We are roughly an hour away from kickoff in Baltimore, and the inactive lists from both sides have been released. As expected, Ray Rice and Joe Flacco are active for the Ravens, while Nate Solder and Kenbrell Thompkins will not be available for the New England Patriots. Losing Solder is arguably the worst thing that could happen for the Pats, as protecting Brady is a huge key to beating the Ravens.
Rookie wide receiver Aaron Dobson is active, and after being out the last couple of weeks, having him back on the field will definitely be a welcome sight for Tom Brady. Dobson’s height should help New England’s production in the red zone, especially against the fourth best red zone defense in the NFL. Cornerback Alfonzo Dennard is also in, which is huge for the Pats, as slowing down Torrey Smith on the outside is vital for them, if they want to win this game.
Dane Fletcher was a game-time decision, and now that he is out, I would expect the Ravens to attempt to exploit the other New England linebackers in the passing game. Brandon Spikes and Dont’a Hightower are terrific against the run, but their pass coverage skills are not good, and I would be shocked if the Ravens didn’t go after them. Defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga is also out, which in my opinion is just a testament to how well Sealver Siliga has played over the last few games. The Ravens are one of the worst running teams in the NFL, but the Pats can’t afford to let Ray Rice have a big game, and Siliga’s presence in the middle will help that cause.
New England Patriots Inactives:
Baltimore Ravens Inactives: