Fresh off perhaps the biggest regular-season win of the Lamar Jackson era, the Ravens head to Detroit to take on the new-look Lions. RSR staff give their bold predictions for the game here:
Editor’s Note: These predictions were published before the following announcement:
Ravens have placed NT Brandon Williams, DL Justin Madubuike, OLB Justin Houston and OLB Jaylon Ferguson on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. So they'll have a short-handed defense Sunday in Detroit.
— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) September 24, 2021
Playing the Detroit Lions is like going to work on a Friday just before the vacation that awaits you on Saturday. You know you’ve got work to finish to close out your week and free your mind for the pending vacay, but it’s so hard to focus. But you know, if you don’t, it could be costly. Yet your mind drifts anyway and your best work escapes you. And you hope it’s enough.
After a season-changing win over the Chiefs, the sweet taste of that victory would vanish in a New York nanosecond if the Ravens fail to take care of business in Detroit. And that won’t happen.
The Ravens haven’t lost to an NFC opponent dating back to Week 13 of 2018 in Atlanta. In their last 10 games v. NFC conference foes the Ravens are 10-0, outscoring “the other conference” 286-159 and out-rushed said teams, 2,162 yards to 869. With that in mind…
- Lamar Jackson goes 17 of 22 for 210 yards and 2 scores, one to Sammy Watkins and the other to Mark Andrews.
- Lamar, Ty’Son Williams and Latavius Murray combine for 240 yards on the ground, each with a TD run.
- The Ravens win the time of possession by at least 10 minutes.
- Jared Goff will be focused on getting the ball out quickly. As such he’ll be sacked just twice, once by Calais Campbell and the other courtesy of Tyus Bowser.
- The Lions will be held to less than 65 yards on the ground.
- Goff will nearly throw for 300 yards but much of it will come during stat padding time with the Lions on the short-end of a three possession game. His last toss will be intercepted by Chuck Clark.
Ravens 38, Lions 20
It’s fair to wonder how the Ravens will bounce back from their thrilling win over the Chiefs. I’m guessing they respond well. Some bold predictions:
— Mark Andrews is going to get a big gain of more than 40 yards on way to his first 100-yard game of the season.
— Tyus Bowser is going to get a pick and a sack.
— Lamar Jackson runs for less than 50 yards, but throws three touchdowns.
— Sammy Watkins catches two touchdowns, and Pat Ricard gets the other.
— My dog’s flatulence will threaten to kill me.
Ravens 34 Lions 23
Through two games, the Lions have allowed opposing running backs to shred them, to the tune of the collective following stat lines:
46 carries for 220 yards (5.0ypc) and 3 TDs
Eight receptions on eight targets for 71 yards and 3 TDs
That’s 291 all-purpose yards and six touchdowns allowed by the Lions… to just opposing Running Backs…and they haven’t seen the Ravens ground game yet!
With that in mind, I’m giving Ty’Son Williams, Latavius Murray and Devonta Freeman all a touchdown in this game, with a collective 250 all-purpose yards. Let’s throw in another 50 yards on the ground for Lamar to go with a pair of passing touchdowns to Josh Oliver and Hollywood Brown to keep his TD streak alive.
You do the math- that’s F-I-V-E touchdowns for the Ravens offense.
Defensively, I think we’ll see a mixed bag once again. I think Goff and Hockenson will have their moments and put up some points, but this will ultimately be a turnover happy game for the Rams, as Goff throws a pair of picks (Humphrey, Patrick Queen) and gets devoured in the backfield four times (Oweh x2, Justin Houston, Malik Harrison), including a fumble for the second straight week.
Solid and effective offense. Suffocating defense that creates turnovers. Tyler Huntley is on the field halfway through the 4th quarter in a route. On to the Colts!
Ravens 41 Lions 20
Time and again, John Harbaugh’s teams thumb their noses at us when we doubt them in times of adversity. One of these days, we’ll learn to listen.
If you watched the Packers-Lions game on Monday Night, you noticed that the Detroit OL gave Jared Goff some wonderful pockets and tons of time to throw. Some of that is a poor Green Bay defense that was without old friend Za’Darius Smith, but the Lions front is solid. Combine that with a Ravens defense that still can’t seem to get to the passer without blitzing, and Wink has his work cut out for him again.
