Monday Night Football: Baltimore Ravens vs. Indianapolis Colts

Ryan K

With so many variables in preseason games, it is pretty understandable when and if a team loses a game. Starters usually don’t play too deep into the games and the focus is on reps and health, not necessarily on the final score. Someone forgot to tell this to the Baltimore Ravens, though, as they have won 10 preseason games in a row and their last loss was in 2015. After beating the Chicago Bears in the Hall of Fame game and the Los Angeles Rams last week, the Ravens will look to continue their dominance against the Colts when they meet up with them at Lucas Oil Stadium on Monday. For the Colts, they are also coming off of a victory in the first week with a 19-17 win over the Seahawks and will look to build off of this against the Ravens. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:00 pm ET.

This one is coming in pretty close to a straight up matchup. The Ravens are slight favorites at -1 points, but some venues have it as an even spread. The over/under for total points scored is 43.

Ravens Looking To Make A Playoff Push This Year

After signing a huge contract after his Super Bowl MVP performance, Joe Flacco has not quite lived up to the expectations that the Ravens had for him. While he is still the starter going into the season, he definitely has more competition this year. The Ravens traded up to draft Lamar Jackson out of Louisville with the 32nd overall pick. They also signed Robert Griffin III this season. Both performed pretty well last week against the Rams. Jackson went 7 for 18 with 119 yards through the air. Griffin (88 yards) and Flacco (71 yards) both went 5 for 7 with a touchdown each. With

Flacco penciled in as starter, Jackson and Griffin will be competing for the second spot on the depth chart. Regardless, the Ravens definitely have depth at the position.

To help the quarterback position, the team added a trio of new wide receivers this year. Flacco will have Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead IV and John Brown. Last season in Oakland, Crabtree had 58 receptions and 618 yards in 14 games. He also added 8 touchdowns. For Snead, last year was a down year. After two seasons of 800+ yards, Snead only had 8 receptions for 92 yards last year in New Orleans. John Brown also had a down year in Arizona last year. Only a couple years removed from a 1,000 yard season, Brown had 21 catches for 299 yards and 3 touchdowns. The three of them will look to turn it around and add valuable weapons to the Ravens offense.

Colts Looking For Healthy Season

The Colts also had a big first week from the quarterback position, but for a little different reason. Andrew Luck has been out of game action for almost two years and even though he didn’t play for much of the game, the fact that he was able to play was huge. In the game against the Seahawks he went 6 for 9 with 64 yards passing. When he is healthy, Luck has the potential to be one of the top quarterbacks in the game and that has huge ramifications for the Colts.
In a year with such turnover, the Colts could use the stability of Luck. After being spurned by Josh McDaniels, the Colts settled on new head coach, Frank Reich.

Already said to have developed a rapport with Luck, Reich is bringing in a new defense (4-3, Tampa-2 style instead of the 3-4 they had been playing) and an offense that will probably not be quite as conservative. It isn’t just the coaching staff that is new as there may be upwards of a dozen new starters. While this is tough for consistency from last year, the changes do mean that competition is high in camp and players are battling for starting jobs.

Ravens Keep Their Unbeaten Streak Alive

In games where the second and third strings generally dictate the outcome of a game, it is nice to have three quality quarterbacks to rotate onto the field. For that reason, I like the Ravens in this one. I expect Flacco to get a couple series, Jackson to feel even more comfortable in his third game and for Griffin III to continue to fight for the backup position. Especially only giving one point, I am taking the Ravens in this one.

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