Patriots vs. Ravens: Simulating the Week 3 NFL matchup

·2 min read

Simulation: Will Patriots upset Ravens in Week 3? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

After escaping Pittsburgh with their first victory, the New England Patriots will return home for a tough matchup vs. the Baltimore Ravens.

The Week 3 showdown will mark the first Patriots-Ravens game since 2020, when the Cam Newton-led Pats earned a 23-17 win over Lamar Jackson's squad at Gillette Stadium. This time, it'll be second-year quarterback Mac Jones going head-to-head with the 2019 NFL MVP.

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The Patriots offense will look to find its groove after a rough start to the campaign. Through the first two games -- one win and one loss -- New England has scored only 24 points. Jackson and the Ravens, also 1-1, have scored 62.

As of Thursday, Baltimore is a -2.5 (-110) road favorite. Will the underdog Patriots pull off their second consecutive victory? Our partners at Strat-O-Matic simulated Sunday's game and ended up with the following results ...

A huge day for Rashod Bateman

The Patriots defense had no answer for Ravens wideout Rashod Bateman in this simulated matchup. The 22-year-old hauled in seven receptions for 129 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score in the second quarter and a seven-yard TD grab in the fourth.

Bateman accounted for nearly half of Jackson's total passing yards.

Patriots start strong, finish flat

The Patriots offense, as it did to begin its Week 1 loss to the Miami Dolphins, looked encouraging in its opening drive in the sim. Jones led a four-play, 55-yard drive that ended with a 24-yard Jakobi Meyers TD to open the scoring. Nick Folk missed the extra point, which turned out to be a bad omen for New England.

From there, Baltimore’s defense forced five straight Patriots punts. DeVante Parker scored a garbage-time TD with 45 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The Ravens dominated the time of possession with 35 minutes and seven seconds on offense to the Patriots' 24 minutes and 53 seconds.

Top performers

Ravens

WR Rashod Bateman: 7 rec, 129 yds, 2 TD

WR Devin Duvernay: 6 rec, 40 yds

RB Kenyan Drake: 13 rush, 55 yds, 2 rec, 19 yds, 1 TD

Patriots

WR Jakobi Meyers: 5 rec, 60 yds, 1 TD

WR Nelson Agholor: 6 rec, 49 yds

WR DeVante Parker: 2 rec, 38 yds, 1 TD

Quarterback comparison

Ravens

Lamar Jackson: 22/32, 263 yds, 3 TD, 2 INT, 15 rush, 55 yds, 98.8 rating

Patriots

Mac Jones: 22/29, 216 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT, 105.0 rating

Final score: Ravens 27, Patriots 17

The real Patriots-Ravens showdown is set for 1 p.m. ET Sunday at Gillette Stadium.