Let’s just get this one thing out of the way now. My week 1 reaction to the Ravens, “AAAUGGHH!!!”
Slow start on offense for the first half, an interception that changed the course of the game, then another interception that ended all hopes of another Mile High miracle. I don’t know which week 1 loss to the Broncos hurt worse, this one or the 2013 one.
Ok. I’m adhering to my Ravens fan rule #3, I’m going to just deal with this and move on to the next week.
But before I do that, I will say that I was right on Flacco, Steve Smith Sr., and Justin Forsett about there being some offensive struggles against the Denver defense. The pass rush of Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware was practically unstoppable the whole game, leaving Joe Flacco staring at a 38.1% quarterback rating. Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr. made life difficult for Steve Smith Sr. with only 13 yards, and Justin Forsett only averaged 3.1 yards per carry from just 14 attempts.
However, Justin Tucker nailed 2 long field goals, with one of those being a 56 yarder. I said he could kick a 70 yarder in Denver if he were needed to and to prove it, he kicked a 70 yarder during warm-ups.
Sep 13, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker (9) kicks a field goal during the second half against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 19-13. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
The Defense/Special teams unit was the surprise of the week and were quite the highlight. The great Peyton Manning had no offensive touchdowns. Something we haven’t accomplished against him since the 2006 playoffs when Peyton was a Colt. Not to mention, an interception returned for a touchdown! I was very pleased with the defense. It’s always a pleasure when you can be proven wrong, in a good way.
So now that week 1 is in the books, what should you do about week 2?
Sep 13, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) runs under pressure from Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Carl Davis (94) during the first half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
The defense is currently #5 in rush defense and #2 in pass defense. Although now without Terrell Suggs, who suffered from a torn Achilles against Denver, this defense is still talented enough to bring quarterback pressure. So if you have the Ravens defense on your fantasy team up against Derek Carr and Oakland’s offense, start your Ravens defense. I expect a big showing against the younger and inexperienced Carr after seeing how they held up against the living legend Peyton Manning.
Justin Tucker is another easy one. The guy is practically plucking the football 50 yards at a time. Unless it starts raining in southern California, start Justin Tucker.
Unless your quarterback is playing against the Lions, who allowed Philip Rivers to throw for 388 yards, then starting Flacco wouldn’t be a bad idea against the 22nd ranked pass defense of the Raiders, who allowed 269 yards last week from Andy Dalton and the Bengals. This should fare well for deciding to start Steve Smith, Sr.
Start Justin Forsett as well unless your running back is playing the Minnesota Vikings, who allowed ‘Hayne & Hyde’ of the San Francisco 49ers to run over them for a combined total of 230 yards. The Raiders ranked 25th in rush defense.
This should be a good week for the Ravens. Historically the Ravens play well and in most cases, win the next game coming off of a loss. It’s an away game, but I expect for the Ravens to be on fire and as a former Raven once said, “pissed off for greatness.”
Nov 24, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; ESPN commentators Ray Lewis and Steve Young watch the New Orleans Saints play the Baltimore Ravens at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Enjoy week 2. Go Ravens (and everyone else on your fantasy team, except Raiders players).
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