1. I’m sticking with the same formula for predictions and expecting 3 of these 4 will occur:
- With injuries to both key Baltimore run defenders and the Carolina backfield, the Ravens prove deeper and contain the Panthers run game to 80 or fewer yards
- Newton is forced to throw often and the Ravens give Panther QBs an uncomfortable day with knockdowns (QHs) + interceptions totaling at least 5
- James Hurst starts at LT and is not responsible for a sack per PFF
- With Carolina pinning their ears back to rush Flacco, Kubiak counters and Flacco completes a combination of 3+ screen passes and bootlegs of 15+ yards ~Ken McKusick
- The Ravens contained the Panthers to just 67 yards.
- The Ravens finished the day with 7 QHs.
- The Ravens did not allow a sack.
- The Ravens ran a bootleg in the Q1 to Smith who caught it at the LOS and ran for 17. They ran a screen to Owen Daniels in Q2 that fell just short of 15 for 14 yards. They ran a screen to Forsett in Q2 that went for 17 yards. Ken was just short on this prediction.
Once again, with 3/4 of these predictions right, FILMSTUDY gets the top spot on our bold predictions list.
2. After getting thrashed on the ground by the Steelers last week, a normally stout Carolina run defense will make it a point to shut down the Ravens ground game, and they’ll succeed. But Joe Flacco will answer the call and throw the ball 40+ times for three touchdowns and have at least a 65 percent completion percentage.~ Ryan Jones
The Ravens had much success in the running game, finishing with 127 yards and 2 TDs on the ground with 4.2 yards per carry; however, Flacco’s final stat line was 22 for 31/327 yards/3 TDs for a completion percentage of 71%. Although Flacco threw under 40 times, the 3 TD performance along with the high completion percentage puts Ryan’s prediction high up on the list.
3. Marlon Brown gets his first TD of the year. Carolina avoids giving Newton zone-read looks. Ravens able to run the ball, and stop the run – post a convincing 10-14 point win. ~Chris Stoner
Marlon Brown didn’t haul in a TD, but he was more involved than most of the season. Chris accurately predicted that the Ravens would run the ball and stop the run (the zone-read was a non-factor), but it wasn’t a 10-14 win. Still, he predicted a double digit win, putting him high up on this list.
- The Ravens will prove to be better than people think and win by 10+ points.
- Matt Elam scores a TD in the second half off of a poor throw from Cam Newton
- The offense scores a TD every time they are in the redzone. ~Joe Wedra
- The Ravens ended up winning by much more than 10 points.
- Matt Elam didn’t make any splash plays.
- The Ravens went 2/3 in the red zone.
Joe accurately predicted how well the Ravens would play, and the Ravens were very close to having 100% efficiency in the red zone. If not for a late red zone trip that ended in a FG (where they ran the ball on 3rd and long), he would have been right on that one.
5. Marlon Brown catches 2 TD’s as the Ravens cruise 27 – 10 ~ Ken Zalis
Marlon Brown caught 3 passes on 3 targets, but none of them went for TDs. KZ is higher up on the list because he predicted the biggest blowout which is exactly what this game was.
6. The Ravens allow less than 60 rushing yards and sack Cam Newton 3 times on their way to a an 11 point victory where the two teams combined score 55 or more. ~Tyler Lombardi
I fell just short in all 3 of my predictions. The Ravens ended up allowing 67 yards on the ground, sacked Cam Newton twice, and the two teams combined for 48 points. While the final score was much more than a 11 point difference, no one thought this game would go as poorly for the Panthers as it did.
7. Panthers cover Steve Smith well all day, except for one big play. Owen Daniels steps up and catches a bunch of quick, short passes as offensive line struggles. Ravens prove to be better team, especially at home and win 30-24 ~Joe Polek
Owen Daniels made some impactful plays in the passing game, but the Panthers struggled to cover Steve Smith all day allowing two big plays for TDs.
8. Making up for the loss of Dennis Pitta, Marlon Brown and Kyle Juszczyk each catch a TD pass and Jacoby Jones finally breaks off a KR for a TD as the Ravens win a wild one 38-35. ~ Brian McFarland
Kyle Juszczyk and Marlon Brown DID both make catches…but they weren’t for TDs. Jacoby didn’t even see an opportunity to return a kickoff, as all of them went for touchbacks. Our cap analyst did guess the Ravens’ final points correctly which puts him higher up on the list.
9. For all the talk leading up to the game about Steve Smith Sr, it will be the Ravens running game that leads the way in a 34-21 victory on Sunday against the Panthers. With Pierce active, along with Forsett and Taliaferro, the Ravens put up over 250 yards rushing and combine for 3 touchdowns despite the loss of Eugene Monroe. ~ Brian Bower
Wow, Brian went very bold on this one! Although the Ravens had a productive day on the ground, they fell well short of 250 yards with 127. They were also 1 TD short of his 3 TD prediction, but Brian did accurately predict a double-digit final score.
10. This is the week Torrey Smith gets back on the map. Even with Sunday being the Steve Smith show, the Panthers will key in on their former teammate, leaving the other Smith with prime opportunities to exploit the Carolina coverage. Look for Smith to finally be utilized on a wider array of intermediate routes (slants, posts, and picks) as opposed to just working the sidelines. – Dev Panchwagh
Torrey did see more action in this game than he had in previous ones, drawing 2 pass interference calls and catching 2, one for a TD, but he did not work the middle of the field. The pass interference calls were on a go route and a comeback route, while the catches were on a seam route and a go route that went for a TD.
11. Dean Pees assigns Jimmy Smith to shadow Kelvin Benjamin and the plan pays off with a Pick 6 that proves to be the difference in a 27-24 Ravens victory. ~ Tony Lombardi
Despite being outscored by 28 points, Cam Newton and the Panthers finished the day without throwing an interception. The RSR editor-in-chief’s total points prediction was only 3 short, though.
12. The Ravens shut out the Panthers in the second half and win, 21-17, despite 400 total yards from Cam “Ace Boogy” Newton. ~ Mike Fast
The Ravens did not shut out the Panthers in the 2nd half, but they did only let up 3 points. Cam Newton fell well short of 400 yards finishing with 204 total yards, just over half of that.
13. The Ravens start slow and trail by double-digits at some point, but turn it on and feed off Steve Smith’s energy for another come-from-behind win. – Derek Arnold
Steve Smith had a lot of energy in this game, but it didn’t seem to be any more than usual. In fact, it seemed like he toned it down a little for the match-up against his former team. The Ravens probably did feed off of Senior’s energy, but there was never any doubt that the Ravens would win this game.
14. This game will be closer than the national pundits think. The Ravens defensive backfield will continue to underperform and the result will again rest on the right foot of Justin Tucker. Ravens 27, Panthers 24. ~Fran the Fan Vojik
The defensive backfield, particularly Darian Stewart, was responsible for an early TD to Kelvin Benjamin, but didn’t let up much else besides that. The game didn’t exactly rest on the foot of Justin Tucker, either.
15. Crockett Gillmore makes the most of his first game as a full time player, finishing with over 40 receiving yards and finding the end zone for his first career TD. ~ Kyle Casey
Joe Flacco targeted 8 different receivers, but Crockett Gillmore was not one of them. Unfortunately for Kyle, no one predicted a Ravens loss. Gillmore’s non-involvement in the passing game makes this the worst prediction of the week.