the left were because he essentially took himself out of the play. Typical run play the defense is +1. Typical QB run it is even. The way #58 played those snaps the defense was -1. Don't see a Belichick coached team playing the edges as poorly as #58 played them.

2. The Patriots DBs are not only great cover guys but they do pretty well in run support as well. Can't really say the same for the Bengals receivers. Doubt we will see as much of WRs manhandling DBs 10-20 yards downfield.

I still think the key for the Ravens will be to punish the Patriots for playing back a bit. A lot of teams will run dummy motion to force teams to stay disciplined. With Lamar Jackson back there the Ravens won't have to run any dummy motion. They can just have everyone block and some defenders will take themselves out of the play because they will be staying back prepared for anything.
 

dcmissle

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You would think a Belichick coached team would be ready for a gimmick college-style offense, but in 2008 the Dolphins ran the wildcat against the Patriots and completely destroyed them.
That game still burns; Pats were pitiful and helpless.

What made it sting more is that the Dolphins tried that Wildcat against the Ravens in two games that season — and got destroyed.