The Ravens head to Tampa to take on Tom Brady for the first time as a member of the Buccaneers, after many memorable clashes back when he was a New England Patriot. John Harbaugh teams generally perform very well in prime time, but road teams on Thursday night are at a decided disadvantage.
What will unfold at the site of the Ravens’ first Super Bowl victory nearly a quarter-century later?
RSR staff give our BOLD PREDICTIONS here.
So I’m down in Sarasota to celebrate a buddy’s birthday and Bucs fans in the area are very skittish about their team, very much like Ravens fans about theirs. No one seems to think either team will win. I agree, LOL…
I have no confidence that the Ravens offense will shake out of their funk. They’ve given us no reason to think that they will. So this week I’ll be that guy. The contrarian. The troll, with the hope that by tomorrow you all are coming at me. It will be a development that I will welcome with open arms. Until then…
- Lamar Jackson’s passer rating has hovered around 70 during the past 4 games. It will stay there. He’ll throw for 215 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT and miss a wide open DeSean Jackson for a would-be score. He’ll run for another 60 yards and a score.
- Gus Edwards will push the meter a bit more this week landing on 82 yards by ground and a score.
- DeSean gets his first 2 catches as a Raven but he’ll total just 13 yards.
- Mark Andrews gets the first pass thrown by Lamar. He’ll get 8 more in his direction but 1 gets picked, another sails out of bounds but a total of 7 fall into his mitts for 79 yards.
- JPP exacts a little revenge on his former mates, taking down the GOAT twice.
- Marcus Peters gets a pick; Odafe Oweh a strip sack while Patrick Queen leads the team with 9 tackles, 2 TFL’s.
- Justin Tucker nails two FG’s from 50+ but it won’t be enough…
Bucs 23, Ravens 20
There is little-to-no reason to believe this will be an easy win for the Ravens. For starters, that is still Tom Brady on the other side of the field. Additionally, have you seen the Ravens play this season? Regardless, this looks on paper to be a little less daunting than it looked on the schedule at the start of the year, largely because of Tampa’s inefficiencies on offense, and surprising vulnerability to the run game against Carolina last week. Let’s get to some bold predictions:
• Justice Hill gets some redemption for last week’s fumble with limited action, springing a 65-plus yard touchdown burst.
• Lamar Jackson gets back on track, with two touchdown passes and a clean performance.
Ravens 31 Bucs 26
I feel like I have to continue my pessimism, if for no other reason than the reverse jinx (if you know, you know).
The Ravens *barely* eeked out a win against a lowly Browns team last Sunday, and now they have a short week… on the road… against a high-powered offense that’s struggling, but still a behemoth with tons of talent just waiting to right the ship in Tampa.
Offensively, the Ravens need to come out on fire… but come out flat. Another uneventful day on offense will continue the growing roars for change.
• Lamar Jackson goes for 300 total yards (230 pass/70 rush) and a pair of TDs, countered by a late game turnover.
• Mark Andrews gets back to his norm: 5 receptions, 50 yards, 1 TD
• Rashod Bateman leads all receivers with 110 yards, but will have another crucial drop in this game.
• Gus Edwards finishes with just 45 rushing yards but 1 rush TD
Defensively, the Ravens will play stout for the better part of the game, keeping Brady uncomfortable in the pocket and under duress… it just won’t be enough.
• Only 2 sacks for the Ravens (Houston, & Oweh finally)
• A 3rd sack will get called back for roughing the passer once Brady throws his hands up for being touched.
• Ravens give up under 260 passing yards for the 5th straight game
Viva la Reverse Jinx… I hope!
Bucs 27 Ravens 24
It’s hard to pick a game for Tampa right now. They look lost, defeated and are playing terrible football.
The Ravens are clearly the better team and are more talented.
That said, Thursday night is tough to win for road teams and maybe back-to-back losses will wake Brady and the offense up and maybe the Ravens lackluster offense is just what the Tampa defense, which was supposed to be elite, needs to get going again.
The Ravens should win but it’s hard for me to pick them with any confidence in this game. They didn’t play great against the Browns, a game they needed to win but not one where you walk away feeling great about the team.
I’m going Tampa in this one.I think Lamar is playing poorly, Roman isn’t being creative and the quick turnaround isn’t helpful. The same could be said for Tampa but they are at home.
Tampa 20 Ravens 16
Look, I came away from that game Sunday shaking my head as vigorously as any of you. Sure, IT didn’t happen AGAIN, but it damn near did! Why does this team insist on turning the ball over late in the fourth quarter? Why does the defense immediately turn into wet toilet paper the moment they get a double-digit lead? Why the hell can’t an offensive this talented score touchdowns in the red zone? Why on God’s green earth would we expect anything different at this point?
