After a 47-point outing in the season opener, the Ravens offense missed the mark in Week 2. Joe Flacco and company could not get much going, especially in the first half. The offensive line struggled in both run and pass blocking.
Like Cincinnati, the Denver Broncos will also present a challenge. Led by Von Miller and Bradley Chubb, the Broncos field a stout defensive front and talented pass-rush. They’re not short on offensive weapons, either.
Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas will test the Ravens secondary, which was just shredded by A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd. Undrafted rookie Phillip Lindsay has emerged as a playmaker out of the backfield.
Week 3 could prove to be a crucial matchup as the Ravens look to keep pace in the AFC North. How will the team respond?
Offensive Stat Predictions:
Joe Flacco - 24/39, 61.5% comp, 265 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Flacco is looking to get back on track after a poor showing against the Bengals. For most of the night, he was inaccurate and shaky. Many expected Flacco to build upon his near-perfect performance in Week 1, and it was discouraging to see him struggle.
The Broncos are not exactly a friendly matchup. Von Miller and Bradley Chubb should make things difficult on Flacco,. How he responds to pressure could ultimately determine the outcome of the game.
Look for Flacco to put up a decent, but not spectacular stat line. It will be interesting to see if Flacco can throw for multiple touchdowns for a third consecutive game, a feat he has not accomplished since 2016.
Alex Collins - 13 rushes, 53 yards, 4.07 YPA / 2 receptions, 16 yards
Collins missed practice on Wednesday due to illness, but he should be ready to roll come Sunday. Collins has just 48 rushing yards and an average of 3.0 YPC through two games this season. These numbers are poor, but they do not tell the whole story.
Game flow has not worked in his favor. Against the Bills, the game was decided early. In Week 2, the Ravens largely abandoned the run game after falling behind early. Collins tends to play better with more carries, and he has only 16 this season.
The Ravens undoubtedly would like to establish the running game, and the matchup against Denver figures to be competitive. Therefore, Collins should have a more successful showing in Week 3.
Javorius Allen - 6 rushes, 20 yards, 3.3 YPA / 4 receptions, 30 yards
Collins’ struggles can also be somewhat attributed to the presence of Buck Allen. Allen has surprisingly seen roughly half of the snaps out of the backfield this season and is receiving a lot of goal line oppurtinites.
Other than scoring two touchdowns, Allen hasn’t made much of an impact as a rusher. However, Allen leads all Ravens with 10 catches through two games and ranks fourth in targets.
Flacco will likely be under pressure often on Sunday and will have to get the ball out quickly, setting up Buck for another productive pass-catching day out of the backfield.
Michael Crabtree - 4 catches, 58 yards, 14.5 YPC, 1 TD
Although he has not made many big plays downfield, Crabtree has been a steady presence on offense this season. He has been targeted 16 times, which leads all Ravens, and has eight receptions.
94 yards through two games is nothing to write home about, but that total would be higher if not for a few dropped passes. The Broncos primary outside corner, Bradley Roby, stands at just 5’11.
Crabtree should be able to use his size advantage to catch a touchdown and continue to make plays on intermediate routes.
John Brown - 4 catches, 68 yards, 17.0 YPC, 1 TD
Brown has gotten off to fast start this season, leading the team with 136 receiving yards. He has made several impressive plays, including a contested touchdown reception in the fourth quarter against the Bengals.
It was his second touchdown catch of the season, which also leads all receivers. He could have three, but he dropped an end zone pass that was thrown slightly behind him in Week 2.
Flacco has looked John Brown’s way often through two weeks, and he as delivered. Another productive outing should be in store against the Broncos in Week 3.
Willie Snead IV - 3 catches, 32 yards, 10.6 YPC
Snead quietly ranks second on the team in both catches and receiving yards this season. Operating out of the slot, Snead has been effective creating yards after the catch.
The Broncos, however, have arguably the best slot cornerback in the league in Chris Harris Jr. Harris will prove to be a tough matchup for Snead, and it is difficult to envision a scenario in which Willie gets the best of him.
He should remain involved, but with a tough matchup, Snead will be largely kept in check.
Mark Andrews - 3 catches, 30 yards, 10.0 YPC
Andrews caught his first career touchdown last week, and has six catches on the season. He should be able to make some plays in the middle of the field against a Broncos defense that struggles to defend opposing tight ends.
Nick Boyle, Maxx Williams - 4 catches, 31 yards (combined)
The Ravens have utilized all three tight ends in the passing game this season. Boyle and Williams should be involved, albeit to a lesser extent than Andrews.
Defensive Stat Predictions:
Tackles - Kenny Young (9)
Young will step into a starting spot with C.J. Mosley out. He stepped up in that role last week, ranking second on the team with eight tackles. The Ravens will need him to be productive to slow down Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman.
Sacks - Terrell Suggs (1), Tim Williams (1)
The Ravens failed to record a sack against the Bengals and the pass-rush as a whole was largely ineffective. Terrell Suggs and company will be motivated to flip the script on Sunday.
Denver’s offensive line isn’t great, and the Ravens should be able to find some success pressuring Case Keenum.
Interceptions - Marlon Humphrey (1)
Case Keenum has already thrown four picks this season, tied with Matthew Stafford for most in the league. Baltimore should be able to force him into at least one mistake.
Look for Marlon Humphrey to make a big play and record his first interception of the season.