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Sports

NFL Monday Night Football Preview: Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots

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NFL Monday Night Football Preview: Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots

2016-12-12 14:20:25

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. (Image Source: Getty Images)

Here’s a look at the Monday Night Football matchup between the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens:

Series: Patriots 7-1; Streaks: Patriots won two of the past three; Last Meeting: Patriots 41, Ravens 7 (12.22.13)

Time: 8:30 PM ET; TV: ESPN (Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters)

Where They Stand: A win on Monday night will vault the New England Patriots (10-2) one full game ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs (and Oakland Raiders) for the No. 1 seed in the AFC and three games better than the Miami Dolphins in the AFC East with three games to play. The Baltimore Ravens (7-5) need the win even more, as they are trying to keep pace with the Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5) atop the AFC North. A loss and the Ravens will trail Miami, Oakland, and the Denver Broncos in the wild card race.

The Ravens: Baltimore has won two straight and quarterback Joe Flacco is coming off his best effort of the season. He threw for 381 yards and four touchdowns (119.2 rating) to become the first player in franchise history with 300-plus passing yards and at least four TD passes in the same game twice. Flacco has posted a passer rating of 115 or better in two of the past three games. Second-year wide out Breshad Perriman has caught a touchdown in three of the past four, while Mike Wallace is no stranger to taking on the Pats. The veteran has 537 receiving yards and five scores in the past six meetings. Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs also likes facing New England with three sacks, four tackles for loss, and a forced fumble in his past three meetings, with three sacks and three forced fumbles in his past four games this season.

The Patriots: With his 201st career victory last week, quarterback Tom Brady became the all-time winningest passer in the history of the NFL. Through eight games, Brady has thrown for 2,470 yards (308.8 per game) and 19 touchdowns with just one interception for a passer rating of 113.1. Wide out Julian Edelman, who is fifth in the NFL with 330 receptions since 2013, has 360 receiving yards in the past four games. Also coming on is rookie pass catcher Malcolm Mitchell, who has put up 222 receiving yards and three scores in the past three. Don’t sleep on James White, whose eight receiving scores since 2015 is tied for first among all running backs, while LeGarrette Blount has a league-leading 13 rushing TDs this season. Defensively, linebacker Rob Ninkovich has a sack in three of the past four and corner Malcolm Butler is tied for fourth in the AFC with his 14 passes defensed.

Spread: Patriots -6 ½; Pick: Patriots (Lay the Points)

Last Week: 3-3; This Week: 5-3; Season: 33-27-3

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. You can reach him via email: danmogollon@gmail.com.

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