Jimmy Smith practiced Wednesday and Thursday. I think we see him for the first time this season and he helps immensely in slowing Hockenson. With the big TE covered, Goff really has nowhere else to go with the ball, and we see several coverage sacks.
On offense, the Ravens do what they do, racking up 275 rushing yards spread between Lamar (75), Ty’Son (105), Murray (45), Freeman (30), and Duvernay (20).
Ravens 38 Lions 24
For the third straight week the Ravens will have to deal with another dangerous tight end in T.J. Hockenson. It just so happens that has been one of the Ravens’ defensive weaknesses. Jared Goff looked pretty sharp in the first half against Green Bay on Monday night until the Packers stepped on the gas.
— Odafe Oweh will once again be the defensive player of the game making splash plays. He will have his first interception.
— Josh Bynes will be active to help slow down the passing attack in the middle of the field. He may be a slower and older player but he knows what’s going on around him in coverage .
— Justin Houston will have a sack and remind everyone what a bargain he is to the Ravens.
— Lamar will have a day passing the ball for 275 yards and three touchdowns. He will run for another 50 yards.
— Hollywood Brown will keep his touchdown streak going for his ninth in nine regular-season games consecutive game.
— Sammy Watkins and James Proche will be the recipients of the other two touchdown passes.
Ravens 31 Lions 17
The Ravens will be emotional coming off a huge win against Kansas City, but they’ll have to play a poised game against the 0-2 Lions. I don’t want to say this is a trap game, because Baltimore will win fairly easily, but I could see Detroit hanging around a bit early.
— Lamar Jackson is more effective through the air this week, going over 200 yards with three TDs and no turnovers. This includes a 50+ yard strike to Sammy Watkins, who gets his first TD as a Raven.
— Mark Andrews finally reaches the end zone in 2021, and once he does it once, he does it again to put the game on ice. Give Andrews two scores and over 75 yards receiving.
— Ty’Son Williams has his biggest game of the season, cracking the 100-yard mark on the ground while adding another 30 through the air. Toss in a 2nd career rushing TD and Williams is fully entrenched as Baltimore’s lead back.
— On defense, the Ravens are unable to stop T.J. Hockenson, as they continue to struggle against Tight Ends. In this game, however, they’ll allow him to run rampant while all other options are taken away from QB Jared Goff. The Lions are held under 75 yards rushing and no other receiver tops 50 yards.
— In the second half, Baltimore’s defense pins its ears back to seal the game. Odafe Oweh continues his early push for DROY with a strip sack that’s recovered by Justin Madubuike, while Brandon Stephens notches his first career interception. After jumping a quick throw from Goff, Stephens takes it back to the house for the Ravens’ 5th TD of the game. The youngsters continue to step it up.
Ravens 38 Lions 16
Well, here the Ravens are 1-1. That is probably the record the majority of us had them with through two weeks, but almost definitely not the way we thought they would get here. Nevertheless, here we are.
Baltimore’s win against Kansas City was huge, but it means nothing if they go into Detroit and lose to the Lions. I’m sure that mantra has been stated over and over again this week at the castle.
When betting, you look for teams coming off big wins and watch out for a letdown. Even though the Ravens are coming off that huge high in Week 2, I don’t think the coaching staff will allow them to bask in the glory for very long and they’ll be focused on getting the job done in Detroit.
As they’ve done to the majority of the NFL, the Ravens will run the ball down the Lions’ throats, control the time of possession, and cruise to a double-digit victory.
Ravens 31 Lions 10
Coming off an emotional and improbable win, the Ravens can’t look past Detroit. The Lions will be playing on short week, having just played (and lost to) Green Bay on Monday night.
That being said, the Lions can pose some issues for the Ravens and with the injuries the team has, you just never know. They are saying all the right things this week, coming off of that win, to make you think they aren’t looking past the Lions.
