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Article 2017-2018 16 Game Predictions


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These are mine and BmoreBird22’s (in italics) predictions for the 2017-2018 regular season. These predictions may be updated in the instance of major injuries, trades, and other things.

1. @ Cincinnati- We open the season in a brutal, ugly game against Cincinnati. The defense has a tough test ahead of it. The defense has always head trouble with AJ Green and Tyler Eifert. However, the front seven should be able to get a good pass rush, even if we are underestimating the Bengal’s offensive line. Joe Flacco may be rusty, and the offense will likely be one-dimensional, but the acquisitions of Danny Woodhead and Jeremy Maclin will help us take advantage of them missing Burfict and Jones. It’s not a pretty win, but it’s something we will take(W)

I have no arguments on the win, but I expect that it won’t actually be that close. Suspensions and losses in free agency are going to hurt the Bengals a lot. I think the Ravens take a pretty big and confident win.

2. Vs. Cleveland-The truth about the Cleveland Browns is that they are a good QB away from being relevant again. This is another game that is not going to be easy. Even if Garret is not healthy, they still have a few decent units. Ultimately, they’re not a good team yet, so I think we come out with the win. Our defense historically plays well against rookie quarterbacks. Without Garret, I am not nearly as worried about the defense. They have some talent, but have to come together. This should be a good game for Flacco to get back into the swing of things because their secondary is not nearly as impressive as Cincinnati’s is. (W)

As you said, no Myles Garrett, no big worry about the defense of the Browns. I think the Ravens will keep it at one loss to the Browns during the Joe Flacco Era.

3. @ Jacksonville- If Blake Bortles is starting then there is a legit possibility for a shutout here. Outside of Linder, that offensive line might be the worst in all of football, and Fournette is going to have a hard time running behind it. The defense should be able to effortlessly apply pressure and force turnovers against a turnover prone quarterback. On the other side of the ball, Jacksonville’s defense has a lot of talent and they have significantly upgraded their secondary, and added an impressive pass rusher in Campbell. However, their offense has the potential to be one of the worst in the entire league, worse than ours. I feel that this is going to be a low scoring game, but we still come out with a victory. We might only need a field goal(W)

If there’s a trap game to be had, this is the one that I would be calling exactly that. The Ravens are in London against a team that they should definitely beat. The Ravens always seem to have a stinker in there (think the Jets…), but I don’t think a loss will happen here because let’s be honest- Blake Bortles.

4. Vs. Pittsburgh- Steelers fans hate John Harbaugh for helping build teams that can build them. Everyone knows that the defense was the main catalyst for us losing to them last year. Honestly, they’re more beatable than the mainstream media will give them credit for. They have arguably the best offense in all of football. Which is why Ozzie bolstered the defense again this offseason. If Jimmy Smith is healthy, I feel as if we can slow down Antonio Brown and the Steelers’ other weapons. But what will really come through here is the improved pass rush. This is the major reason why we lost to them last year, not the playcalling. I feel like we’re going to shut down the run, and put pressure on the QB. The Steelers are not a pushover so they won’t get shut down, but their lives will not be easy going against this defense. Our offense will be playing one of the most overrated defenses in the league. They have a few impressive players(Heyward, Tuitt, Shazier), but the rest of the defense leaves a lot to be desired, and eventually the usual ravens killer(Harrison) is going to lose to father time. We get our revenge from last year in a thriller(W).

If this game were in Pittsburgh, I would 100% be taking Pittsburgh. I think London games have to be the worst idea that the NFL has due to the travel and the lack of practice time from when a team gets back. I think these games should be pushed to mid season and a bye week should be given immediately after the London game. However, with this game in Baltimore, I see the Ravens backing their way through this one with shoddy offense and strong defense.

5. @ Oakland- Coming off of a four game winning streak, we get cocky and lose to Derek Carr. He carves our defense up like a turkey, and Khalil Mack decides to fodderize our poor offensive line. Flacco has a terrible game, and fans will call for him to be benched again despite us seeing that Mallet is terrible. This is the surest prediction I have of all of them (L)

I actually don’t think Derek Carr has a big game. I think the secondary is way too improved and I think that with Carr coming off an injury, he’s going to have his struggles. But the Raiders have an extremely strong offensive line to keep Carr clean and their defense is playing with the reigning DPOY. I think this will be one of the uglier games in the season and will probably feel like a game that got away. I think the Ravens lose.

