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Bold Predictions: Ravens vs. Broncos

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens are looking to get back on track when they host the undefeated Denver Broncos. Over the course of two games, Baltimore has shown both brilliance and ineptitude. Coming off of a divisional road loss, how will the Ravens respond in Week 3?

Sage’s predictions:

  • The Ravens will score a defensive touchdown.

In order to energize the home crowd and provide Joe Flacco and the offense with a little breathing room, Baltimore’s defense will intercept Case Keenum and return it for six. A franchise that has made turnovers their calling card will find the end zone for the first time this season, having recorded two picks in 2018 that were not run back for a score.

  • John Brown will be Baltimore’s go-to offensive weapon.

Ozzie Newsome signed John Brown this offseason to complement Michael Crabtree and Willie Snead IV. Through two games, Brown leads the Ravens in receiving and is averaging 19.4 yards per reception. Crabtree has been targeted 16 times — a team high — to Brown’s 14. In Week 3, anticipate Flacco to look to Brown more often, as he has proven he can haul in tough balls in tight coverage.

Vasilis’ predictions:

  • Lamar Jackson will not see the field in Week 3.

Thus far, the Lamar Jackson package has been largely ineffective. If the goal was to give the opposition another facet to game plan for, then that has already been accomplished. The Ravens will aim to get Joe Flacco and Alex Collins in rhythm, at the expense of the rookie quarterback’s playing time.

  • Kenny Young will record double digit tackles and an interception.

The fourth-round rookie has been mighty impressive throughout the preseason and the first two weeks of the year. The Ravens scheme is designed to funnel the ball carrier to the inside linebackers, which should allow Young to rack up tackles. Case Keenum will underestimate Young’s speed and toss an interception underneath or in the flat.

Dustin’s predictions:

  • Alex Collins will rush for 100 yards and two touchdowns.

Through the first two games of the season, Collins has only received 16 carries for 48 yards and one touchdown. The Ravens will show that they are in fact committed to the run game when they face the Broncos. Collins will no longer be neglected, and he should receive at least 15 touches, amassing 100 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

  • The offensive line will hold Von Miller in check.

Baltimore’s offensive line struggled immensely versus the Bengals pass rush in Week 2, particularly when matching up with Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap. Miller is potentially the best pass rusher in the game, but the Ravens will find a way to contain him. Regardless of whether James Hurst or Orlando Brown Jr. starts at right tackle against Denver, expect tight ends Nick Boyle and Maxx Williams to consistently provide help by chipping Miller on the edge. Baltimore deployed this tactic against Khalil Mack last season, and he was held to zero sacks.

Frank’s predictions:

  • Mark Andrews will be the Ravens leading receiver.

The Broncos are fairly stout in pass coverage on the outside. However, they tend to struggle against opposing tight ends. In the first two weeks of the season, they faced Raiders tight end Jared Cook and Seahawks tight end Will Dissly. Cook and Dissly combined to catch seven passes for 154 yards. Ravens third-round pick Mark Andrews, who caught his first career touchdown last week, could be in for a productive outing.

  • The Ravens hold Phillip Lindsay in check.

Undrafted rookie running back Phillip Lindsay has burst onto the scene this season, leading the Broncos in rushing after two weeks. He has rushed for 178 yards on just 29 carries, good for an average of 6.1 YPC. Lindsay has separated himself from Royce Freeman and Devontae Booker in the Denver backfield. However, the Ravens have had over a week to scout him and recognize he has become a key cog in their offensive attack. Don Martindale should have a game plan in place to contain Lindsay, and it will work effectively. Lindsay will be held to under 50 yards from scrimmage.

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