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The Baltimore Ravens are coming off a tough loss to the Steelers, and they need to get their forward momentum back on track, so if quarterback Lamar Jackson’s rushing attack can penetrate the league’s second-best defense, they could cover this narrow spread and beat the Colts.
Ravens -2.5 (-110)
|Ravens vs Colts Information|
|What||Baltimore Ravens vs Indianapolis Colts|
|Where||Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN|
|When||Sun, November 8, 2020; 1:00 PM ET|
|How to watch||CBS|
It was a tough Week 8 for the Baltimore Ravens since they not only lost, it was to their divisional rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and it does not get much easier in Week 9 having to battle the second-best defense in the league right now.
The Colts are strong on defense and are getting more so on offense, with Philip Rivers crew ranked 17th best in production on that side of the ball, though they have managed to put an average of 28 points on the scoreboard every time they have played this season.
The two AFC cross-divisional rivals have played each other 15 times in the past (including 3 postseason games), with the Indianapolis Colts winning 10 of those games and the Baltimore Ravens winning 5 of them.
The Baltimore Ravens have the most productive rushing attack in the league right now, averaging 178.1 total yards per game this season, a team that has gained 1,251 total yards on the ground in the seven games they have played.
The Colts are the second-best team against the run right now, keeping opponents to just 79.9 rushing yards per game, so this matchup will be fun to watch as two of the better run-oriented teams collide.
Jackson has his legs and those of running backs Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards, and JK Dobbins, but it would help if the team could also begin to count on the passing game a bit more this year, something the addition of WR Dez Bryant is supposed to help make happen.
These two teams score about the same number of points per game, with the Colts putting up an average of 28 and the Ravens 29 per outing, numbers close enough to promise and interesting four quarters on Sunday.
It’s not like the Colts have it easy against the Ravens defense since Baltimore currently has the 7th ranked defense in the league after only allowing opponents to gain about 322 yards per game.
Philip Rivers might not be as mobile as Jackson is out of the pocket, but Rivers has an accurate arm that completes almost 70 percent of his passes (69.7%), so if he can avoid the mistakes in judgment that have led to his six interceptions on the year, it’s more likely he will find the endzone more often.
In November of 2018, wide receiver Dez Bryant tore his Achilles tendon during a team practice with the New Orleans Saints, and he has since spent the entire 2019 season rehabilitating himself back into NFL form.
Bryant is apparently ready to play and was signed to the Baltimore Ravens practice squad at the end of October and now he is going to be on the field in this one, obviously ready to prove that the long wait for his return was worth it.
During his eight seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, Bryant played in 113 games and caught 531 passes for 7,459 yards and 73 touchdowns, averaging 14 yards per catch, numbers that could prove key to the Ravens’ passing attack, currently second least productive in the league.
The Colts have won five games, but their QB Philip Rivers is having a mediocre year, at least according to his own standards of excellence established over his 17-year professional football career.
So far, Rivers has completed 161-of-231 passes for 1,860 yards and 10 touchdowns with 6 interceptions, numbers far below that of which the 38-year old is capable.
To beat Lamar Jackson, Rivers will have to outscore him, and though his Colts defense will help him achieve that goal, he best add some touchdowns passes to that to be sure of outscoring a team that puts almost thirty points on the scoreboard per game.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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