In this 4-part series, I’m going to give my game-by-game predictions for the Baltimore Ravens 2020 NFL season. Without further ado lets get into weeks 5-9:
In part one I got the Baltimore Ravens off to a fast start. Here is part two
Who: Cincinnati Bengals
When: 10/11 @ 10:00 AM
Where: M&T Bank Stadium
The Ravens get their first look at rookie quarterback Joe Burrow in week five and I believe he’s in for a rough introduction to this AFC North rivalry. The front office bolstered the Ravens defensive line this offseason with the additions of Calais Campbell, Derek Wolfe, and rookie Justin Madubuike which is bad news for a suspect Bengals offensive line.
The Bengals may also be without All-Pro wide receiver A.J. Green due to a nagging hamstring injury which is unfortunate as he’s missed 23 straight games already. Green has been coined as the “Raven Killer” for his backbreaking plays late in games but I no longer think he’s their most lethal weapon. Tyler Boyd has given the Ravens secondary struggles since being drafted in 2016 and I think he’ll be the biggest X-factor in this match up.
If the Ravens secondary does their job and gives the revamped defensive line time to get to the quarterback then it’s going to be a long day for Joe Burrow and Bengals fans. A win here would put the Ravens at 2-0 against the division and 5-0 on the season which is a fantastic start.
Predicted Score: 31-10, Ravens
Who: Philadelphia Eagles
When: 10/18 @ 10:00 AM
Where: Lincoln Financial Field
When I was looking at the Ravens schedule upon release I had this game as a loss but the recent rash of injuries going through Philadelphia made me change my mind. The Eagles lost their starting left tackle in Andre Dillard and may be without three starting wide receivers in Jalen Reagor, Alshon Jeffery, and Marquise Goodwin. If Reagor and Jeffery aren’t back by this mid-October match up then I don’t see a scenario in which the Eagles come away with the win.
Another major factor in this match up that can’t be overlooked is the health of Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. As of right now, a week before the NFL season, Wentz has been absent at camp for “precautionary” reasons so we’ll have to pay attention to that development. If Wentz isn’t the starter in week six then the Ravens will have to prepare for rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts and I don’t think he stands a chance against Martindale’s complex defense.
As for the matchup on the field, I’ll be hyper focused on the battle in the trenches because that’s where Philadelphia boasts the biggest threat. With Marshal Yanda’s retirement, the interior of the Ravens offensive line remains relatively unproven so they’ll be in for a dog fight. Even if Wentz plays and the Ravens offensive line holds up, I expect them to leave Philadelphia 6-0.
Predicted Score: 21-17
Who: Pittsburgh Steelers
When: 10/26 @ 10:00 AM
Where: M&T Bank Stadium
Ravens Flock isn’t going to like this one but I have the Ravens taking their first loss of the season at home… in the bank… to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Big Ben is 38 years old coming off elbow surgery in his throwing arm so we don’t quite know what to expect from him but neither does the Steelers coaching staff. What we do know is the Steelers went 8-8 with Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges under center so you can safely assume they’ll be even better with their franchise quarterback back in action.
The Steelers also boast one of the best defenses in football which gave Lamar Jackson and co. worlds of struggles in their first match up last season. In that game Jackson threw for 163 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions which was his worst performance of the season. If this young Ravens offensive line isn’t fully gelled together there’s a chance the Steelers defensive line is just too much to handle.
Predicted Score: 14-17, Steelers
The Ravens bye week is week eight.
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Who: Indianapolis Colts
When: 11/8 @ 10:00 AM
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium
In week nine the Baltimore Ravens travel to Indianapolis to take on the Colts in what is an interesting match up considering Philip Rivers ended the Ravens Super Bowl hopes just two seasons ago. Normally, I wouldn’t consider this a revenge game, but with how obsessed the media has been with Lamar losing that game I know it’s been ingrained into his memory. Jackson will want to out-duel the quarterback who sent his team packing his rookie year and he’s going to do just that.
The match up I’ll be watching is between the Ravens wide receiver and the Colts cornerbacks because that’s the weakest spot on their defense. I don’t think the Colts have a single defensive back that can match up with Marquise Brown and considering this game will be played in a dome, I expect a huge game for him this week. Lamar Jackson had three games where he threw five touchdown passes and I think this is one of those games this season.
Predicted Score: 42-21, Ravens
Summary: Any of these four games except the Bengals game could possibly go in the other direction but I really don’t think that will be the case. The Eagles game will likely come down to the injury report so fingers crossed both teams are healthy because we want a clean match up. The Ravens usually split the series with the Steelers so I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they give the Ravens their first loss in week seven. If all goes according to plan the Ravens will leave Indianapolis 8-1 and that would nearly solidify them a playoff spot.