It’s yet another prime time showcase for the Ravens, who host the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night Football. With the Browns and Bengals both losing heartbreakers on Sunday, the Ravens have a chance to stake their claim atop the AFC North. Will they take advantage?
RSR Staff give our predictions here…
For the most part, I don’t look at the Indianapolis Colts as anything more than another obstacle standing in the way of the Ravens success. Just another team in another division, not much different than the Texans or Dolphins – until…
The horseshoes enter the building.
Then, nostalgia slowly creeps in and I’m taken back to the days of my youth. I’m taken back to those times when we walked to Memorial Stadium; when we watched the Colts in their blues play on a dirt field not unlike the well-traveled ball yards of Patterson Park. I remember the Monday Night game when Bert Jones with his battered right shoulder, took down Joe Theismann and the Washington Redskins. I remember the angst of fans who loathed Howard Cosell. Signs were all around the stadium directing Cosell where to go. You know what I mean…
Yes, there’s something about those horseshoes that trigger emotions.
Admittedly, those emotions aren’t as strong as they once were. Now the visual of those helmets in Baltimore, only inspire pleasant little trips down memory lane. Yes, the Colts are just another team – one about to get thumped on a national stage.
• Lamar Jackson is about to have a night to remember. He’ll personally be responsible for over 400 yards of offense (290 by air, 110 by ground) and he’ll be the trigger man on 3 scores.
• The Ravens will establish a new rushing record with their 44th consecutive game over 100 yards. But they’ll do it by halftime.
• Mark Andrews and Sammy Watkins are both looking for their first TD this season. Both will get one v. Indy.
• Justin Houston needs 1 ½ sacks to reach the 100 mark in his career. He’ll drop Carson Wentz twice.
• Ty’Son Williams will lead Ravens rushers with 65 yards.
• Rashod Bateman will play and haul in 2 passes for 23 yards.
• Ravens will dominate time of possession, 35 to 25 and they’ll run 20 more plays than the Colts.
The Ravens get one for Haloti Ngata who will be inducted into the Ring of Honor at halftime. The outcome will never be in doubt.
Ravens 34 Colts 17
For those of us of a certain age (Read: Old), the Colts coming to town will always carry a little extra significance. And that desire to send them packing with a loss carries a little more heat. Consider me filled with a deep burn. Use that information when weighing my objectivity with these predictions:
- Lamar Jackson will continue throwing downfield, and will produce three or more receptions of more than 40 yards. Jackson will also run for more than 70 yards.
- The Ravens will take advantage of a banged-up interior line for the second straight week, and will produce five sacks, with two coming from the much-maligned Patrick Queen, and one from Odafe Oweh.
- Sammy Watkins goes over 100 yards, also hitting pay dirt.
- Marlon Humphrey forces a fumble, grabs a pick and blows up a run for a loss in a terrific all-around appearance.
- I make the smart choice and opt for celery over chips as my game-time snack… and then eat the chips. Don’t judge me.
Ravens 30 Colts 17
The Colts are coming off their first win of the season but they have been a disappointment so far but that doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous. Their offensive line has been an issue this year and with Nelson out, the Ravens D-line should have a good day. Odafe Oweh could have a big day but the guy I’m watching is Patrick Queen. The Colts have a lot of young weapons and I can see them attacking Queen, especially with Jonathon Taylor.
The Colts defense has in the top 10 in total defense. Led by Darious Leonard, they have been very good vs the pass and average vs the run. The issue with the Ravens is that Villanueva is likely out, which means Andre Smith is likely your starting LT and he is pretty terrible. That could cause a lot of issues all game long.
The good news is that besides Villanueva, the team is relatively healthy. We may even get to see Bateman and Boykin this week. Lamar has been playing great and attacking downfield and I look for that to continue depending on how well Smith holds up. I would like to see the running game get going again and try to stay away from having Lamar drop back 30+ times because of the aforementioned issues they have at LT.
I think this is a game that is better than the records say. I’m going with the Ravens in this one in a one score game.
Ravens 23 Colts 20
Instead of directing attention towards the Colts and their return to the city they once called home, my focus this week is heavily on breaking that Steelers 100-yard rushing game record (with which the Ravens are currently tied) and of course, the win. Speaking of that record, how will Baltimore’s ground game fare versus the Colts run defense?
Check this out: the Colts gave up 421 rushing yards in their first three games this season, with ball carriers averaging 4.5 yards per carry. That’s… not great for Indy (but fantastic for the Ravens).