However, after seeing the All-22 view on some plays and realizing how tantalizingly close the Ravens were to blowing the Browns out of the water, I am predicting that these “almosts” finally start to turn the Ravens’ way. Against a defense missing FOUR starting defensive backs, and whose front seven just got absolutely steamrolled by a team that’s in the midst of tanking?
If not now, when?
Adam has taken the baton from me as the reverse jinx guy, so I’m back in my purple shades.
Ravens 31 Bucs 20
Optimism has been a hard thing to come by recently when looking ahead on Baltimore’s schedule. At the beginning of the year, this game was one of the ones I figured would be a difficult draw, but the Buccaneers have looked… mortal over their last few weeks. Any team led by Tom Brady is always dangerous, and it’s not like the Ravens have been setting the world on fire lately, either, but they actually did a number of things right to secure the win against the Browns. Let’s see if they can take advantage of a Tampa team that’s reeling right now.
• The wheels on the Gus continue to go round and round. Edwards leads the team rushing on the evening, with Lamar close behind. They each rush for a touchdown.
• Tampa Bay is experiencing an all-too-familiar issue entering Sunday: injuries to major players. A beat up O-line allows Baltimore’s front four to build off of a solid performance, as they notch five sacks and force at least one turnover.
This game has all the makings of a war between two hungry teams, but as dangerous as the Bucs can be at the top of their potential, they look absolutely gassed right now. This game has the potential to be like the Chargers game last year, a pleasant surprise and a win with some breathing room when we really need it.
Ravens 31, Buccaneers 16
I don’t think anyone should be counting out the Bucs with their recent struggles because the Ravens struggles are not far behind. It is still Tom Brady and I’m sure the Ravens are prepared to face a hungry and motivated Brady no matter what has happened so far this season. They can put it together at any given time. Hopefully that is not on Thursday night.
• Brady will be sacked 3 times and twice will be by JPP.
• Patrick Queen continues his ascension with two tackles for loss and will lead the team in tackles with 10.
• Geno Stone will have a forced fumble for the 2nd week in a row.
• Josh Oliver will have a touchdown and hold onto it this time.
• Isaiah Likely will finally reach the end zone with a 20-yard plus touchdown.
• Devin Duvernay will not have a touchdown but will reach 80 yards receiving.
Ravens 20 Bucs 17
Two teams will meet on Thursday who have both undeniably underperformed so far, relative to their expectations this year. The Ravens and the Bucs were a lot of peoples’ Super Bowl teams heading into the season, and now both find themselves struggling to stay above .500. Both are looking to right the ship before the water level rises too high, and a loss for either would be perhaps the most devastating blow yet.
Tampa Bay is dealing with a litany of injuries to make matters worse for them, most notably in the secondary with most of their starting unit slated to be on the sidelines in street clothes. Still though, if Ravens fans have learned anything over the years, it’s to never count Tom Brady out when his back is against the wall. On top of that, Brady has been known to start slow in his career from time to time before stepping on the gas pedal right around now.
If the Ravens can exploit Tampa’s banged up secondary early, and use that success to create more space in the run game, they could very easily be in control of this game the entire time. Still though, we’ve yet to see this team play a full four quarters all year, and allowing Brady to hang around until the end is far different than Jacoby Brissett or Mac Jones. Until they prove they can jump out to a lead and proceed to step on the other team’s neck until the clock hits zero, it’s hard to predict that they’ll do it confidently.
Bucs 27 Ravens 23
I’m running out of patience with this offense. While Lamar Jackson hasn’t looked like himself, it’s Greg Roman’s job to put him in a position to succeed. If the offense sputters again, Thursday night could be Roman’s final game as the offensive coordinator.
If the Ravens are going to come out of this game with a win, the defense will need to play lights out. The pass rush seems to finally be coming alive. The secondary is gelling. Mike Macdonald’s unit is so close to being great.
Anyway, let’s get some predictions.
• DeSean Jackson will get a touchdown in his first game in a Ravens uniform.
• Lamar will get back on track, not doing anything flashy, but won’t turn the ball over and throws for 2 touchdowns.
• Patrick Queen will get more than ten tackles
• Patrick Ricard will score a rushing TD
The Ravens need to play safe football and get the hell out of Tampa with a win. Getting into the bye with 1st place and plenty of reinforcements on the way is a major plus for this team.
Ravens 20 Bucs 17
The last time the Ravens traveled to Florida on Thursday Night to take on a struggling team, it broke the Ravens. Let’s hope this time is a lot more beneficial to the Ravens’ success. This is a massive week for the Ravens offense. The Bucs will be down significant pieces of their defense and might have up to four defensive backs out. This includes Antoine Winfield Jr., who might be their best defensive player. If the Ravens can’t get going against this hurt Bucs defense, something needs to change. The Ravens have to stop their offensive woes soon, and this would be great to do it against a heavily injured unit.
The Bucs still have Tom Brady, so they are a threat to break out at any moment. The offense has been dreadful, but not all of that is Brady’s fault. The receivers are dropping balls left and right, the running backs can’t find holes, and the blocking has been suspect. However, this team still has a ton of talent on offense.
This Bucs team is mad, they are underperforming beyond belief and are coming off a short week, so this game could be close.
• Lamar has a great game versus an injured Bucs Defense
• The Ravens defense continues to be dominant, holding Tampa to just 14 points
• Brady has a couple of good drives in this game, but the issues stated before hold him back
Ravens 27 Bucs 14
Week 8 marks a long-anticipated matchup for Baltimore against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. Prior to the season this game sounded a whole lot scarier than it does now after seeing the Panthers steamroll the Buccaneers last week, 21-3. That being said, the Ravens defense will still need to bring its A-game against what could still be a high-caliber offense with Tom Brady at the helm.
• After a whopping five sacks on Jacoby Brissett, the linebackers will be sure to have yet another feast, this time against Tampa Bay’s lackluster offensive line that has been continuously scolded on the sidelines by Brady in recent weeks. The talents of Patrick Queen and Justin Houston will force Brady to boil over yet again this game, as he will be sacked at least three times.
• Tampa Bay struggled to close the gaps against Carolina’s run-heavy offense. Gus Edwards will lead the running back corps with at least a single touchdown and over 75 rushing yards.
• Lamar Jackson will also be sure to find the gaps on nearly every drive. He is due for another game with over 100 rushing yards and will likely earn it this week. A rushing touchdown wouldn’t come as a surprise either.
• After scoring just three points last week, Tampa Bay is sure to only go up from here. Tom Brady’s offense should finally get back into its groove to uphold a back and forth game. Heavy pressure on Brady will surely give the Bucs success in the air, but Lamar Jackson will be sure to compensate for their success when it’s his turn on offense.
Ravens 27 Buccaneers 21
This is an interesting game because you can’t trust either team. The Ravens just got away with one against the Browns. The Buccaneers just got walloped by the Panthers. The Buccaneers are the 3-4 leaders of a bad division. The Ravens are 4-3 and on top of the AFC North. It’s a battle of first place teams that have their issues.
This game is going to be all about the matchups. The Buccaneers offense hasn’t lived up to expectations. The Ravens defense hasn’t given up 24 points or more since Week 3. Tampa Bay has scored 3, 18, and 15 points in their last three outings. Look for the Ravens defense to hold up their end of the bargain. This shouldn’t be a barn burner.
The Ravens should be able to run the football. The Panthers just put up 170 rushing yards against the Bucs. Two weeks ago the Falcons had over 150 rushing yards. The Ravens just had 160 rushing yards against the Browns. The Ravens are finding their run game and that could pay off in a big way on Thursday night.
The Ravens and the Buccaneers aren’t playing pretty football. An ugly game should lean more towards the Ravens than the frustrated Buccaneers.
Here’s my bold predictions:
• Lamar Jackson rushes for 75 yards, the Ravens run for 190 as a team.
• Devin Duvernay catches a short pass and goes all the way down the field for a touchdown.
• Marlon Humphrey forces Mike Evans to fumble in the red zone.
Put me down for a 24-18 Ravens win.
I’ll take the benefit of having the injury reports in before I make my predictions here, with the Ravens only missing Calais Campbell while the Bucs have ruled out six players, including three starting DBs. Even Julio Jones and Akiem Hicks are questionable!
As a result – even with the potential for Rashod Bateman and/or Mark Andrews to sit out on a short week – this should be a fairly easy matchup for the Ravens offense. But I’ve sang that tune before, so I’m not willing to bet on a full offensive revival on Thursday night. I don’t think the Bucs offense will come all the way back from last week’s loss, either, especially not against a hot Ravens defense. What remains is a hard-fought game in primetime, but the Ravens don’t give us a scare like they did to Kyle Hamilton and Pepe Williams.
• Lamar Jackson tops 250 passing yards for the second time this season with two TDs through the air and one on the ground.
• Gus Edwards has fewer carries for more yards than his Week 7 debut.
• The Ravens contain Leonard Fournette to under 60 yards and 4.0 yards per carry, but Bucs rookie Rachaad White tops 50 rushing yards for the first time in his career, plus his first receiving TD.
• Baltimore’s defense limits the deep balls early, forcing Tom Brady somewhat into his comfort zone of dinking-and-dunking his way down the field.
• The Ravens take a lead early, but manage to keep pace and land enough blows in the second half to keep the game competitive but out of reach. Baltimore tops 30 points for the third time this season with a 31-20 win.