Not many experts would’ve predicted the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens would be fighting for playoff position at this point in the season. The Patriots and Tom Brady are continually among the league’s elite, while the Ravens and quarterback Joe Flacco were coming off a Super Bowl win and massive contract, thrusting expectations through the roof. Yet today’s Week 16 matchup between the Patriots and Ravens has big implications for each team, and late-game heroics may be in order. Not that Brady and Flacco like the pressure, but with neither team playing predictably, you’ll see two QBs fighting for pride as well as playoff position when you watch Patriots vs Ravens online free using one of several different tools.
Brady and the Patriots have won three of their past four games and can clinch the AFC East title if they beat the Ravens today. The title would be the Pats’ fifth in a row, but none would be more rewarding than this year’s in light of the gauntlet New England would’ve gone through to earn it. The Patriots in previous years marched fairly uninterrupted to success, but this season has been a different story. First Wes Welker left for Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Then Rob Gronkowski was lost for much of the season due to injury, leaving Brady with a skeleton receiving corps. Then last week Gronk went down again, seriously hurting New England’s red-zone offense.
The Ravens have had their own demons to slay, though at 8-6 they could very well be happy just to be fighting for a playoff spot. Baltimore was one of the league’s laughing stocks until late November, when they kicked off a winning streak that’s now stretched to four games. If you watch Patriots vs Ravens online free today and see the Ravens win, they’ll put themselves in position to make their sixth straight playoff appearance. A loss would seriously hurt their postseason odds, but the playoffs almost weren’t even on the Ravens radar when their high-paid quarterback wasn’t even in the top 20 for QBR.
Fortunately for both teams, today’s Ravens Patriots game may not come down to QB play at all. The Ravens this season have relied an inordinate amount on kicker Justin Tucker as Baltimore’s red zone offense hasn’t gotten it done. Likewise, Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski has been vital through Tom Brady’s own struggles, which the Patriots hope won’t recur in today’s Ravens game.
Yet outside of his general malaise this season, Brady has historically had problems against the Ravens defense. For his career, the Patriots quarterback has a passer rating of 72.1 against Baltimore. What’s more, the Ravens enter today’s Patriots game as the only team in the NFL against which Brady has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns. Kicker Gostkowski had better start stretching his hamstring now; today’s Ravens game is almost guaranteed to be close.
Interestingly, ESPN experts are almost unanimous in saying who’s favored in today’s Patriots Ravens game. Save for one ESPN analyst, they predict the Ravens will emerge victorious. You can watch Patriots vs Ravens online free on DirecTV’s website if you subscribe to their NFL Sunday Ticket with MAX. The MAX broadcast package requires an additional subscription fee, but if you pay it you’ll be able to watch the live streaming version free of any NFL game, including today’s 4:25pm EST / 1:25pm PST Week 16 NFL game between the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens.