Two of the AFC’s biggest powerhouses are set to battle it out on Sunday Night Football, and fans are already excited about it. 
The Patriots enter Sunday’s game against the Ravens undefeated, but Baltimore figures to be the perfect test for New England — and it’ll have the home crowd behind it to help matters. Not only that, the Ravens have had the Patriots’ number over the years, even when New England has been at its best.  Plus, Brady might be running slow due to his shoulder injury, although he indicates that he’s fine. So if anyone can hand New England its first loss of the season — it’s Baltimore, led by second-year quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Oct 20, 2019; Seattle, WA, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) during the second half at CenturyLink Field. Baltimore defeated Seattle 30-16. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Jackson has given opposing defenses fits this season — just ask Seahawks All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner, as the Ravens quarterback flew by him a number of times for big gains in the Week 7 win. Wagner spied on Jackson throughout the majority of the game, but it didn’t matter, as he was no match for the 22-year-old’s lightning-quick speed. Jackson’s a dual-threat quarterback who can make plays with both his arm and his legs, and that’s what makes him so difficult for defensive coordinators to scheme against. His strong arm allows him to throw downfield and hit receivers for big plays, especially if teams are overplaying the run. That’s why scouts have been comparing him to Falcons legend Michael Vick. At this point, it’s unclear if Jackson will ever reach that level, but that’s an accurate portrayal of what his ceiling could be.

On the other side of the ball, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been there and done that. He’s won six Super Bowls, and doesn’t appear done yet, with the team off to an 8-0 start, and a strong hold on the No. 1 seed in the AFC creating some very interesting NFL odds across the league as fans start to go all in on their teams this year.  Brady may be 42 years old, but he can still read and diagnose coverages better than nearly any other quarterback who’s ever played the game.  Not only that, he’s shown that he can still make all the throws, and has enough arm strength to throw downfield.  Funnily enough, Brady doesn’t seem to be in the conversation surrounding who the number one quarterback in the NFL is right now, but his performance isn’t slowing down from possibly being the best to ever exist.
Both quarterbacks will be front and center on Sunday night, but it will likely come down to which defense can get stops on third and fourth downs, and also create a turnover or two in the process. The Patriots and Ravens are two of the top five defenses in the NFL, so while Brady and Jackson will likely dominate headlines, expect a defensive battle, and a close game throughout. Baltimore will look to run the football to control the time of possession and keep Brady off the field, while the Patriots will likely try to dink-and-dunk their way to victory, so make sure to tune in on Sunday night.