New England Patriots 4 Downs Preview: Week 9 @ Baltimore Ravens
1st Down: Containing Lamar Jackson is defense’s primary job
Linebacker Kyle Van Noy nicknamed the New England Patriots defense “the Boogeymen” because of how scary they have been this season versus opposing offense. They are heading toward being considered one of the elite defenses in the NFL, not only in present time but in the history of the league. They rank in the top-five in points (1st at 7.6 PPG), total yards (1st at 234), passing yards (2nd at 1480), and rushing yards (5th at 85).
Van Noy, Jamie Collins, Dont’a Hightower, Devin McCourty and Stephon Gilmore are a few of the names that have made this defense arguably the scariest in the NFL. Last week, they faced off with one of the most talented offenses in the game when they played the Cleveland Browns, and this week will be no different.
The Ravens offense, led by Jackson, will be the last tough test of the first half of the Patriots schedule before the bye week. Jackson is a double threat, as are most of today’s quarterbacks, as he can both run and throw. He’s throwing for over 1000 yards this season, and he even leads the team in rushing with just over 570 yards so far this season.
If New England wants to win and stay undefeated, then they need to contain Jackson and can’t let his legs or arms beat them.