Against the Buffalo Bills, the Ravens offense put forth a dominant showing. The running game struggled to get much going in rainy, sloppy weather conditions, but the passing game was firing on all cylinders.
Flacco was sensational, throwing for three touchdowns and 236 yards in just over two quarters of play. Michael Crabtree, John Brown, Willie Snead and several others all contributed in the passing game.
Now facing the Cincinnati Bengals on the road in Week 2, can the Ravens put forth a similar effort on Thursday night?
Joe Flacco - 25/40, 62.5% comp, 240 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Flacco carved up the Buffalo Bills defense with ease in Week 1, spreading the ball around and orchestrating several scoring drives. The Bengals, however, are more talented on defense than the Bills, particularly along the front seven.
Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins will test the Ravens offensive line, and Flacco has struggled against the Bengals in recent years. In four meetings against Cincinnati since 2016, Flacco is averaging just over 200 yards per game with a 3:4 TD-INT ratio.
Expect Flacco to fall back to earth a bit after a lofty season debut , but still put up solid numbers overall.
Alex Collins - 15 attempts, 63 yards, 4.2 YPA, 1 TD
Collins could not take advantage of a friendly matchup against the Bills defense in Week 1, rushing for just 13 yards and fumbling. However, this poor performance can somewhat be attributed to poor weather and game flow.
The Ravens quickly went up by several scores and there was no need for Collins to play in the second half. I expect him to bounce back in Week 2 against the Bengals. It figures to be a physical, relatively low-scoring affair between AFC North foes.
The Bengals have a talented defensive front, but Collins is capable of grinding out yardage and will continue to see scoring opportunities.
Javorious Allen - 4 attempts, 13 yards / 3 receptions, 21 yards
Although he had a touchdown last week, Buck Allen’s workload as a rusher is limited behind Alex Collins. However, he continues to be the passing-down back and Flacco often looks his way in third down situations.
Last week, Allen caught five passes. He should see several targets against the Bengals, while spelling Collins for a few carries as well.
Michael Crabtree - 6 catches, 59 yards, 1 TD
After dropping two passes in the first quarter, Crabtree bounced back to produce three catches, 38 yards and a touchdown in the season opener. His impressive touchdown reception was arguably the highlight of the game.
Given his potency in the red zone, it would not be surprising if he caught another one in Week 2.
John Brown - 5 receptions, 73 yards, 14.6 YPC
Brown caught a touchdown of his own against the Bills and got open for a 29-yard reception on the opening drive. He was second on the team in receptions and receiving yards.
His stats would have been even better if the game was closer in the second half. Look for Flacco and Brown to hook up for another big passing play or two against the Bengals secondary.
Willie Snead IV - 3 receptions, 36 yards, 12.0 YPC
Snead quietly led the Ravens in receiving yards in Week 1, but that is unlikely to happen very often given his role and the players around him.
Snead primarily works out of the slot and is not known for being a big yardage guy, instead operating on intermediate routes. However, he should continue to see a healthy dose of targets and receptions.
Nick Boyle - 2 receptions, 17 yards, 8.5 YPC
Boyle, who received the start at tight end against the Bills, is primarily known for his blocking prowess. In Week 1, however, Boyle was active as a receiver, catching 3 passes for 40 yards. All of his receptions came on the opening drive.
It’d be surprising to see this development continue, but he should be good for another couple of catches on play-action rollouts.
Mark Andrews - 3 receptions, 34 yards, 1 TD
Boyle, Maxx Williams and Mark Andrews all caught three passes in Week 1, but Andrews is the most talented pass-catcher out of the three. With Hayden Hurst out, Andrews should continue to see opportunities in the passing game.
At 6’4, 256, Andrews is a physical presence. His size can be especially useful in the red zone, and I envision Flacco will connect with him for a touchdown against the Bengals.
Defensive Statistics: 4 sacks, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble
Against the Bills, the Ravens defense predictably wreaked havoc. With A.J Green and Joe Mixon leading the way, however, the Bengals offense presents a tougher challenge.
Terrell Suggs and company should be able to pressure Andy Dalton and force him into a turnover or two. Overall, a solid defensive effort is in-store, but it will not be the utter dominance we saw in Week 1.