Patriots

What the Ravens are saying about the Patriots ahead of New England’s home opener

The Ravens discussed Bill Belichick's smile, putting pressure on Mac Jones, and their hopes that it won't rain like last year.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh says he studies Bill Belichick as often as he can. AP

After picking up a close win against the Steelers last week, the Patriots are set to host another AFC rival on Sunday.

New England will take on the Baltimore Ravens for the first time since 2020, and the third-time of the Lamar Jackson era.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick said that the Ravens are consistently one of the best teams in the league at forcing turnovers. The Ravens can also put points on the board in a hurry and wreak havoc on special teams.

So what did Jackson, coach John Harbaugh, and company have to say about the Patriots?

Here are five interesting things Baltimore said about New England this week.

Lamar Jackson was surprised when he saw Bill Belichick smile

Bill Belichick’s sense of humor usually shows more in person than it does in other situations, Jackson said.

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*“I’ve seen Belichick smile,” Jackson said. “Usually, when I see him, he’s puzzled face, a straight-faced guy. When I saw him smile, I was like, ‘Damn, you’ve got humor.’ I told him that, and he was like, ‘Yeah.’ I’m like, ‘I wasn’t expecting you to be smiling.'” 

Jackson visited New England before the NFL Draft in 2018. The Patriots had two first-round picks and passed on Jackson twice, picking Sony Michel and Isaiah Wynn.

Last time the teams met, the weather was ‘like a hurricane’

Jackson is hoping for better weather than the last time the teams met. The rains during the 2020 game were heavy.

The Patriots won 23-17 in Foxborough. Jackson went 24-34 for 249 yards and a pair of touchdowns, along with 55 yards on 11 carries on the ground.

“That one was the worst. That was the worst ever, ever – like a hurricane,” Jackson said.

John Harbaugh studies Belichick as much as he can.

They’ve had plenty of memorable playoff battles, but Ravens coach John Harbaugh says he still takes time to study Belichick.

“I’ve said many times that you try to study the best in the business, in your profession,” Harbaugh said. “So, I study Coach Belichick as much as I can. You’re not in their meeting rooms, but you watch their tape all the time and you see what he says and what you think they’re trying to do. So, nothing but the utmost admiration and respect, and that’s what makes it so meaningful to go up there and compete against those guys and against his team.”

‘We’ll be alright’ if Mac Jones is under pressure, says Marcus Williams.

The Patriots didn’t allow any sacks last week against Pittsburgh. Ravens safety Marcus Williams is looking to change that.

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“He’s a good quarterback. I’ve faced him before,” Williams said. “He likes to get the ball out quick. He’s a talented guy. [If] we just get some pressure on him [and] take the ball away, we’ll be alright.”

Patriots bring ‘unbelievable intensity’, according to Kevin Zeitler

Earlier in the week, Belichick said that the Ravens were a model of consistency. Ravens offensive lineman Kevin Zeitler complimented the Patriots in a similar manner.

“Any time you look at New England, you’re looking at almost perfectly coached technique, unbelievable intensity and strength,” Zeitler said. “There’s a reason they’ve had so much success over the last 22 years. And we’re going to have to give it our all this week, because you know they’re not going to give us anything.”