By Chris Schisler
The Baltimore Ravens have a tough game on Sunday. It’s in the later 4:25 pm window and it’s against the Denver Broncos. The Broncos are undefeated heading into their home game with the Ravens. We don’t really know how good the Broncos actually are. They’ve taken down the New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, and most recently the New York Jets. They’ve been dominant in every game- but they haven’t played anybody.
The Ravens are actually a hard team to figure out as well. In three games they’ve been a very interesting blend of impressive and frustrating. The Ravens basically got lucky in Detroit, with the longest field goal of all-time giving Baltimore the win. The Ravens were talked about as serious contenders after beating the Chiefs and a lot of that has cooled off after the third week of the season. Is the perception of the Broncos rooted in overconfidence and the perception of the Ravens rooted in false levels of concern?
Let’s dive into this matchup with some predictions based on what we do know about these two teams.
1. Marquise Brown has a bounce-back game:
The Baltimore Ravens offense can’t really take off if the run game isn’t churning or Marquise Brown is struggling. I expect a bounce-back game for most of the offense, especially from Brown. Brown is the top receiver for the Ravens and he has the most chemistry with Lamar Jackson. When Brown plays well the Ravens flourish.
The Ravens know that and they won’t turn away from their number one wide receiver. Look for the Ravens to get Brown off to a fast start in this game. The way the Ravens handled Brown’s miscues tells a lot about the situation. It’s a mental thing and yelling and barking at him isn’t going to do anything. Brown wants to do good, it’s not an effort thing. The only way to gain back confidence is to get the football in his hands. Look for Brown to have five to six catches for 100 yards in this game.
2. Von Miller will be a straight-up problem for the Baltimore Ravens
Von Miller is still one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. As the Broncos’ defense is starting to pick up steam, Miller is picking up a lot of the momentum. He’s had a sack in each outing this season, with two sacks in the season opener against the Giants. Miller could have a Maxx Crosby-like impact on this game.
The Ravens’ offensive line has been bad two out of three games. The odds are that the trend continues in this game. Jackson will have to continue to take protecting himself into his own hands. The Ravens will be facing a team that has eight sacks and four interceptions in three games. Jackson may be able to right the ship when it comes to protecting the ball, but he will be put into some seriously bad situations.
3. Don Martindale frustrates Teddy Bridgewater:
Teddy Bridgewater is having a nice season for the Broncos. He hasn’t thrown an interception and has over 800 yards passing in three games. Two of the Broncos’ offensive linemen (Graham Glasgow and Dalton Risner) are questionable. Justin Madubuike and Justin Houston are back.
I’m calling it now, it’s going to be a sack party for the Ravens defense. Give me a sack by Madubuike. Give me two sacks for Justin Houston, one for Calais Campbell, and one for Odafe Oweh. The Ravens will get five sacks and an interception in a key moment. Martindale is going to create pressure inside and it’s going to fluster Bridgewater for the first time of the season.
4. Lamar Jackson has 350 total yards and three touchdowns
According to a tweet by ESPN’s Sportscenter account, Lamar Jackson is leading the NFL in yards per pass completion and yards per rushing attempt. This has never been done before, pointing out how much Jackson is doing for the Ravens. Put Jackson down for 100 rushing yards and 250 passing yards. I think he will account for three touchdowns also. This will be a tough game but Jackson will step up to the plate.
Score Prediction: Baltimore Ravens win 28-17
I think this will be a close game and then the Ravens will pull away. The Broncos aren’t a bad team and the Ravens are on the road. Ultimately, the Ravens will test Denver in a way they haven’t been pushed yet this season. Jackson will lift this team to victory.
NEXT POST: NFL Week 4: Predictions for every NFL game
Here are my predictions for the game. More analysis is coming including an in-depth look at the Denver Broncos and what the keys are for the Baltimore Ravens on offense and defense. Thanks for coming to the Purple and Black Nest today!