The Baltimore Ravens travel to London for their first international game in franchise history. In the United Kingdom, the Ravens will meet the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Ravens and Jaguars are meeting for the fourth consecutive year, although this time in London. In their meeting last year, the Ravens defeated the Jaguars in a close game, 19-17. The Ravens enter this game undefeated, with a 2-0 record, while the Jaguars enter the game with a 1-1 record. Kickoff is at 9:30 AM and will be streamed live on yahoo.com.
Ravens are Missing Key Players
Entering Sunday morning’s game against the Jaguars, the Ravens are missing some key players who they were not prepared to lose. Right guard Marshal Yanda will not only miss this game but will miss the remainder of the 2017 season. The many time pro bowler fractured his ankle in last week’s victory against Cleveland. Yanda is one of the best players on the Ravens and a top-notch NFL guard, so his absence will be felt by Baltimore. The Ravens are also going to be missing defensive tackle, Brandon Williams. Williams is dealing with a foot injury and did not make the trip to London with the team. The timetable for his return is unknown, but the Ravens certainly hope he will return soon. Williams is one of the best run stuffing nose tackles in the league and signed a monster, $54 million deal with the Ravens in the offseason. Baltimore will likely fill the vacancy of Yanda with rookie Jermaine Eluemunor, who just happens to be from the United Kingdom. Williams’ role will likely be filled by a rotating committee of defensive linemen, including Willie Henry, Michael Pierce, and Carl Davis.
Blake Bortles vs Ravens Defense
The Ravens defense has already proved to be one of the best in the NFL, just two weeks into the season. In week one, the Ravens defense kept the Bengals scoreless and forced five turnovers. In the next game, the Ravens held the Cleveland Browns to just 10 points, while generating 5 more turnovers. The Ravens defense has been able to feed off of pressuring the quarterback and capitalizing on mistakes. Interestingly, Blake Bortles just happens to be one of the more inconsistent quarterbacks in the NFL. Despite being drafted in 2014 to be the franchise quarterback for the Jaguars, Bortles is now fighting for his job. In his campaign to save his spot, this matchup against the Ravens will be crucial. Bortles needs to show the coaching staff his ability to go up against a good defense and play well. The Ravens, on the other hand, are looking to capitalize on Bortles, and continue their dominance on defense. Expect Bortles to take some risks, and to air the ball out often this game.
Mike Wallace Looking to Get More Touches
Ravens wide receiver Mike Wallace caught 72 passes for 1,017 yards last season. So far this season, he only has 2 catches for 15 yards. Wallace, obviously disappointed with the lack of targets, took to the microphone this week to express his frustration. Wallace said that he “needs the rock more”. Despite his frustration, Wallace is confident that he and Flacco will connect more this season. “I talked to my coach. We’ll get it done. We’ll make it happen.”, said Wallace. Coach Harbaugh may look to get Wallace some more touches this Sunday against the Jaguars, making him more of a threat for the Jaguars defense. Jacksonville will likely have the up and coming cornerback Jalen Ramsey cover Wallace this game. Ramsey, now in his second NFL season, is on his way to becoming one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. His ability will surely be tested on Sunday, as he will face off against Wallace, and Wallace will face the same challenge.
Predicting the Ravens and Jaguars Game in London
Here are some of my predictions for Baltimore’s matchup against Jacksonville in the United Kingdom:
- QB Joe Flacco passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns.
- RB Buck Allen totals for over 100 yards at the end of the game. (Rushing and Receiving combined.)
- WR Mike Wallace catches 3 passes for 50 yards.
- RG Jermaine Eluemunor plays well in NFL debut but allows one sack.
- The Ravens defense forces two turnovers, one interception by Jimmy Smith, and a forced fumble by Terrell Suggs.
- The Ravens defense sacks Jaguars QB Blake Bortles three times. One sack by Terrell Suggs, one by Matthew Judon, and another by C.J. Mosley.
- Jaguars QB Blake Bortles passes for 200 yards and one touchdown.
- Leonard Fournette rushes for 75 yards and one touchdown.
FINAL SCORE: 27 – 17 Ravens over Jaguars
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