This week’s Monday Night Football game will feature the 4-1 Baltimore Ravens taking on the 1-5 Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars are looking to break a five game losing streak and add another win to their less than impressive record, while the Ravens expect to continue their dominance after rolling over the Houston Texans in week 6.
Let’s take a look at what’s in store for your Monday night entertainment.
The Jaguars have struggled to start off the season and cannot seem to put together a performance that will help them secure a solid win. For example, in week 6 Jacksonville got down bit early but ultimately lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers by just four points, 17-13. The team ranks 32nd in the league for the number of yards per game and 31st for the number of points scored per game.
Rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert has led the team down an expectedly rocky road this season. Gabbert has taken some heat for his low completion percentage of 48.8, which has helped to earn him a passer rating of 71.1. However, Gabbert’s inexperience isn’t the only thing to blame. He had to play without tackles Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton last week due to injuries. According to the Jaguars website, the Monroe is probable for the MNF game, but Britton is listed as doubtful.
Considering these issues, the Jaguars offense needs even more from key players like Maurice Jones-Drew. Jones-Drew is third in the league in rushing, averaging 95 yards a game, and he’ll have to continue running well Monday night against Baltimore’s stout defense to take pressure off of Gabbert.
Looking beyond the struggling offense, the defense has had a little more success for the team. While Jacksonville allowed the Steelers to rush 185 yards, they have been quite successful at limiting their opponents passing game to the eighth-fewest yards in the league.
With the Ravens off to a strong start at the top of the AFC North, they look to be a tough match for the home team tonight. Joe Flacco is pacing his way to his first 4,000 yard season. Ray Rice has proven to be Flacco’s “go-to” man, currently averaging 140 combined rushing and receiving yards per game. The Ravens are ranked 4th in total points scored per game at 29.6.
The Ravens defense is where it’s at though. They have only allowed their opponents to run for an average of 3.3 yards per carry and 76.6 rushing yards per game. All-Pro inside linebacker Ray Lewis (42 tackles, 2 sacks) is sure to make a deadly impact on the Jaguars offense, as he does to most offenses. Baltimore’s defense has been good but not quite as dominant for the past few years. This year though, Football Outsiders has ranked the Ravens defense as number one in the NFL. The dominance appears to be back.
Monday Night Football Prediction
The Ravens and the Jaguars both have tough defenses. However, the Jaguars have a rookie quarterback whose protection is limited, making him an easy target for the superior Ravens defense.
The Ravens offense might not be the best in the league, but if Flacco stays sharp and Rice can continue to make key plays for Baltimore, the Jaguars defense will be outplayed.
Ravens-Jaguars Prediction: Ravens 21 | Jaguars 10
Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars Game Info
- Ravens-Jaguars Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, October 23rd at 8:30 ET on ESPN
- Ravens-Jaguars Announcers: Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, and Jon Gruden
- Ravens-Jaguars Point Spread: Ravens -8
- Ravens-Jaguars Over-Under Odds: 39