I would like to say that this is the week the defense starts to get better. They have played two explosive offenses so far and the defense hasn’t looked good. Getting to Goff and stopping their run game will be important this week. I would think they try to take away Hockenson and let others beat them but the Ravens linebackers can’t cover anyone, so that’s easier said than done.
Offensively, I think the Ravens will be able to do what they want. The Lions have given up 76 points in their first two games and that trend should continue. The Ravens should score 30+ and run the ball for 200+ yards.
I would like to see Roman get other players involved offensively and for Lamar to utilize guys like Duvernay, Wallace and Proche. Get the ball in their hands in space and let them make a play.
Ravens pull away in the fourth.
Ravens 34 Lions 24
I’m considerably more optimistic about this coming matchup than I was about the last one, so let’s go even bolder:
— Hollywood made me look good last week on a prediction that he’d haul in a long TD. I’m gonna go back to the well on this one and say he records a TD for the third straight week. This one comes on a crossing route in the end zone, similar to Week 1.
— Think back to last year’s game against the Bengals when the Ravens punched their playoff ticket. It was a rout that saw the Ravens post over 400 rushing yards. While I don’t expect them to eclipse the 400 mark in this game, Detroit’s defense is similarly maligned to last year’s Bengals, so I expect Ty’Son, Latavius and Lamar to run all over them. I’ll say they hit 325 rushing on the day.
— The Lions O-line did a surprisingly good job against Green Bay’s rush for the first half of their contest. I think you’ll see a similar deadlock early, but Wink will begin to send linebackers on blitzes and Detroit will have no answer. Patrick Queen records multiple sacks, and the pressure will produce a defensive touchdown.
Ravens 38 Lions 13
As the lone RSR writer who predicted a Ravens win last week, I am quite proud of myself. Why do I believe in this football team? No idea.
Anyway, I do not believe in “trap games,” I only believe in wins and losses. Any team can beat anyone on any given sunday. The kneecap man Dan Campbell has made quite the scene since Detroit brought him in, and I have to say, I love the guy and I like what he’s doing. I’m a bigger Jared Goff fan than most and I think when kept upright, he’s one of the more solid QBs in the league.
However, Wink’s defense was not kind to him last time they saw him. They pestered him all night, picking up two sacks and interceptions in the process. Expect more of the same. Goff will be in for a tough night, throwing a pick and coughing up a fumble.
— Odafe Oweh faces his first big test as an NFL player facing Penei Sewell. I think he’ll get by him once for a sack.
— Marlon Humphrey forces a fumble and locks down Detroit’s receivers all afternoon.
— Hockenson might be an issue, especially without Jimmy Smith, so I think he’ll break through for a touchdown at some point.
— As for the offense, Lamar will torch Detroit’s lackluster secondary for multiple touchdowns and long passes. Hollywood Brown will get his third TD of the year and Sammy Watkins gets his first in a Ravens uniform.
The running game struggles to get anything going against a tough Detroit 5-2, so if any of the “committee” will take the bell cow role in this offense, it won’t be this week.
Jackson 5 incoming.
Ravens 40 Lions 13
After a big win in Week 2, you might hear the phrase “trap game” be thrown around on the road against a bad Lions team. Here’s why it won’t happen.
— Lamar Jackson feasts against a Detroit defense that’s allowed the seventh most yards per play and second most passing yards per attempt through two games. I couldn’t care less that he didn’t practice Thursday. He finishes with almost 300 yards and has his first game with multiple passing TDs and is replaced by Tyler Huntley late.
— After two quiet weeks from Mark Andrews, the $50 million tight end finally gets it going this week with 80 yards receiving and a score.
— I think the Ravens pass rush is in line for a big week against an unathletic, non-mobile QB in Jared Goff. Two Ravens defenders without sacks so far, Justin Madubuike and Justin Houston, both get their firsts of the season. Side note: an interesting matchup to watch will be Odafe Oweh vs. Lions rookie offensive tackle Penei Sewell. The seventh overall pick has been dominant in his first two games, and I’ll be eager to watch how he handles Oweh and vice versa.
I’ll take the Ravens to cover the 7.5 spread and the under on the 50 point total as well with the Lions struggling to keep up their end of the scoring.
Ravens 31 Lions 14