Ravens

Quick Links

Dipping into a Super Bowl prediction

flacco_2-3.png

Dipping into a Super Bowl prediction

One prediction for Sunday’s game that is certain to be right: Americans will eat lots of guacamole. The avocado marketers project 79 million pounds of the product to be consumed today. As for the rest of this Super Bowl prognostication, we’re much less sure.

Just as you have to slice up avocados to make your guacamole for the Super Bowl, to win the game, the Ravens or 49ers will have to slice up the defense with their running game.

In trying to predict Sunday’s Roman-numeraled Ultimate Game, we should consider that the Ravens are likely to be able to contain quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s running, having proven they could do so against the Redskins’ Robert Griffin III during the regular season, at a time when Baltimore’s defense wasn’t playing nearly as well as it has through the postseason. So that means the 49ers’ ground game will depend on the capable Frank Gore. And a key to stopping those runs will be defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, who has healed from nagging injuries and played at his normal high standard throughout the playoffs.

On the other hand, the 49ers’ important man inside, defensive tackle Justin Smith, is playing with a torn triceps suffered in the middle of December, an injury that will need surgery after the season. This could reduce his effectiveness and give the Ravens some room to maneuver with Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce.

Expect the 49ers to give the Ravens problems in the intermediate passing game with tight end Vernon Davis. But if the Baltimore defense can clamp down on Gore, it could do enough bending not to break, which is how it has played so often this season. So when 49ers drives stall, they will rely on what has been the unreliable kicking of David Akers.

The Ravens likewise will take the underneath passes, particularly to Anquan Boldin. You have to figure the 49ers will make it a priority not to let Torrey Smith get over the top for a big play. Ever since the return of Bryant McKinnie to left tackle, the Ravens offensive line has given Joe Flacco safe haven in the pocket. It will be a challenge for that to continue on Sunday, however.

If the Ravens bottle up Kaepernick as a runner and are able to make the 49ers settle for field goals, at some point San Francisco’s young quarterback may actually act like a young quarterback. That could mean a big interception for safety Ed Reed.

Even if Jacoby Jones doesn’t break a return for a touchdown, the Ravens need him to give them a short field at least a couple of times.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying: Ravens 23, 49ers 20.

Quick Links

Ravens Mock Draft Roundup: A wide receiver, defensive end favorites at 22

metcalf-ferrell-usatap.png
USA TODAY Sports Images/AP Images

Ravens Mock Draft Roundup: A wide receiver, defensive end favorites at 22

This is not a drill. We are one week away from the 2019 NFL Draft.

Will the Ravens get Lamar Jackson help at wide receiver or will they focus on filling their holes on defense?

We will have answers to those questions in no time, but in the time being let's take a look at who experts are predicting they take with the 22nd overall pick.

NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig and NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah: DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson

Ferrell had 38 tackles for loss and 21 sacks over the last two seasons. A young threat would fit in quite nicely for the new-looking Ravens defense. 

Bleacher ReportNFL.com's Charles Davis and Sporting News: WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma

Brown, who posted 1,318 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns during the 2018 season, reportedly made a visit to the Ravens this week

It's no secret that the Ravens need help at WR with only two guys on their current roster who have caught a pass in the NFL. 

SB NationSports Illustrated and CBS Sports: WR D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss

After an impressive combine performance and a picture surfacing of him looking insanely jacked at the gym, Metcalf is definitely the most talked about receiver in this year's draft.

Despite missing part of the 2018 season with a neck injury, Metcalf's draft profile describes him having "projectable upside to become a home-run threat as a WR1." Just what the Ravens need.

ESPN's Mel Kiper and Todd McShay: C/G Erik McCoy, Texas A&M

The center position is not seen as a sexy pick in the draft, but Bradbury's skillset is enough to get you excited.

He has three years of experience while at Texas A&M and was only called for five penalties in 2,811 snaps over his college career.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set!  See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

MORE RAVENS NEWS: 

Quick Links

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Way too early season win totals predictions after 2019 schedule release

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Way too early season win totals predictions after 2019 schedule release

The NFL released the Baltimore Ravens' full 2019 schedule Wednesday and we're officially one week away from the 2019 NFL Draft.

Here's the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

Player/Team Notes: 

1. The Ravens' 2019 schedule perfectly alternates between home and away games each week, which has only happened three other times since the 16-game schedule was implemented in 1978, according to ESPN Stats and Info. Among other notable tidbits, the Ravens will play four 2018 playoff teams over a five game span starting in Week 7. Their three home games in the month of December could prove crucial with them wrapping up the season at home for the third-consecutive year vs. the Steelers. The Ravens have three scheduled primetime games, none of which are against the Steelers marking the first time since 2006 fans won't be able to watch the rivals on a national stage. 

2. There's nothing quite like way too early season win totals predilections after the release of the full season schedule. Bleacher Report's Gary Davenport took his shot at it and have the Ravens finishing the 2019 season at 9-7.

"In addition to a pair of games against the rival Steelers and upstart Browns, the Ravens will play five teams that made the playoffs in 2018, including the reigning NFC champion Los Angeles Rams on the road," Davenport said. "The Ravens will play host to the New England Patriots (Week 9) and Houston Texans (Week 11) and travel to face the Kansas City Chiefs (Week 3), Seattle Seahawks (Week 7) and Rams (Week 12). It's a fairly daunting slate."

Davenport has the Browns finishing 2019 atop the AFC at 10-6, the Bengals at 6-10 and the Steelers at 8-8. For perspective, the Ravens finished their 2018 season at 10-6. 

Looking Ahead:

April 19: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets

April 25-27: 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville, Tn.

May 3-6 or May 10-13: Potential three-day rookie mini camp

The 2019 NFL schedule is set!  See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

MORE RAVENS NEWS: