Game Preview: Ravens vs. Jaguars
Jaguars Offense vs. Ravens Defense
It could be a long night for the Jaguars offense against the Ravens defense on Monday night. The Ravens are one of the best defenses in the NFL in hitting the quarterback and forcing turnovers, and they certainly are anticipating being able to force Jaguars rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert into making mistakes.
This will be Gabbert’s first time in the national spotlight and he is going to need to have the best game of his young career. While the Ravens defense is tough to move the ball against, they are more susceptible to giving up yards through the air than they are on the ground. The Jaguars are hoping that the mid-week addition of wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker will provide a boost to a passing offense that is currently ranked at the bottom of the NFL. While Sims-Walker may not have a major impact on the stat sheet, his presence should help Mike Thomas and Marcedes Lewis get open.
If the Jaguars are going to have any chance at beating the Ravens, they will have to avoid turnovers and find a way to throw the ball.
Jaguars Defense vs. Ravens Offense
The Jaguars defense needs to get off to a good start this week. They have surrendered opening drive touchdowns to their opponents in four of their first six games this season. In a game against a defense as good as the Ravens have, the Jaguars cannot afford to get down early in the game.
The key to stopping the Ravens defense is containing Ray Rice and forcing Joe Flacco to make plays in the passing game. Flacco has struggled completing passes this year (51.4 completion percentage) and he has been prone to turning the ball over (four interceptions/four fumbles) this season.
The Jaguars have struggled in prime time recently and the Ravens are a terrible match-up for one of the worst offenses in the NFL. If the Jaguars are going to have a chance to pull off the upset they need to limit their mistakes and win the turnover battle. While I don’t see the Jaguars getting embarrassed, I do have a hard time seeing them winning this game.
Ravens 24 Jaguars 13