Baltimore Ravens vs Miami Dolphins preview

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 25: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens throws a pass in the third quarter during a preseason game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on August 25, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 25: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens throws a pass in the third quarter during a preseason game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on August 25, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens are getting ready for their week one matchup vs. the Miami Dolphins and we can’t hardly wait! Here’s what we’ll be watching closely…

The long wait is finally over! Well, almost. The Baltimore Ravens open their 2019 season in South Florida to take on the dismantled Miami Dolphins in t-minus three days. Baltimore is looking to win their third straight season-opener and second straight against Miami.

What to Watch For:

Can the Ravens establish a consistent pass rush?

With the recent trade of Laremy Tunsil to the Houston Texans, this is a game where the Baltimore Ravens should have their way and get to the quarterback a handful of times. Miami has arguably the worst offensive line in the league and the Ravens need to take advantage of that. Unfortunately, if they do produce at a high-level there won’t be much to take from it as I mentioned before the Dolphins pass protection is sub-par.

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However, if Baltimore fails to get to the quarterback at a consistent rate, they have a bigger problem on their hands then anyone had already thought. Even with the lack of talent on the edge, Baltimore should create pressure all game and make life miserable for Ryan Fitzpatrick and crew.

Will the Ravens be a victim of “Fitzmagic?”

In last season’s season-opener against the New Orleans Saints, then Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick lit up a talented secondary for 417-yards and four touchdowns, including two of fifty-plus yards. Fitzpatrick tends to play out of this world for the first couple weeks of the season, then come back to Earth as an average quarterback, and ultimately benched by mid-season.

While Miami traded away arguably their best receiver in Kenny Still last week, it would be unfair to take this team lightly given Fitzpatrick’s early-season track record. The Ravens’ secondary is as talented as any in the NFL and they should have a relatively easy Sunday if they can contain the magic of the Fitz.

What will a Lamar Jackson ran offense look like?

Baltimore has done so much to build an offense based on Lamar Jackson’s skill-set. They have put speed, speed, and more speed around Jackson in order to reimagine the vanilla offense that he was running last season. Jackson has talent spread all around him.

Baltimore’s front office has supplied young talent to a new look offense. Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin, Mark Andrews, Hayden Hurst, Justice Hill, and Gus Edwards are all 26-years old or younger. This Sunday’s game could provide fans a taste of what they have to look forward too for many years to come.

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Pay attention this Sunday to see how this new built offense utilizes all of it’s new weapons. Watch to see not only how many times “Hollywood” Brown touches the ball, but how the ball is given to him. End-arounds, screen passes, and who knows what other trick plays Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman and co. have up their sleeves for the electric rookie.

How many two/three tight end sets are used and if Andrews or Hurst line up on the outside. The way the team splits the carries between the three running backs and what running back is in during third downs and goal-line situations.

But the biggest thing to watch is of course Lamar Jackson. The way he delivers the ball, when he decides to tuck and run, his ability to go through his reads, and the amount of times he runs on a designed play. These are all things that need to be watched with a close eye, as it all falls on Jackson’s shoulders and his ability to control this new, young, rejuvenated offense.

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This is a game the Ravens should win easily. However, this is also a game the team could overlook and fall short on. I’m going to go with the first option, having the Ravens take care of business and start the season 1-0. Lamar Jackson and the offense control the clock, with a few big plays thrown in the mix as well. The defense dominates as it should, with the secondary making the day miserable for Fitzpatrick and the Miami offense.

Ravens 34 – Dolphins 9