Sunday Night 7 is back for Week 9 after a whopping 179 fans predicted a Packers victory over the Chiefs en route to a perfect score of 70 points! All split the top prizes to walk away with $448.93 each, but another contest means another chance for you to walk away with first place all to yourself! As always, the $100,000 weekly prize pool is entirely guaranteed. Now on to this week’s rivalry between the Patriots and Ravens…
1. Lamar Jackson: Passing Yards? Total TDs?
(Yds: <200, 200-249, 250+; TDs: 0-1, 2, 3+)
Jackson’s hit pay-dirt on 14 occasions — 11 times through the air and another three times with his legs. Although he’s averaged just 235.7 passing yards (and 1.6 passing touchdowns) per game, the added caveat of his rushing ability throws a wrench into his projected score(s). New England’s secondary has also suffocated opposing quarterbacks to just 148.7 passing yards per outing. He’ll likely toss for less the 200, but two touchdowns are still on the table given his rushing prowess.
2. Tom Brady: Passing Yards? Total TDs?\
(Yds: <250, 250-299, 300+; TDs: 0-1, 2, 3+)
The outlook of Baltimore’s secondary changed entirely before hitting their Week 8 bye, addingpremier man-coverage corner Marcus Peters from the Rams while sliding previous No. 1 CB Marlon Humphrey into the slot and likely getting Jimmy Smith (knee) back healthy for the first time since he initially sprained his MCL in Week 1. Brady’s averaged 281.4 passing yards per game through eight contests and given the Ravens’ beefed up defense out their bye, there’s no reason to believe TB12 will eclipse the 250-plus yard mark since the Pats want to ideally keep the ball out of Lamar Jackson’s hands (and thus run it frequently). Same goes for his total touchdowns since this team has run the ball at the third-highest rate (60%) inside the red zone in one-score situations (which typically shows offensive intent) this season.
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Lamar Jackson’s 576 rushing yards currently rank tenth-overall among all skill players and nearly 300 more than the next closest quarterback (Kyler Murray, 279). His 82.3 rushing yards per game rank miles above Sony Michel’s 49 (or Mark Ingram’s 67.1), making the quarterback the shocking (but likely) pick to lead anyone on the field in rushing yards.
Week 8 lent us our first taste of Mohamed Sanu being integrated into New England’s offense and, without missing a beat, Julian Edelman still led their wideouts in snaps (66), targets (11), catches (8), receiving yards (78) and touchdowns (2). Odds are he does it again considering he now ranks top-six among all skill players in both targets (79) and receptions (53).
5. Justin Tucker: Longest Field Goal?
(<35, 35-44, 45-54, 55+)
Not only has Tucker failed to whiff on a single extra point this season, he hasn’t missed a single field goal on his 16 attempts (including one from 50-plus yards out) this season. Having said that, the Ravens remain the most aggressive team in the league and understand winning means actually trying to score as opposed to settling on their side of the field. Lean 35-44 if only because anything further out likely leads to Baltimore passing on it for a 4th-down play call.
6. Total TD?
(0-3, 4, 5, 6+)
New England’s defense needs to be factored in since they’ve singlehandedly tacked on six touchdowns this year. Given that both offenses rank top-two in either passing or rushing gains of 20-yards, six-plus scores seems like the safest bet.
7. Winner and Winning Margin
(NE/BAL; 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-13, 14+)
Even on the road, I would imagine the Patriots spy Jackson and force the Ravens to throw their way to victory. With shutdown corner Stephon Gilmore likely draping standout TE Mark Andrews throughout, there’ll be few options for Jackson to lean on confidently. Look for the Patriots to get it done (again) in a tough environment by 4-6 points.