BALTIMORE MD - DECEMBER 19: Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens score the Ravens second touchdown against the New Orleans Saints at M&T Bank Stadium on December 19 2010 in Baltimore Maryland. The Ravens lead the Saints at the half 21-14. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
According to the experts, the Baltimore Ravens appear to be slight favorites against the New England Patriots.
Week 2 put quite the damper on the outlook for the New England Patriots. An inexplicable loss to the Arizona Cardinals on a wonky kick by Stephen Gostkowski dropped Bill Belichick's team to 1-1, and the team lost tight end Aaron Hernandez to add injury to insult.
Now playing in Baltimore against the Ravens isn't giving experts much confidence, though people aren't jumping ship on the Pats just yet. Five of eight CBS Sports scribes still give the advantage to Tom Brady and company, though the CBS prediction machine gives the Ravens a victory.
Peter King of Sports Illustrated, believes the Ravens will rid themselves of the awful playoff memory from last season, when kicker Billy Cundiff missed a game-winning field goal. He thinks Baltimore takes it 27-23:
"How can two teams be closer? The Pats have won the last two meetings by identical 23-20 scores, and hearts around the Inner Harbor will not be fully mended until the Ravens wipe away the stink of the 32-yard shanked Bill Cundiff missed field goal, and the pass Lee Evans had knocked out of his hands."
Local Boston writers don't think the Pats have a very good chance, either. An NESN.com staff of two gave the nod to the Ravens as well. There's no home cooking in New England.