Ravens fans will soon know why they’re losing games this season.
The Ravens have lost two straight games and three of their last five to the Cowboys.
They’ve also been outscored by at least 20 points in each of their four losses to the Patriots.
And yet the Ravens haven’t looked like they’re ready to take on a top-five opponent this season, either.
Baltimore’s defense has given up more than 100 points in five straight games, and the Ravens rank near the bottom in total defense, yards allowed, points allowed, and points allowed per game (27.0).
If the Ravens can’t get this defense to stop scoring touchdowns on offense, the offense is likely going to struggle.
The defense is also missing three starters for the second straight week, as they’re dealing with injuries to defensive end Elvis Dumervil and cornerback Brandon Carr.
It seems unlikely that the Ravens will be able to take advantage of this glaring hole against a Dallas team that has struggled offensively in recent weeks.
The Patriots haven’t given up points since Week 8.
That’s a testament to the defense’s dominance.
New England is allowing a league-high 45.7 points per game.
The most they’ve allowed since Week 10 is 34.5.
Baltimore has scored a league low 18 points in that span.
It’s also worth noting that the Patriots are the second-ranked defense in Football Outsiders’ DVOA ratings.
New Orleans is No. 4 in DVOA, but is allowing opponents to score over 31 points a game.
This season, the Saints have allowed an average of just under 14 points a contest, per Football Outsider.
So the Patriots defense is playing better, but it hasn’t been able to find the score.
New York ranks near the top of the NFL in DVAP, allowing just under 23 points per contest.
The Saints are also No. 1 in yards per play allowed per opponent, per ESPN Stats & Info.
But New Orleans has a few problems on offense.
They have allowed just over 14 points per drive this season for the first time in their history, and their offense is averaging just over 10 points a play.
It should come as no surprise that New Orleans ranks among the league leaders in turnovers.
It has thrown five interceptions in three games.
That includes a pick-six against the Packers on Sunday, when quarterback Drew Brees was sacked twice.
This is a team that struggles with turnovers, but this is one where it’s hard to say whether the quarterback has a lot of answers for the blitzes.
It also could be the case that the offense simply hasn’t done enough to keep Brees upright.
This game is going to be a test for the Ravens.
They’ll be hoping to keep their defense off the field, but New England will likely have to rely on their running game to make up for any lack of production on offense in this one.
Baltimore is 1-3 this season against the Patriots in London.
It’ll be a great test for both teams, but one that will determine the fate of this season’s playoff picture.