Can the Ravens start the 2019 campaign on the right foot with a victory in Miami? RSR staff share their predictions here…
The Ravens have spent the entire offseason building a program around Lamar Jackson’s unique skill set, the goal being to complement the team’s impressive rushing attack with a competent passing game. But even the best players at situs poker online would probably tell you that this is not the game to push that objective.
The Dolphins were the second worst in the NFL defending the run in 2018, giving up 145.3 yards per game. And they did nothing in the offseason to improve upon that except bring in a defensive-minded head coach with Patriots pedigree in the form of Brian Flores. Flores has had the luxury of a multiple weeks to create a game plan to choke off the Ravens running game. But you need the horses to execute and the Phins just don’t have them.
That said, Miami does have the (sea)horses on the back end with Reshad Jones, Xavien Howard, Bobby McCain and Minkah Fitzpatrick and Lamar would be wise not to challenge those players on obvious passing downs. Inside the numbers is where he’ll find success with his tight ends, backs and slot receivers.
In the end, offensively, this game will look a lot like a 2018 game. The Ravens will control the clock (35 minutes to 25), grind out close to 200 yards on the ground to go with a couple of scores, one each from Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards. A third touchdown will come on a skinny post from Lamar to Mark Andrews.
But the Ravens scoring won’t end there…
The Dolphins offensive line is in tatters, particularly without recently traded Laremy Tunsil. They’ll have three new players across the offensive front and possibly two rookies. Look for Wink Martindale to challenge this unit’s lack of cohesiveness and skill with multiple looks. The Ravens will drop Ryan Fitzpatrick five times and force him into a couple of key mistakes even when he isn’t on his back.
Chalk up a Ravens defensive TD.
The star of the game on offense will be newcomer Mark Ingram who will eclipse the 100 yard mark before the close of the third quarter. Defensively, the Player of the Game will be Patrick Onwuasor who will lead the team in tackles, sack Fitzpatrick and force a fumble.
The Lamar stat line? Put me down for 13 for 24, 210 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT.
Ravens leave the sweltering conditions in Miami with a 31-13 win.
— The Ravens should be able to exploit the Dolphins offensive line and quiet any concerns about the pass rush for at least a week.
— Lamar Jackson did not execute the revamped offense in any preseason games so there will be some growing pains. However, he will find a rhythm as the game goes and will be in position to throw for a touchdown and run for another score.
— The Ravens three-headed backfield of Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill will amass close to 180 yards on the ground.
— In the end, the Ravens will wear down Miami for a 27-16 victory.
A lot of folks seemed quick to deem this game a trap game. First game of the year, on the road, Fitzmagic, Miami tanking, etc.
I’m not buying it. The Miami secondary is quite solid and Xavien Howard can flat out ball, but they don’t have the edge support from their DE and OLB to stop the Ravens rushing attack. I expect a high number of power runs aimed at the B gap that will provide reinforcements to take on the strong Miami middle (Godchaux, McMillan, Jones). I expect the passing attack to be short and use the RBs and TEs significantly. I wouldn’t look for big numbers, but I do think it’ll be an efficient attack.
On defense, pressure should be sent early and often to get to Fitzpatrick and capitalize on a weak offensive line. The Miami pass catchers are no match for Baltimore’s stout secondary.
— Tyus Bowser comes away with 2 sacks.
— Marquise Brown catches a crossing route and takes it 20+ yards for his first career TD.
— Justice Hill find pay dirt on an explosive run.
Fitzmagic’s start won’t be as nearly impressive as it was last year. He will put up some points by surprising a young defense that won’t be dialed in quite yet. Ryan Fitzpatrick’s no fear attitude will also backfire and Earl Thomas will come up with his first interception in his very first game with the Ravens. The loss of Laremy Tunsil will also be felt early with Julien Davenport manning the left tackle position. He was part of the struggling offensive line in Houston last year that allowed Deshaun Watson to be sacked a league-high 62 times. McPhee will register 2 sacks in his first game back as a Raven.
Lamar Jackson won’t have as many designed runs but will still have several rushing attempts as he adjusts to passing more. A fresh Mark Ingram makes his presence known early and he will end up with his first touchdown as a Raven. Mark Andrews will start hot in week 1 with some impressive catches but fall short of the end-zone.
These first 2 weeks the Ravens better get off to a hot start facing the 31st and 32nd ranked teams in the NFL power rankings. These are still NFL teams and rankings don’t mean a thing this early as there are always surprises once the season gets started. I expect the Ravens to beat the 7 point spread with a final score with Ravens winning 27-14.
Ryan Fitzpatrick terrifies me. While his team might be tanking, don’t expect him to have that mindset. You don’t stick around in the NFL for as many years and through as many teams as he has without having a huge chip on your shoulder. I just finished John Feinstein’s Quarterback book (don’t read it, it’s terrible), and Fitz came across as the most impressive of the QBs interviewed in the book (yes, more so than Joe Flacco). He’s gonna come out firing, and if he starts connecting, watch out.
