This week on Monday Night Football the Baltimore Ravens (4-1) travel to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars (1-5) in a game that is expected to be completely lopsided. The Jaguars are coming off of a tough loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, and are in complete rebuilding mode. They are currently third in their division, in front of the 0-6 Indianapolis Colts, and are going with 2011 first-round pick Blaine Gabbert at quarterback from here on out. Baltimore is atop the AFC North and they are looking like one of the most balanced teams in the league. You do the math…
Jacksonville is currently dead last in the NFL in passing yards per game, and going against one of the more intimidating defenses in the NFL will not help them get out of that position. Tight end Marcedes Lewis, who had a career season last year, has vanished and not been much of a help to the Jaguar quarterbacks this season. Maurice Jones-Drew is averaging a little under 100-yards per game and has been the only bright spot on the Jacksonville offense. While this Jacksonville defense has given up at least 30 points on two different occasions against mediocre offenses, Jets and Bengals, a lot of the points given up can be accredited to the Jacksonville offense. The Jaguars have not been able to control the clock and maintain long drives very often this year. They have had a tough time of keeping teams opposing offensives off the field and the end result of that can sometimes lead to the defense looking bad. If Jacksonville is going to have any chance of winning this game they are going to need to eat up clock and not let a well-balanced Ravens offense stay on the field.
Baltimore is currently coming off of a big win against the Houston Texans. While the defense held the Texans high powered offense to only 14 points, the Ravens did struggle putting the ball in the end zone. A win is a win, but the Baltimore Ravens could have easily could have dismantled the Texans if they converted on more of their red zone opportunities. In four trips to the red zone the Ravens offense was only able to come up with two touchdowns. Fifteen of the teams twenty-eight points came from field goals, as Billy Cundiff had a field day. If the Baltimore Ravens are going to compete with the top-tier teams in the NFL they need to iron out the wrinkles in their offense, and this week may be the best time to do that.
Blaine Gabbert is playing in his first MNF game against the Ravens intimidating defense
Match-Up of the Game: Blaine Gabbert vs. Baltimore Ravens Defense
Honestly, I feel bad for what may happen to Gabbert on the first Monday night game of his career. The Baltimore Ravens defense has been on a mission all year, and Gabbert is just going to be another obstacle in the way. If the Jaguars have any chance of winning this game they are going to need Gabbert to play possibly the best he has ever played in his young career. He currently is only completing 48.8% of his passes and doesn’t have many weapons to help him out. The Baltimore Ravens defense is going to come after Gabbert all game long and it will be interesting to see if Gabbert will be able to make it through all four quarters.
Prediction: 31-7; Baltimore
Baltimore is just that much better than Jacksonville. The Ravens are ready to take the AFC this year and I feel as if the Jags have already thrown in the towel. I think Gabbert will have jitters coming out in his first Monday night game and the Ravens defense will take advantage. I give the Jags 7 points just because they still have MJD and I think he will slip one through the Ravens defense.