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Ravens News 9/4: LG mystery, most important game and more

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Cleveland Browns v Baltimore Ravens

Insights From Ravens’ First Regular-Season Depth Chart - Ryan Mink

The biggest mystery remains at left guard, where the Ravens don’t have, and aren’t announcing, who their starter will be Sunday in Miami.

On the depth chart, it’s listed as Bradley Bozeman or Ben Powers or Patrick Mekari. Bozeman played in 14 games last season and made one start at left guard. Powers, a fourth-round pick, and Mekari, an undrafted rookie, both also saw practice with the first team this summer.

Veteran James Hurst is not listed at left guard on the first depth chart. He’s the top backup at right tackle, right guard and left tackle. That still doesn’t mean Hurst can’t or won’t start at left guard.

Baltimore Ravens 2019 NFL season preview: Lamar Jackson’s next step critical - Jamison Hensley

Most important game: Week 4, hosting the Cleveland Browns. The Ravens are the defending AFC North champions, but that seems to be forgotten after all of the offseason moves by the suddenly trendy Browns. This early season matchup on the Ravens’ home turf will feature Round 2 of a budding quarterback rivalry -- Lamar Jackson vs. Baker Mayfield -- as well as help determine the balance of power in the division.

Schedule ranking: No. 16

Their toughest out-of-division opponents tend to come on the road (Chiefs, Seahawks, Rams) and their easiest tend to come at home (Cardinals, 49ers, Jets). The exception: Week 1’s trip to Miami and the Week 9 game hosting the Patriots that kicks off their hardest schedule stretch. As part of that stretch, the Ravens are one of four teams who have to play consecutive games against opponents coming off their bye weeks. -- Football Outsiders

PFF predicts breakout candidates for all 32 NFL teams - Mark Chichester

Baltimore Ravens: Mark Andrews, tight end

While quarterback Lamar Jackson got most of the attention last year, his rookie tight end quietly finished the season with the fifth-best receiving grade ever recorded by a first-year player with at least 300 routes run at the position. He caught 34 of his 48 targets last season, generating a passer rating of 129.9 that beat out the likes of Travis Kelce, Rob Gronkowski and Zach Ertz — keep an eye out for Andrews in 2019.

How Oddsmakers See The Baltimore Ravens: The Story Of The Season In 3 Bets - Jeff Seidel

Projected Win Total: 8.5

FanDuel and other oddsmakers have the Ravens at 8.5 wins, with the under slightly favored at -140, and looking at the Ravens’ schedule, that number could be close.

Lamar Jackson, Most Regular-Season Rushing Touchdowns: +1,400 has the Ravens’ quarterback tied for the fifth-best odds in the entire NFL for most rushing touchdowns, and first among quarterbacks.

Justin Tucker, Most Kicking Points: +900

DraftKings has Tucker just behind Greg Zuerlein of the Los Angeles Rams and just ahead of Stephen Gostkowski of New England and Wil Lutz from the Saints as the top kickers in this category.

NFL Power Rankings, Week 1: Chargers in top-10; Colts plummet - Dan Hanzus


Previous rank: No. 12

I posed this question to my Around The NFL Podcast colleagues on a recent episode: What, besides a second-year plateau or regression by quarterback Lamar Jackson, can hold the 2019 Ravens back? The general consensus was the untested new core of Baltimore’s front seven, a pillar of strength in this organization for so long. Free agency did a number on the Ravens this spring -- longtime sackmaster Terrell Suggs joined Arizona, while star linebacker C.J. Mosley scored a huge contract and bounced to the Jets. Another impact linebacker, Za’Darius Smith, signed a deal with the Packers. That’s a lot of talent to lose, but luckily for the Ravens, they have one of the best defensive coordinators in football in Don Martindale. Some teams you just expect to figure it out. The Baltimore Ravens qualify -- especially when it comes to defense.