Well looks like I gave the Jets a little too much credit last week. So now we start facing some tough teams. The Ravens pose an interesting test for the Broncos with playing against a unique playmaker in Lamar Jackson.
So we are playing at home which definitely is a good thing since we usually stink it up in Baltimore. The Ravens generally do well on the road for the simple fact they generally have a solid defense which always comes to play and are a well coached team. That being said, I think playing at a rocking Mile High should be to Denver's advantage and coming in off a dominate win and 3-0, our confidence should be good. I would generally say we should have the advantage here.
Coaching - This I give the advantage to the Ravens, Harbaugh and company generally have a well coached team in all three phases of the game (more on that later). While Fangio and staff have been better this year so far, arguably they have gone up against some of the weaker staffs in the NFL. I expect the Ravens to be prepared, especially just surviving a scare against the Lions. Advantage Ravens
Ravens Offense versus Denver Defense - This will be the matchup most in the national media will be focused on, can the Broncos Defense be effective in limiting Lamar Jackson from having a big day. The Ravens are down to a bunch of RBs and their starting LT is out, however, their WR and TEs do pose a significant problem. With Jackson's ability to avoid the rush and extend plays, the Broncos are going to have to come up with a plan to limit Jackson extending those plays or getting big rushes, likely look at multiple spys to help contain Jackson. It's going to be a tough road, but I think Fangio will have some schemes to help limit Jackson, but I do expect he will have some breakthrough plays also. I call this a push.
Broncos Offense versus Ravens Defense - The Ravens had 4 players out on COVID protocol this week, not sure what that means for this week's game. Even so, while the defense is solid, it is not the same Ravens dominating defense from years past. I think they are not as strong in the secondary as in years past and I think our TE's should be able to exploit some mismatches. The real question is how serious are the injuries to Glasgow and Risner and can this group (O lineman) be more consistent in the ground game. TB has shown e can be highly effective under pressure, but in reality he shouldn't have to be. If we can get consistency in the ground game and keep TB relatively clean, I do think we have an advantage over this Ravens team. But it starts with the Oline. I give the slight edge to the Broncos since we are playing at home.
Broncos ST versus Ravens ST - This is truly what scares me about this game. The Ravens have almost consistently had very good to excellent ST play, mainly from the fact their HC started as a ST coach. If we lose this game it will be likely due to losing it on ST. I can easily see a block punt or KO return that turns the game for the Ravens. I give the solid advantage to the Ravens here.
In the end, I think this is going to be a really close game which likely comes down to a last minute FG. I am going to be optimistic and say our ST doesn't hurt us too bad. Broncos 23 Ravens 20