Ravens 20, Rams 12: You know why the Ravens need this game quite a bit? Because they have to prove to their fans and themselves that the resounding Steeler victory in Week 1 didn't take so much out of them for the rest of the year. Oh, and it would help if their corners could cover the way did in Week 1 too.
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St. Louis will not score a red-zone touchdown (again): The Rams have just one TD in five red-zone trips this season and went 0-for-3 in that regard Monday against the Giants. Week 3 doesn't figure to be any easier. Baltimore's defense, despite what happened against Tennessee, is one of the better units in the league. The Ravens will make things tough on Sam Bradford, especially the deeper into Baltimore territory Bradford marches. And with Steven Jackson and Cadillac Williams dealing with injuries, the Rams might have to lean on Jerious Norwood, who hasn't scored a rushing TD since 2008.
• Mike Florio and Gregg Rosenthal of NBC Sports' ProFootballTalk both believe the Ravens will beat the Rams.
Florio's take: St. Louis is struggling through a crippling early-season schedule. The Ravens got a wake-up call last week against the Titans, and it should be enough to get Baltimore to put the Rams into an even deeper slumber. Florio's pick: Ravens 27, Rams 20.
Rosenthal's take: The Rams don't the type of roster that can withstand injuries. Their backups (Cadillac Williams, Greg Salas, Al Harris/Justin King) were all exposed a week ago. The Rams also don't have the type of roster that can win many games outside the NFC West. Rosenthal's pick: Ravens 28, Rams 17.
• All eight of ESPN's NFL "experts" pick the Ravens to win.
• All four ESPN NFL Sunday Countdown analysts also expect the Ravens to beat St. Louis.
• ESPN's Madden 12 simulation calls for the Ravens to win, 24-9, over the Rams.
Even without the "Madden" defenders faking injuries, the Ravens defense had little trouble stopping the Rams offense, picking off Sam Bradford two times en route to a 24-9 win. Ray Rice starred for the Ravens, rushing the rock 19 times for 113 yards and one score in the win.
• Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com picks the Ravens to win by two touchdowns.
How's this for an alarming statistic, Ravens fans? Outside of Anquan Boldin, Baltimore's other wide receivers have combined for just two catches this season. Two! The Ravens, a team seemingly every expert crowned as the AFC's best squad after a Week 1 victory, should bounce back from last weekend's letdown loss in Tennessee with a better performance Sunday. The Rams are much younger and much worse than I thought they were this preseason. Look for Lee Evans to get involved (finally), taking advantage of the Rams' depleted secondary. The Pick: Ravens 27, Rams 13
• All five CBSSports.com analysts think the Ravens will win the game, but Will Brinson believes the outcome will be closer than the 3 1/2-point spread.
• All three hosts of Showtime's Inside the NFL expect the Ravens to be victorious.
• Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times believes the Ravens will defeat the Rams.
Ravens 23, Rams 17: For their best chance to beat the Ravens, the Rams need to control the clock by running the ball. That will be tough to do if Steven Jackson (quadriceps injury from opener) isn't ready to go.
• NESN's Michael Hurley picks the Ravens to cover the 3 1/2-point spread in a win over the Rams.
At first glance, this seems like the toughest pick of the week. The Ravens have blown out the Steelers and gotten smoked by the Titans, while the Rams, despite the 0-2 record, are still the same team that had a ton of promise before the season.
But the Ravens have character. Last year, they lost four times. In games after losses, they went 4-0, winning by an average score of 33-23. It was a trend that started the year before, after they went on an uncharacteristic three-game losing streak early in the year. They lost four games after their bye week but again went 4-0 after losses, winning by an average score of 26-8.
• The New York Post's Bart Hubbuch also thinks the Ravens will win by more than the 3 1/2-point spread.
St. Louis have moved the ball but can't find the end zone. It's doubtful they're even able to move the ball against Baltimore's D.
Seeing other predictions on this week's NFL games? Leave them as a comment below.
[Compiled by Dean Jones Jr.]