While that’s my FEAR…I don’t think it happens. The Ravens secondary will be as advertised, and the pass rush will do just enough against a very poor offensive line.
On offense, the Ravens are able to move the ball while keeping the playbook very vanilla. Again, thanks for tanking, ‘Phins! Lamar Jackson rushes fewer than eight times, and connects on 15 of 25 attempts for 185 yards and a score. Mark Ingram and Justice Hill each find paydirt.
The defense adds a touchdown late to complete the laugher.
Ravens 34 Dolphins 13
Ravens South will have something worth cheering about Sunday come… well, probably like 1:30pm when the game is already over but we’ll still say 4pm when the clock hits triple zeroes.
The Baltimore offense hits the ground running, literally, with 40 carries on the day for a net 220 yards and 3 scores. Lamar Jackson will have exactly 4 of those 40 carries (40 yards, 1 score), while Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill pick up the bulk on the day. The aerial game will stay relatively grounded, simply because the Ravens won’t be throwing much after they get out to a 17-0 lead early. Look for LJ to go 16/24 (66.7%) for 220 yards and 2 TDs (Hurst, Boykin).
Yea. That’s 5 offensive scores for the Ravens in this opener.
Defensively, I expect a shut down performance, but nothing super sexy on the stat sheet. Let’s say 3 sacks (Judon, Tony Jefferson, Peanut) and a pair of picks (Carr, Peanut). The Fins will score late via The Rosen One versus the Ravens mop up squad, but the only purpose that serves is making this defense pissed off for greatness and a shutout at home against the Kliff & Kyler’s Cards next week.
BAL 38 MIA 7
The Ravens get Marquise Brown involved early and often. He won’t have his first career TD catch, but he will allot over 100 yards from scrimmage and put himself on the ROY map.
– Wink’s defense will not let Fitzmagic get hot this week, picking off 3 passes. One from Jimmy Smith who wants to prove he deserves to stick around, and two from new Raven Earl Thomas.
– Jaleel Scott will continue his strong 2019, using his body to catch a tough red-zone TD that drops jaws.
– Lamar Jackson will establish the pass first by leading a scoring drive primarily through the air before leading a fantastic rushing performance from there on. Look for the Ravens to rush for just under 200 yards.
– The only touchdown allowed by Baltimore will be a late-game, garbage time score — thrown by Josh Rosen, who enters the game in the 4th.
Michael Hickey Jr.
Sunday the Ravens win their first of two in Miami.
Miles Boykin has an up and down day but beats Xavien Howard for a 40 yard touchdown on a perfectly thrown ball from Lamar Jackson.
The offense starts the season hot in the red zone with rushing touchdowns by Mark Ingram and Lamar Jackson.
Lamar Jackson starts the season with no turnovers.
The defense smothers an outmatched Dolphins offense and earns the shutout.
It may not quite show in the score but this game will be more competitive then I think people expect. Miami has been formidable in September home games and I think despite the talent disadvantage they will be well coached. They will compete.
With all that being said, they will have a hard time moving the ball consistently versus this retooled but similarly talented Ravens defense. Ryan Fitzpatrick’s penchant for aggressive throws + Earl Thomas’ range will equal a two-pick performance in his Ravens debut. Fitz will add a 3rd turnover on sack fumble playing behind a line of guys we’ve never heard of.
Lamar Jackson will play an efficient but unspectacular performance from a numbers standpoint. He’ll complete 65% of his throws, engineer multiple scoring drives, but won’t have gaudy yardage numbers and will only account for 1 TD of his own (a 30-yard TD pass to Hollywood Brown). It simply won’t be needed for him or Roman to really open it up in this game.
Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards both punch in short yardage TDs and the Ravens win 27-16.
In Week one of last year, Ryan Fitzpatrick absolutely tore apart a decent Saints defense for an upset victory. Clearly Ryan has the capability to play at a high level for a short amount of time, but after that he will just fall apart. Sadly, we will not see that same guy this week.
Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins offense won’t be able to get into a rhythm and will have multiple 3 and outs. Tim williams, Matt Judon and Chris Wormley will have a sack a piece, and Marlon Humphrey will have an interception in what will ultimately be a rough first week for the Dolphins rebuild.
Brian Flores will have some tricks up his sleeve for when Baltimore is on offense, but this defense is not talented enough to stop the Ravens. The narrative around Baltimore this off-season was about crafting an offense around Lamar’s strengths. Lamar will keep it simple week one, hovering around 16/20 for 190 yards in the hopes of avoiding making risky throws against an above average mini secondary. Xavien Howard is one of the more up and down corners in this league, but he won’t be a factor in this game. Ball and clock control is what Baltimore looking for , and I am predicting we rush for three scores courtesy of Lamar, Gus, and Ingram.
You can never underestimate anyone in this league, but this game will
Come down to talent. Miami is going through a harsh rebuild, and their lack of current talent will be exposed by Baltimore.
Baltimore – 28
Miami – 3