OWINGS MILLS, Md. – The Ravens host the Colts for Monday Night Football.
Here are the games to watch, with who has the advantage and a prediction.
Proceeding to the offense: Quarterback Lamar Jackson is having his best season throwing the ball. Opponents stack the box to stop the Ravens’ powerful running attack, so Jackson shows he can beat them over. In four games, Jackson threw for 1,077 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions (89.3 passers). Baltimore is ranked 13th in passing and sixth in yards per attempt. Marquise Browns leads the team with 326 receiving yards with three touchdowns. Tight end Mark Andrews was also strong. The Colts have only managed eight sacks, which ranks them in the bottom third of the league. Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner (five quarterback hits, one sack) was effective. Indianapolis is allowing 216.8 passing yards per game. The Ravens should be able to make downline plays.
Precipitated infringement: The Ravens are ranked third in the league with 164.5 rushing yards per game. The Ravens had to overhaul their running backs when JK Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill each suffered season-ending injuries at training camp. As a result, the Ravens brought in Latavius Murray, Devonta Freeman and Le’Veon Bell to join Ty’Son Williams, who was already on the roster. Jackson leads the team with 279 rushing yards, followed by Williams (6.1 ypc) and Murray (3.4). Linebacker Darius Leonard and defensive tackle Tyquan Lewis were strong against the rush for the Colts, who allow for 115 rushing yards per game. However, defensive end Kwity Paye was ruled out. The Ravens should eventually be able to use this unit.
Passage defense: The Ravens face quarterback Carson Wentz for a second straight season. Last year, Wentz nearly led the Philadelphia Eagles to a stunning comeback against Baltimore. He threw for 213 yards with a touchdown as the Eagles scored 22 points in the fourth quarter but fell short 30-28. Wentz has thrown for 920 yards with five touchdowns and one interception this season. He integrated well into the Colts’ new attack. His favorite targets are wide receivers Michael Pittman (23 receptions, 279 yards) and Zach Pascal (15 receptions, 156 yards, 3 touchdowns). The Ravens outscored the Broncos and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater last week with five sacks, and they’ll keep the pressure on Wentz in this game.
Quick defense: Baltimore was strong against the rush, allowing 85 yards per game. Indianapolis is led by Jonathan Taylor (274 yards, 4.7 yards per carry); however, they held him to 27 yards on six carries when they played last season. Nyheim Hines will also get a few runs and Wentz is able to play with his feet. The Colts are running for 112 yards per game, which ranks them 15th in the league. They will try to get the ball to run to keep Jackson off the field.
Special Teams: Ravens kicker Justin Tucker is having another solid season. Devin Duvernay leads the NFL with an 18.9-yard punt return average. Colts kicker Rodrigo Blankenship made nine of ten field goal attempts.
The Ravens have gone through the toughest part of their schedule with three wins in four games, including three on the road. M&T Bank Stadium will be crowded and noisy for a Monday night game in October. The Ravens are also looking to break the record for most consecutive games with 100 rushing yards or more. They are currently tied with the Steelers (1974-77) at 43. The Colts are struggling and won’t be able to keep pace with Baltimore, who may also be healthier this week.
Ravens 34, Foals 18