Baltimore Ravens: 4 bold predictions for Week 2 vs. Chiefs
The Baltimore Ravens are coming off a strange loss to the Las Vegas Raiders in what is a candidate for craziest ending to a game this season. Turnover after turnover in overtime of that game led to Derek Carr finishing the contest on a deep touchdown pass, giving the Ravens a 0-1 record so far in 2021.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson was noticeably angry and blaming himself for the loss in a game most had the Ravens winning, so he’ll surely be looking to bounce back against the formidable Kansas City Chiefs.
Can the Ravens bounce back to steal a win in Week 2? Here are our four bold predictions.
4. Both Lamar Jackson and the Ravens running backs rush for 100+ yards
If the Chiefs have one main weakness, it would likely be their run defense. We saw it in Week 1 as Nick Chubb torched them all game long and Kareem Hunt certainly didn’t give them a break. This run defense for Kansas City isn’t good, but they should be getting Tyrann Mathieu back after he missed Week 1–providing a much needed boost. His loss was very obvious as Chubb ran the ball extremely well until the Browns were forced to throw due to a late deficit.
While the Chiefs’ main weakness is defending the run, especially when their opponent runs relentlessly, the Ravens should take full advantage of that. Ever since Lamar Jackson was taken by Baltimore, no one has run the ball more as they’ve completely shifted their offense to suit what Jackson does best. That run-first style certainly isn’t changing yet and we saw that in Week 1 as the Ravens ran the ball 34 total times for 189 yards.
Jackson ran on his own 12 times and racked up 86 yards, making for an impressive day on the ground. You never know which Ravens running backs will get the most carries, and that was the case in Week 1. Ty’Son Williams was thought to be the main guy, but he got just nine carries while the newly signed Latavius Murray had 10.
Despite leading in carries, Murray only averaged 2.8 yards while Williams averaged 7.2 yards. The Chiefs’ weakness will collide head-on with the Ravens’ biggest strength and it will show. Jackson himself will have at least 100 rushing yards and the running back committee will have at least another 100 yards.
3. The Ravens secondary allows even more passing yards than in Week 1
Derek Carr took this Ravens secondary in Week 1 and ripped it apart. Don’t get me wrong, Carr is a fine quarterback, but there are very few defenses that performed as poorly as the Ravens did. Carr went for 435 yards in a game that went to overtime and had no issues moving the ball when he needed to in the final minutes.
The Ravens are once again expected to be without Marlon Humphrey and Jimmy Smith, so the secondary isn’t getting any healthier this week and their opponent is only getting better.
In order for this prediction to come true, Patrick Mahomes has to throw for at least 436 yards, which he has done only four times in his career. This game will have to be pretty competitive for Mahomes to do that, and that should be the case with Jackson and the Ravens able to run all day long. The big play potential from this explosive Chiefs offense combined with needing to throw because the Ravens are hanging around could make this prediction a real possibility.
Even with Mahomes throwing the ball, this is no guarantee to come true but things are certainly lining up the right way.
2. Mark Andrews goes for 75+ yards and 2+ touchdowns
A lot of people are down on Mark Andrews as he has just two touchdowns in his last 10 games, but this has the makings to be a get-right game for a lot of players on offense. The defense, on the other hand, not so much. The Chiefs will be throwing the ball all day and putting up a ton of points. The Ravens should be able to successfully run the ball against Kansas City, but eventually Lamar Jackson will need to throw the ball if they want to have a chance.
Who better to throw to than star tight end Mark Andrews?
When Baker Mayfield threw the ball in Week 1, 10 of his 27 targets and seven of his 21 completions were to tight ends. The Browns’ tight end room consists of David Njoku, Austin Hooper and Harrison Bryant, so no big stars but some good names in there. Andrews is better than all of them and is also one of Jackson’s favorite targets. He should be expected to have a big game after a disappointing stretch last season and a rough start to this game. If not now for Andrews, then when?
1. Baltimore loses by a field goal, beating the spread
The Chiefs are favored in this matchup by 3.5 points and it could be argued that isn’t enough with all the streaks in this game. For one, Mahomes has never lost to the Ravens with Jackson as the quarterback. Those two don’t see each other on the field, but Mahomes is always able to lead his team to a win over Jackson’s team.
After watching both of these teams in Week 1, there is no reason to expect that to change.
Though the Ravens ultimately won’t pull out the win in this game, they’ll keep it within a field goal to beat the spread of 3.5 points. It’s going to be close throughout, causing Mahomes to have a great game through the air against a weak secondary. Jackson and the Ravens offense will keep this one close by utilizing the run as their greatest strength and by feeding Andrews.
This could be the most frustrating 0-2 start for any team in quite a while if the Ravens can’t sneak out a win.