Ravens-Lions: games to watch, advantage, prediction
The Ravens will play the Detroit Lions in Week 3 and will miss several key players.
Here are the games to watch, with who has the advantage and a prediction.
Proceeding to the offense: Quarterback Lamar Jackson threw for 474 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in two games. When the Ravens need a big play, Jackson looked for Marquise Brown in the field and he made the plays a No. 1 wide receiver should make. Brown leads the Ravens in targets (16), receptions (12), yards (185) and touchdowns (2). Both players have been listed as questionable but appear ready to play. Jackson also got tight end Mark Andrews more involved in the offense last week and he could play a big part in this game. Detroit is yet to secure an interception in the first two games and is allowing 269 passing yards per game. Defensive end Charles Harris had a sack and two quarterback hits last week against the Packers. The Lions, however, are shorthanded with cornerbacks Jeffrey Okudah (Achilles tendon) and Ifetu Melifonwu (quadriceps) on the injured reserve.
Precipitated infringement: The Ravens lead the league with 220 rushing yards per game despite losing their two running backs, JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards, to season-ending knee injuries. Jackson keeps teams off balance with his feet and Ty’Son Williams is averaging 6.5 yards per carry as a starting runner. The Lions are allowing 113 yards per game and will struggle to contain the Ravens. Linebacker Jamie Collins Sr. is a solid tackle, but Detroit isn’t that strong offensive.
Passage defense: Baltimore struggled in high school, allowing 376 passing yards per game, which ranks last in the NFL. Lions quarterback Jard Goff threw for 584 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions. The Ravens will face one of the league’s best tight ends for a third straight week against the Lions. Baltimore has faced Darren Waller of the Raiders and Travis Kelce of the Chiefs before, now the Ravens get TJ Hockenson in Week 3. Hockenson leads the Lions in targets (19), receptions (16), yards (163) and the affected (2). He is the elite at catching passes and opening up to all three levels of the passing game. De’Andre Swift also has 12 catches for 106 yards.
Quick defense: Baltimore has been tough against the run. However, the Ravens have placed outside linebacker Justin Houston, nose tackle Brandon Williams, defensive tackle Justin Madubuike and outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson on reserve / COVID-19, so they will be shorthanded. Baltimore will have to rely heavily on Calais Campbell, Justin Ellis, Broderick Washington and practice squad player Kahlil McKenzie to help the defensive line with the running game. The Lions are led by Jamaal Williams, who ran 79 yards, and Swift (76 yards). Even with three players missing, Baltimore should be able to contain the Lions.
Special Teams: Ravens kicker Kicker Justin Tucker converted his three field goal attempts. Devin Duvernay is averaging 16.6 yards on five punt returns. Once again, punter Sam Koch was solid. Lions kicker Austin Seibert made two of three field goal attempts and Kalif Raymond is averaging 10 yards on a punt return.
The Ravens have adapted to all of their injuries and are coming off a strong 36-35 victory over the Chiefs. Don’t expect disappointment against the Lions. The Ravens know they have to stack up a few wins in the coming weeks. Baltimore is struggling in battle after playing two tough games to start the season. The Lions played well in the second half against the 49ers but fell apart against the Packers. Look out for the Ravens to exhaust them even with missing players.
Ravens 37, Lions 20