The Baltimore Ravens host the Houston Texans this Sunday in a Week 1 showdown to begin the 2023 campaign. Here are a few bold predictions for the regular season opener from the Baltimore Beatdown staff.
Lamar Jackson opens the season with a bang in the form of five touchdown passes, with all three of his new targets, Odell Beckham Jr., Nelson Agholor, and Zay Flowers receiving one. Jackson quickly shows that he can handle a higher-volume passing attack as he torches the Houston Texans through the air for over 350 yards. On defense, Mike Macdonald makes life hell for rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud in his first NFL start, welcoming him to the league with 7 sacks. — Dustin Cox
After a bit of a slow start, the Ravens’ offense finds its footing and comes alive in the second half. Lamar Jackson throws nearly as many touchdown passes as incompletions and finds Odell Beckham Jr. in the end zone twice. J.K. Dobbins rushes for over 100 yards and the Ravens’ defense forces multiple turnovers. Kyle Hamilton records his first career interception and David Ojabo posts his second career sack and forced fumble, as the Ravens coast to a victory by more than two touchdowns. — Frank Platko
Both Kyle Hamilton and Marcus Williams will notch interceptions this Sunday. The Ravens have traditionally feasted on rookie quarterbacks at home and this Sunday, albeit without Marlon Humphrey, will be no different. The Texans offensive line is in shambles and the Ravens front seven will make life very difficult on quarterback C.J. Stroud, forcing him into some ill-advised throws on the backend. — Stephen Bopst
The Ravens will open the 2023 with dominant performance on both sides of the ball, on their way to a resounding lopsided win over the Texans. On offense, there will be classic “Jackson Five” from the former league MVP. He’ll carve up the Houston secondary and finish with four touchdowns through the air and another on the ground via an improvised scramble.
The defense and second-year coordinator Mike Macdonald will give rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud his “welcome to the NFL” moment. A nonstop onslaught of disguised pressures results in him getting sacked five times, including twice by David Ojabo. Ojabo will silence his doubters and the secondary will pick off at least two of Stroud’s passes.
— Joshua Reed
The Ravens roll in Week 1 as they tend to do. Lamar Jackson and the offense surprise the nation as they bulldoze over the Texans through the ground rather than the air. J.K. Dobbins tops over 150 yards with a score and Gus Edwards, Justice Hill and Jackson add on with another 100-plus yards between them.
Rashod Bateman, Odell Beckham Jr., and Zay Flowers each have good days, totaling 200 yards between the three. Nelson Agholor and Isaiah Likely, filling in for Mark Andrews, get touchdowns through the air.
The defense also puts on a show against a rookie quarterback. With the Texans’ offensive line hurt, the whole front-seven goes off and combines for 12 sacks, breaking the Ravens’ franchise record for a single game. The worry of the preseason, the cornerbacks come out hot, shutting down any air attack with Armour-Davis, Stephens and Washington all playing standout games.
— Zach Canter