This is a big game for the Jaguars and the Ravens know it.
Last week Jacksonville was absolutely dismantled at the hands of Phillip Rivers and San Diego. They were embarrassed, having 35 points scored on them before they even managed a touchdown. So the Ravens can be assured that the Jaguars will be throwing everything they can handle at Baltimore in order to make up for last weeks poor performance.
As far as Baltimore is concerned though, they just need to run the tape from last week and they’ll have everything they’ll need to beat Jacksonville.
First and foremost, the Ravens will have the utmost confidence in their defense. So far this year, Baltimore ranks 1st, 2nd, and 4th in pass yards, total yards, and points against respectively, on defense.
The matchup that the Baltimore defense will be looking to take advantage of most on Sunday is their defensive line against Jacksonville’s offensive line. So far this season, Jacksonville has given up 5 sacks, while Baltimore has recorded 5 sacks. This week, however, the Jaguar offensive line is banged up. Kelvin Beachum, the starting left tackle, has been in concussion protocol since Sunday. Also injured and in question is starting center Brian Linder, who sustained a knee injury in practice Wednesday.
Baltimore will most certainly be looking to pressure an offensive line that was already questionable even before the injuries.
Offensively, Baltimore has been on and off so far early in the season. They only scored 13 points against the Bills, who gave up over 500 yards and 37 points the following week. In week two, Cleveland jumped out to an early 20-2 lead with Baltimore’s offense looking relatively stagnant, before turning it around to score 23 more points and win the game.
The Ravens will be looking to restore their offense behind the big arm of Joe Flacco. To do that, they’ll just need to do all the things San Diego did. The Chargers took advantages of mismatches with the Jaguars defense all afternoon, whether it be getting Danny Woodhead involved in the passing game before he got hurt, or creating a scenario in which Paul Posluszny was matched up against a WR.
In the passing game, Baltimore will be looking to spread the ball around to all of his available weapons. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Flacco involve Justin Forsett or Terrance West early in the game. Should Flacco be able to get the ball moving early on, then it would take pressure off of the Ravens’ running game, which has been largely inept through the first two games.
Overall, this game provides some interesting matchups. Baltimore’s defense has done an excellent job against the pass so far, while Bortles and the Jaguar offense ranks near the top. On the flip side, a struggling Baltimore offense meets up with a defense that is reeling following Sunday’s loss in San Diego.