6. Vs. Chicago-This game also has the potential to be a shut out. They have an impressive interior offensive line and a really good running back in Howard. However, their WR corps is one of the worst in the entire league, and Suggs is likely licking his chops over facing their tackles. I have a feeling that we will shut down Jordan Howard, and thus, shut down the entire bears offense. Likewise, their defense isn’t bad, but it’s not a monster unit that scares people. Overall I think we win this game handily. Flacco has a bounce back week, and the offense gels for once.(W)

We were just talking about Blake Bortles, but who is even starting in Chicago now a days? Really, I’d have to Google it because I’m not 100% confident saying that it’s Mike Glennon. That’s how bad this offense is. Couple that with the loss of their top WR in Cameron Meredith and this is the type of easy win that the Ravens need after a big loss to the Oakland Raiders.

7. @ Minnesota-This game is going to be one of the ugliest games ever. These two teams are so similar it’s not even funny. Both offenses have a lot of talent, but terrible supporting casts. Both have fantastic defenses as well, and obviously both of them wear purple. Their offensive line is likely as bad as ours, but their defense might be just a hair better. Not to mention, they have more offensive talent than us in the running game, and Dalvin Cook might have a long touchdown despite our otherwise stout run defense. We should win this game, but this is the type of trap game we always fall for. (L)

I’m going back and forth on this game heavily and when I go back and forth on a game, I default to who has home field advantage and right now, that’s the Minnesota Vikings. I think this will be extremely low scoring because of the poor offensive line play of Minnesota (really, they might be worse than Cinci) and the conservative nature of Sam Bradford, but might this be the game where the Ravens realize not drafting Stefon Diggs was a mistake?

8. Vs. Miami- Our defense needed a good dose of Jay Cutler. Ajayi is the type of back that will give us issues, but Cutler’s constant imitating of trying to be Jeff George make this a favorable matchup for us. Likewise, outside of having Cutler the team hasn’t changed too much, and is ultimately unimpressive as a whole. They have a nice offense, but Cutler could screw the pooch by always targeting one receiver and ignoring the other options making him predictable. I don’t think this game is a blowout like last year’s game was, but is still a game we handily win by a TD or two. (W)

Wanna hear a joke? There are actually NFL analysts who feel like Jay Cutler is better for the offense than the Ryan Tannehill. Look, I get it- Jay Cutler played well with Adam Gase, but this dude was still not wanted until a major injury occurred. That can’t bode well for his chances against a defense the caliber of the Ravens. I’d be ashamed if the Ravens lost.

9. @ Tennessee- The Titans are a lowkey contender this season. They have a really impressive offensive line, running game, and a solid WR corps. They also have a really good QB in Mariota, and also field a really impressive defense. I don’t think we get blown out by them, in fact I think we put up a good fight. But this game is a loss, and a painful one (L).

Along with Tampa Bay, this is an up and coming team. Offensively, there doesn’t look to be a true weakness. They’re strong along the offensive line and combo block well, have strong receiving talent, a great running game, and a great young quarterback. Defensively, they really went all out to shore it all up in free agency. I actually could see this being a two score loss.

10. @ Green Bay- I am well aware that Aaron Rodgers and the WR corps(plus TE in Bennett) is basically the entire team. I understand that. We still lose badly. Rodgers is the best QB in the entire NFL and can pick apart just about anybody that goes against him. Our defense makes his life slightly more difficult, but still is nothing in comparison to him(L).

There’s something about playing in Lambeu Field when the temperatures start dropping that’s just so… unappealing. I think this game looks very similar to the last time these two teams met- the game will be vastly closer than it should be, but the better quarterback will ultimately win. I think Aaron Rodgers will look rather human. Joe Flacco will look even more human, though.

11. Vs. Houston- This is a game we should win, but they have one of the few defenses in the league I’d take ahead of ours. Ultimately, this game is another ugly game where nobody on the offense can get anything going on either side. Ultimately, I have to give them the advantage against us. JJ Watt, Merculis, and Clowney are going to massacre the oline, and Flacco is going to be killed in the backfield. Our defense won’t put the same kind of pressure on them, and they beat us by a hair(L).