Why did I remove the Dolphins in Week 4 you ask? Because I view Miami as an anomaly, and nothing like what the Ravens ground game offers up. The Fins are a bottom-5 rushing team, so putting up a measly 35 yards rushing on 16 attempts is a far cry from what Baltimore is capable of doing – and will do – on Monday night.
- We haven’t had a big Ravens win yet this season, and the splashy plays have been few and far between… but that changes on Monday night.
- Jackson will have a combined four touchdowns, with a deep shot to Sammy Watkins, a dump off to Latavius Murray, a laser to Hollywood Brown and a rushing touchdown… but no flips this time.
- Of course, the Ravens will break the rushing record in fashion, and I’m going to go as bold as to say it happens in the first HALF on a break-away carry by Ty’Son Williams.
- That’s right. He’s back and getting another shot (at least I hope so).
- Defensively, another five-sack day is on the horizon for the Ravens, courtesy of Odafe Oweh, Calais Campbell (well-deserved too), Tyus Bowser, and Chuck Clark. Add in a pair of turnovers by Carson Wentz, and this game is out of hand by the fourth quarter.
Ravens 37 Colts 13
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The Ravens have an opportunity to breakout this season with a 4-game homestand.
Indianapolis isn’t great, but they can put up a fight. At home on Monday night, I don’t expect that to happen. Baltimore will roll early in this game, with help from:
- 2 TD passes from Lamar Jackson, both to Mark Andrews in the red zone. Jackson continues to blossom as a passer and plays yet another clean game against a Colts defense that hasn’t been up to its standards yet this year.
- Over 200 rushing yards with Jackson and Ty’Son Williams leading the way. Jackson adds a rushing TD, while Latavius Murray notches another tough run inside the 10.
- 3 turnovers for a Ravens defense that hasn’t been getting as many as expected. Odafe Oweh strips Carson Wentz off the edge, while Brandon Stephens and Marlon Humphrey notch interceptions.
Ravens 31 Colts 16
All the talk all offseason was the Ravens need to focus on the passing game. Sure they wanted it to improve but last week they looked like a passing team. All because crybaby Fangio was only worried about stopping the rushing record. I still believe teams will try to focus on stopping the run first and forcing Lamar to throw. So far the Ravens have answered that challenge. Let’s just make sure going forward Ty’son Williams is active for every game unless he’s hurt. A week later and I’m still mad about that.
- Lamar will pass for 275 yards and 2 touchdowns and run for 50 yards.
- Hollywood Brown will pick up where he left off with 100 yards and a touchdown reception.
- Ty’son Williams will remind people why he shouldn’t have been inactive last week with 75 rushing yards and a touchdown.
- Mo Alie-Cox will remind people where the Ravens are the weakest, the middle of the defense, specifically the middle linebackers. He will have 5 receptions, 50 yards and a touchdown.
- Anthony Averett makes another case why he’s not only a starter but a high level one with another interception.
- Odafe Oweh gets another sack and the lack of production in college talk is a thing of the past. Instead everyone is wondering how he made it out of the top 10. I was high on him before the draft so, I told you so.
Ravens 31 Colts 17
Okay NFL, I’m tired (literally) of these prime time games. They’re nice every once in awhile, but three of the first five weeks?
When I made my bets for division winners at the beginning of the season, I had the Colts as the team coming out of the AFC South. Early in the season, that hasn’t looked to be a smart bet. Their defense has been serviceable, but their offense has left a lot to be desired. Expectations were high with the addition of Carson Wentz, but he’s looked a lot like the Wentz we saw in his last few years in Philadelphia as opposed to the Wentz we saw prior to his injury in 2017.
The Ravens on the other hand are looking to set the NFL record for most consecutive games rushing for over 100 yards. They’ll do that this week with ease and without any last-second Lamar keepers. This game is one that the Ravens need to have and I think they’ll handle the Colts similarly to how they handled Denver in Week 4.
Ravens 27 Colts 10
— Baltimore’s line has been suspect at times, and they’re facing a tough customer off the edge in DeForest Buckner. The Colts may win a few snaps up front, but they lose one big: the pocket collapses and allows Lamar Jackson to escape for his first long rushing TD of the season. I’ll venture a guess at 25+ yards.
— Jonathan Taylor is a solid dual-threat out of the backfield, and they’ll be looking to feed him some short passes. Wentz will try a bit too hard to force something to Taylor that just isn’t there, and Tyus Bowser picks one off.
— Odafe Oweh takes advantage of Wentz still ailing and records multiple sacks. Justin Houston adds one in a revenge game on his former team.
— Baltimore wins the turnover battle and gives us the second game of the season that doesn’t end in a nail-biter.
Ravens 30 Colts 13