After a 24-22 loss to the Browns in Cleveland, the Ravens (8-5) enter Sunday’s game at 4:25 pm at M&T Bank Stadium against NFC-leading Green Bay Packers (10-3) with multiple question marks, most which especially the quarterback. Rookie Lamar Jackson’s status is unclear as he is recovering from an ankle sprain, which could open the way for backup Tyler Huntley to get a second head start. Here’s who has the edge at each stage:
The Ravens pass the game against the Packers pass the defense
We don’t know who will play the quarterback for the Ravens after Lamar Jackson limped off the field with an ankle dislocation in the second quarter of his 24-22 defeat to the Browns. Jackson and the offense started another slow start when backup Tyler Huntley stepped in. Although Huntley took two bags and fumbled twice, one of which came back for a touchdown, he rallied the Ravens to two points in the fourth quarter with 27 points. of 38 assists for 270 yards and touchdowns. Tight end Mark Andrews was his main target, catching 11 assists on 11 targets at 115 yards and a touchdown. Andrews (75 shots 109 targets, 926 yards) looks set to head towards his second Pro Bowl career. Rookie Rashod Bateman also made his way against the Browns, playing seven catches on eight targets, including a couple of explosive games to establish touchdowns. Marquis Brown’s wide receiver (70 catches, 107 targets, 826 yards) remains the team’s other main weapon, regardless of who is passing the ball. Tackles Alejandro Villanueva and Tyr Phillips fought again to defend with a pass from the Browns. Cleveland defender Jadevon Clown (3 ½ sacks, 13 quarterback hits) beat Phillips for a key sack when the Ravens had a chance to win the game in the last two minutes. Starting right tackle Patrick Mekari (arm) returned to training on Wednesday, which should help.
With former Raven Za’Darius Smith still out with a back injury, the Packers don’t have the intimidating pass of Miles Garrett Browns, but they have a pair of effective defenders Rashan Gary (6 ½ sacks, 21 quarterback hits) and Preston Smith (7 sacks, 13 quarterback hits). Midfielder De’Vondre Campbell is a dangerous playmaker in both blitz and coverage. Packers are ninth in passing defense and caps opponents 5.8 yards per try. Their best player on the domestic passes Kenny Clark made the reserve / COVID-19 list on Thursday.
The Packers go through the game against the Ravens go through the defense
Despite controversy over vaccinations and a sore toe, Aaron Rogers (67.3% completions, 27 touchdowns, 4 interceptions) remains an MVP candidate at 38. He led the Packers to 112 points and averaged 344 yards without interceptions over the past three games. … He scored just 24 sacks (up from 47 for the Ravens quarterbacks) despite playing behind an injury-devastated attack line. His best host, Davante Adams (90 shots on 128 targets, 1204 yards), may be the best in the NFL. According to Pro Football Focus, he is the league’s top receiver with wide reception. Rogers frequently shoots to his ranked defenders A.J. Dillon and Aaron Jones, who have made 67 catches and 589 yards. This is bad news for the Ravens, who have struggled to cover their backs all season.
The Ravens will attempt to contain Adams with a reclaimed subordinate led by full-backs Anthony Averett, Jimmy Smith and Tavon Young after Chris Westri was placed on the Reserve / COVID-19 list. The Ravens did a great job in Cleveland after several early fights with quarterback Baker Mayfield, holding the Browns 47 yards in the second half. On the other hand, The Ravens have only released one bag in the last two games. They are ranked third in the league for blitz percentage and 10th for kicked-off pressure, according to Pro Football Focus. Tyus Bowser (5 ½ sacks, 13 quarterback hits) and Justin Houston (4 sacks, 16 quarterback hits) are their most productive guys from the brink.
Crows run the game against the packers run on the defensive
The Ravens had to quit to get back into the game against the Browns, but Devonta Freeman (13 carries, 64 yards) solidified his position in the No. 1 runback position. Huntley isn’t Jackson – no one is a runner – but he’s pretty elusive in his own right and has won 45 yards in six carries against the Browns. Although the Crows are ranked third in the league in speed and sixth in yards per shot, they have given no indication that they will overwhelm opponents as they did last season.
According to Football Outsiders, the Packers rank ninth in running defense but allow opponents to average 4.5 yards per carry and are ranked 24th on DVOA in rush defense. Campbell leads the Packers on the tackle, and safety Adrian Amos (Calvert Hall) is the standout defender in the background. However, Green Bay lacks a dominant defender at inside distance.
Packers run the game against the ravens run in defense
Packers ranked 20th in speed and yards per attempt. They rely almost equally on Jones (599 yards, 4 touchdowns) and Dillon (614 yards, 2 touchdowns) and rarely stop their current game, even if it does not result in explosive action.
The Ravens faced a higher challenge in Cleveland and kept the Browns’ powerful ground play just 3.4 yards per carry. They did so largely without their best indoor defender, Calais Campbell, who had a thigh injury early in the first quarter. Midfielder Patrick Queen is leading the team in tackling the ball after he was in danger of becoming a part-time player earlier in the season. His partnership with middle midfielder Josh Bynes has strengthened the overall defense.
Raven Special Teams vs. Packers Special Teams
The Ravens continue to rank first on the Football Outsiders DVOA Special Team. Justin Tucker attempted 50, 42 and 55 yards from the field in Cleveland and made 28 of 30 overall in another great season. Devin Duvernay is one of the league’s most dangerous returning players, with an average of 14.4 yards in antlers and 24.2 yards in a starting result.
This is bad news for the Packers, who dropped 259 yards in Week 14 for a win over the Chicago Bears and finished last in DVOA Special Teams. Kicker Mason Crosby made just 19 of 28 field goals, with eight penalties ranging from 30 to 49 yards.
Ravens Intangibles vs. Packers Intangibles
The Ravens can’t get rid of their injuries, and Jackson’s ankle is a source of insecurity, and they risk losing control of the top spot in AFC North. Coach John Harbaugh often draws the attention of the Crows when they are outright underdogs, but they rarely entered the home game with such a clear edge.
The Packers don’t dominate their opponents as thoroughly as their 10-3 tally might suggest, but they inspire tremendous confidence in Rogers, who continues to play as the greatest player of all time. They have 36-9 in the regular season with coach Matt Lafler. The good news for the Ravens is that all three Green Bay losses were away.
The Ravens have lost two in a row and started the week uncertain about who will play the quarterback against the Packers, who are fighting for the top spot in the NFC overall standings. Lamar Jackson vs. Aaron Rogers should be a glamorous match; instead, the Ravens are legitimate outsiders at home. They will use their running and special teams advantages to stay that close, but Rogers will eventually do what he needs to do. Packers 28, Ravens 23