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After a month of either being on the road or being off, the Ravens return to their home field and welcome the floundering Carolina Panthers.
Baltimore Ravens: 6-3
Carolina Panthers: 3-7
Odds (Courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)
Moneyline: Ravens -660 / Saints +490
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Last 5 Games In Regular Season Series
Carolina Panthers lead series: 4-2
Injury Report & Game Status
It’s up-in-the-air if either tight end Mark Andrews or running back Gus Edwards will play in Sunday’s matchup. Based on my opinion and speculation, it sounds like Edwards will get some play but it’s tough to see Andrews play. If he does, he’ll likely be on a pitch count. I just see the Ravens wanting to utilize their other tight ends and really get Andrews back for the back-half stretch, especially in tougher contests against their division rivals.
As for Lamar Jackson, expect to see him on Sunday. Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh stated he’ll be playing, even after missing Friday due to illness.
A lot has been made regarding the Ravens’ schedule. They have the ‘easiest’ schedule following their bye week and face only one team with a winning record, that being the Cincinnati Bengals. Speaking of, the Ravens are leading the division race over the Bengals by a single game. They also currently hold the tiebreaker over the Bengals with their 19-17 victory in Week 5. To make things matters more challenging for the Bengals, they’re currently 0-3 in division games. The Ravens are the masters of their own destiny.
The Panthers rushing attack has been quite intriguing since trading running back Christian McCaffrey. I asked Harbaugh about what he’s seen from the Panthers’ offense, as they’re averaging over 150 rushing yards per game since trading McCaffrey.
“I’ll tell you; No. ‘33’ [D’Onta] Foreman? I’ve seen him a lot; I’ve seen him running down the field a lot, and it’s mostly downhill runs,” Harbaugh said. “He’s a physical guy, and [they have] a physical offensive line. [They do] mostly gap-combo blocks and zone-combo blocks, inside zone and what we call the duo play, just coming downhill at you is what they do.”
I also spoke to Cat Scratch Reader’s Walker Clement on the rushing attack since McCaffrey’s trade. He cites the change at center for the Panthers who happens to be a familiar face for the Ravens.
“Two reasons. First, they also changed centers from the more agile Pat Elflein to the road grader who is Bradley Bozeman,” Clement wrote. “This was an injury-fueled change and not a coaching choice, to be clear. Elflein has season ending surgery a few weeks ago. The affect was to put a downhill running back in D’Onta Foreman behind a bigger, bruising offensive line. That tends to work alright. The second reason is a little more vague but basically boils down to reputation. Christian McCaffrey is a Name and he was clearly the only offense that the Panthers had, both on the ground and through the air. Without him in the backfield drawing the eyes of every defender on every play the Panthers are able to get the ball into the hands of Foreman et al with a little more consistency. It also means any misdirection or motion they throw at an opposing defense actually has some effect.”
The Panthers are also starting a familiar foe for the Ravens as former No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield gets the start after P.J. Walker suffered a high-ankle sprain last Thursday against the Atlanta Falcons. This will be Mayfield’s sixth start for the Panthers after going 1-4 in the first five weeks where he finished with a 15.3 total quarterback rating.
Game Facts (courtesy Yahoo!)
- The Panthers gave up points to the Falcons on both of their red-zone drives last week. They have allowed points to their opponents on 24 straight red-zone drives dating back to Week 4 against the Cardinals.
- D’Onta Foreman ran for 130 yards against the Falcons last week, his third 100-yard game in the last four weeks. Foreman’s 389 rushing yards since Week 7 are fourth most in the NFL behind Derrick Henry (515) Justin Fields (467) and Travis Etienne Jr. (467).
- The Ravens ran for 188 yards in their MNF win over the Saints last week, their eighth straight game with at least 150 rushing yards. This eight-game streak is the second longest in the NFL in the divisional era, only behind another Ravens streak of 11 games (2018-2019).
- Isaiah Likely led the Ravens in receiving yards last week against the Saints with 24 yards. It was the second time in franchise history that a leading receiver for the team had under 25 receiving yards (Nick Boyle - 14, Week 3, 2017 vs. Jaguars in London).
- D’Onta Foreman and Lavishka Shenault Jr. both rushed for touchdowns last week, meaning that six different Panthers have now rushed in for at least one TD. That is tied for the most by a team this season with the 49ers.