The Ravens head to Indy looking to bounce back after a crushing and costly loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers last week. RSR staff predict what we will see here…
The Ravens take on the team that formerly represented Baltimore. Ironically this game takes place during the weekend of the 25th anniversary of the announcement of the Browns move to Baltimore. Indianapolis has been home to the Colts for 36 years, six more than they were in Charm City. Let that sink in.
The Ravens have yet to beat the Colts in Indy. They are (0-6) in the Circle City and they’ll have their work cut out for them this week. The Ravens enter the game as 2-point favorites. Currently the Ravens are the 5th seed in the AFC while the Colts are the 6th. This game could determine home field advantage early in the playoffs. It’s an important game that is surprisingly drawing lukewarm attention.
So how will it play out?
* The Ravens will run the ball successfully. Look for Greg Roman to split the load between Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins, with Dobbins outgaining Gus 110-75 yards. Lamar Jackson will add another 55 yards.
* Lamar will force the ball to Marquise Brown and the results will be mixed. Brown will score again this week and he’ll post 5 catches for 85 yards but Lamar will guide a throw once too often that will be tipped by DeForest Buckner leading to an INT by one of the speedy Colts linebackers. Buckner will be a thorn in Lamar’s side the entire game. Meanwhile, the Colts will rub out Mark Andrews who gets just 2 catches for 18 yards.
* On the flip side of the ball, the Ravens will have success against Philip Rivers and his completions will be of the dink and dunk variety. The Colts will struggle to score without help from their defense. The Ravens will outgain the Colts 420 yards to 250 but the game will come down to the wire. Why?
* Because turnovers and penalties will plague the Ravens again and make the game closer than it should be. This contest will come down to the Ravens final possession but this time, Lamar comes through and finally gets that come from behind win on the tail end of a less than impressive game during which he posts a passer rating in the mid-70’s.
The Ravens survive…
Ravens 24 Colts 23
— The Ravens have won nine consecutive road games, the longest active streak in the NFL, but they’ve never won in Indianapolis, going 0-6 against the former Baltimore Colts.
— Last week, the Ravens played the best defensive team in the NFL in the Steelers. This week, they’ll get the No. 2 team with the Colts.
— Indianapolis doesn’t blitz like Pittsburgh. Instead, the Colts are more adept at running to the football. This could be a huge challenge for the Ravens’ running game. Still, look for Greg Roman to stick to the ground attack and the Ravens eventually should be able to gain yards. Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins are fully capable of carrying the load.
— As a result of Humphrey’s COVID-19 diagnosis, the Ravens have seven players who are high-risk close contacts with the cornerback. Those players — cornerback Terrell Bonds, inside linebackers L.J. Fort., Patrick Queen, Malik Harrison outside linebackers Matthew Judon and Tyus Bowser and safety DeShon Elliott — had to self-isolate for five days. Judon, however, was activated from that list and rejoined practice on Nov. 5. If any of those other players cannot be activated, the Colts will have a serious advantage.
— Look for the Ravens to show their depth. The young players will be coached up.
— It’s time for Lamar Jackson to take control of this offense. This week could be his breakout game of 2020.
— Prediction: The Ravens are facing the toughest portion of their schedule and need to stack wins for a playoff run. They have historically responded well to adversity.
Ravens 23 Colts 21
If there was ever a recipe for a disaster it has been this past week for the Ravens. Losing Ronnie Stanley was bad but losing Marlon Humphrey this week may prove to be too difficult to overcome. I expect Philip Rivers and company to pick on the Ravens’ depleted cornerback depth as well as Patrick Queen’s weakness in coverage. Not to mention the Colts currently have the number 2 ranked defense in the league. If the Ravens can skate by with a win this week they will be in much better shape moving forward.
– J.K. Dobbins will have a repeat performance of another 100 yard plus game along with a touchdown.
– Devin Duvernay will have a 40 yard plus touchdown reception.
– Lamar Jackson will throw another interception and two touchdowns.
– Miles Boykin will have a red zone touchdown.
– Yannick Ngakoue will have his first Ravens sack.
– Calais Campbell will have another batted pass at the line of scrimmage.
Colts 24 Ravens 21
This week, the Ravens will have to lean on the offense grinding out long drives, with a physical rushing attack.
The Ravens defense is short some secondary help, therefore controlling the game with the offense may be the best tactic.
No Ronnie Stanley does not help; however, Orlando Brown played admirably at LT, while D.J. Fluker has played with some nice heavy hands at RT. These bookends can dominate in the running game. The weakness at offensive line right now is still up the middle.
The Ravens will get a little bit going through the air this week, but expect that success to be predicated on a ground and pound game script.
Ravens pull off the necessary win.
Ravens 27 Colts 23
Many are predicting a close game this weekend between the Ravens and the Indianapolis Traitors. I don’t see it that way, as I am not buying anything about the Colts other than their defense. Of course, that is an elite unit that could give Lamar Jackson trouble. But coming off a tough game, Jackson will be out to prove himself. Look out.
– The Colts defense will bottle up Dobbins and Edwards in the first half, but that just leaves room for Jackson on outside runs. As if it’s 2019, his 75 first-half rushing yards open up the passing lanes in the second half.
– Jackson tosses 2 TDs (both in the second half) but does it with incredible efficiency. He hits Hollywood Brown six times for 130 yards including a 50+ yard score. His second TD throw goes to Dobbins out of the backfield.
– Jonathan Taylor is held to under 60 yards, leaving Baltimore’s defense to feast on a washed-up Philip Rivers. Yannick Ngakuoe has a strip-sack and two interceptions are grabbed, including one from Patrick Queen.
Ravens 31 Colts 13