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Ravens vs. Patriots Preview and Predictions

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The New England Patriots did not even have to take the field to seize control of their postseason destiny and they can solidify the front-running status when they host the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night. Oakland's loss to Kansas City on Thursday night put the Patriots one-half game up for the No. 1 seed in the AFC entering the final quarter of the season.

New England has won three in a row and can wrap up the AFC East title for an eight consecutive season -- which would be an NFL record -- with a win over Baltimore and a loss by Miami. The Patriots own a deceptive 7-1 regular-season record in the series against the Ravens, who have been a major nemesis for New England and quarterback Tom Brady. Four of the last six meetings (playoffs included) have been decided by four points or fewer and Baltimore owns a pair of postseason victories over the Patriots in Foxborough, Mass. The stakes are equally high for the Ravens, who are tied with Pittsburgh atop the AFC North but currently hold the tiebreaker over the Steelers.

TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Patriots -7. O/U: 45

ABOUT THE RAVENS (7-5): Baltimore improved to 4-1 in its last five games following its most impressive victory of the season, a 38-6 demolition of Miami last week that snapped the Dolphins' six-game winning streak. Muddling through a season of mediocrity to that point, quarterback Joe Flacco established season highs with 381 yards passing and four touchdowns while setting a franchise record with 36 completions. Tight end Dennis Pitta had nine catches for 90 yards and two touchdowns, part of a unit that features veteran Steve Smith, speedster Mike Wallace and promising Breshad Perriman at wide receiver. The Ravens have the league's top-ranked defense (296.1 yards per game) and rank No. 1 against the run (73.8 yards).

ABOUT THE PATRIOTS (10-2): New England has won three in a row, although the combined record of those opponents entering Week 13 is 8-28. Brady has 19 touchdown passes versus only one interception since returning from his four-game suspension, but he is without his No. 1 receiving target in tight end Rob Gronkowski and has 12 scoring passes versus 11 picks in 10 career games (playoffs included) versus Baltimore. Rookie Malcolm Mitchell continues to emerge as a bigger threat in the passing game with a season-high eight receptions in last week's 26-10 win over Los Angeles while LeGarrette Blount is 43 yards shy of his second 1,000-yard season. The Patriots' defense is tied with Baltimore with 17.3 points allowed -- second in the NFL.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The Patriots can secure a first-round bye with a win and losses by both Miami and Pittsburgh.

2. Ravens K Justin Tucker has converted all 28 field goal attempts, including eight of at least 50 yards.

3. With Danny Amendola (ankle) out, the Patriots signed fellow WR/PR Griff Whalen.

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Key Players to Watch

Stadium

Gillette Stadium
Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA.
Capacity: 68,756

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Last Injuries

New England Patriots

  • James White

    Personal
    Ques Sun | questionable

    White has missed the last two games as he was away from the team due to a death in the family. It is unknown if he will return to the fold against the Chiefs on Sunday.

  • Josh Uche

    Ankle
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Uche has been ticketed for the injured reserve list with an ankle injury, and it is uncertain when the team will activate him.

  • Dalton Keene

    Neck
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Keene has been held out of the past three games due to a neck injury, and it is unclear if he will make his season debut Sunday versus the Chiefs.

  • Damien Harris

    Finger
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Harris has been activated from the injured reserve list after recovering from surgery on his pinky finger. It has yet to be established if he will face the Chiefs on Sunday.

  • Julian Edelman

    Knee
    Prob Sun | probable

    Edelman is expected to suit up against the Chiefs on Sunday despite a knee injury.

  • Sony Michel

    Quadricep
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Michel is managing a quad injury, and it is unclear if he will line up against the Chiefs on Sunday.

  • David Andrews

    Thumb
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Andrews has been entered on the injured reserve list while he is mend from surgery to repair a broken thumb on his right hand. There is no timetable for recovery.

  • Isaiah Wynn

    Calf
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Wynn has a calf injury, and it has yet to be established if he will be on the field for Sunday's battle with the Raiders.

Baltimore Ravens

  • Chris Moore

    Finger
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Moore has missed the past three games due to a broken finger, and it is uncertain if he will return versus the Washington Football Team on Sunday.

  • Justin Madubuike

    Knee
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Madubuike has sat out the previous three games with a knee injury. It is unknown if he will return to the fold Sunday versus the Washington Football Team.

  • Justice Hill

    Thigh
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Hill has been held out the last three games with a thigh injury, and it is unclear if he will make his season debut against the Washington Football team on Sunday.

  • Anthony Levine Sr.

    Abdominal
    Prob Mon | probable

    Levine Sr. has an abdominal injury, but he is likely to play against the Chiefs on Monday.

  • D.J. Fluker

    Shoulder
    Prob Mon | probable

    Fluker is saddled with a shoulder injury, but he is projected to be in Monday's lineup versus the Chiefs.

  • Ronnie Stanley

    Ankle
    Prob Mon | probable

    Stanley left the previous game with an ankle injury, but he is expected to take part in Monday's battle against the Chiefs.

  • Tavon Young

    Knee
    I-R | I-R

    Young has been added to the injured reserve list due to a torn ACL in his left knee.

  • Ronnie Stanley

    Hip
    Prob Sun | probable

    Stanley left the last game with a hip injury, but it is unlikely to affect his status for Sunday's clash against the Texans.