We’ll actually disagree here because I don’t see the Ravens winning and it ultimately comes down to the quarterback play. I think both defenses stack up really well (the Ravens with the better secondary and the Texans with the better front seven) and when that happens, we turn to the offense. Who is going to be throwing the ball? Deshaun Watson is still a rookie with much to learn and Tom Savage… Well, he might be made into a savage meme after what the Ravens defense does to him. Pencil me in for a rough win.

12. Vs. Detroit-They have a good offense and a good defense, but that good offense isn’t overpowering. The offensive line took a major hit with Warford walking, and is otherwise lackluster outside of the tackles. It’s not encouraging when Decker goes out hurt either and I wonder if the injury will hamper him at all during the season. They have a solid team overall, but I feel like our defense can take out their offense for a long portion of the game and that our offense can put up enough points against them to get the win.(W)

In my mind, the Ravens are absolutely the better team, but I think this will be a game that really puts Matthew Stafford on the map as an elite quarterback. Despite the fact that the defense is looking incredibly stout, I think Stafford will actually have the best performance of any quarterback against the Ravens. Bold, right? Too bad he doesn’t have the running game or defense to back him up and the Ravens ultimately will be the victors.

13. @ Pittsburgh- This is not something I like typing. I think they beat us soundly. Our defense has an off night and we get beaten by two touchdowns. The offense can’t do much either as we keep struggling to run the ball and get the offense going. Overall, the Steelers take the division again much to my displeasure. (L)

I think when the Ravens drafted Marlon Humphrey, they were looking at the Bengals drafting John Ross and the Steelers having the trio of Big Ben, Antonio Brown, and Martavis Bryant. If that weren’t enough, Le’Veon Bell is a deadly pass catcher. If I had to pick a second best performance effort of the season by a quarterback against the Ravens, this is the game. I think Big Ben will carry the Steelers past the Ravens, but I have enough questions about the Steelers secondary to believe that this game will be a typical slugfest decided by just one score, likely a late field goal drive that fuels up the “FIRE DEAN PEES” chants.

14. @ Cleveland- End of the season. Playoffs on the line, in desperate need of a win. We win swiftly and actually start showing signs of life.(W)

I think the Ravens will firmly be in the driver’s seat for at least a wild card spot at this point. I don’t think this game will have major playoff implications other than deciding who wins the division. If the Ravens pull of a 5-1 in the division, they’re going to win the division and be seeing home field advantage first round.

15. @ Indianapolis-Andrew Luck and TY Hilton are literally the entirety of the team, but we have always struggled going into Indy’s territory. Andrew Luck decides to show people that he’s still a great quarterback and puts on a clinic. We should win this game, but we always let at least one game we should win get away from us. We lose, and are on the brink of the playoffs. People are calling for Harbaugh to be fired. (L)

Another time where I disagree. Andrew Luck is probably the most controversial quarterback in the league because for all his greatness, he has moments that make you scratch your head. Count me amongst those who believes he’s elite, but also count me amongst those who thinks that Luck will have one of his head scratching performances with a couple of turnovers. I just don’t see how the Ravens lose this game with so much on the line with the playoffs looming.

16. Vs. Cincinnati-At home, with our backs against the walls, and the wild card spot on the line, we show against Cincinnati in a big way to take the Wild Card from them. The offensive line decides to step it up, and our pass rush has improved significantly over the course of the season to make Dalton’s life miserable. Jones, Burfict, and others will be back, but Flacco plays lights our with his back against the wall. We win at home, and celebrate a playoff birth(W).

I can’t even see the Bengals fighting for a playoff spot. Honestly, I think they’ll be barely staving off the Browns to not be the fourth place team in the division. The Bengals just look so bad on paper. Despite that, the Ravens aren’t going to let this one go easy. The Bengals will have had plenty of time to break in their rookies and overcome their free agent losses so this will be an ugly game that gets Ravens fans anxiety running high ahead of playoffs. Despite this, I think the Ravens will win and will clinch the division.

All in all. 9-7 for me.
BmoreBird22, what do you got?

I actually think this season will be a really good one for the Ravens. Based on these predictions, I have the Ravens sitting at 11-5 and winning the division. Pretty good for a team that hasn’t made the playoffs for two straight years. It’s about time to make a statement and make some noise in the playoffs. Super Bowl? A bit ambitious. The one team no one wants to face in the playoffs? Absolutely.


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