Raiders' Monday Night Football preview against the Ravens
Week 1 is finally upon us after the long grueling off-season the Raiders will finally square off on Monday Night Football against Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. While it’s hard to predict what will happen in the first week of the season. Here are some of the details we do know.
The Ravens went 11-5 a year ago. Lamar Jackson continues to improve as the leader of the young team. Baltimore did an excellent job this off-season adding weapons such as Rashod Bateman and Sammy Watkins. However, the Ravens come into Allegiant Stadium with Running back J.K. Dobbins out for the season with a knee injury. Receivers Rashod Bateman and Miles Boykin are out for at least three weeks and Tight end Nick Boyle is questionable to play Monday with a knee injury. So they walk into their first game with a lot of key players out of the line-up.
Even though the Ravens come in hurt they are always one of the deepest teams in the league their preseason record indicates that as they won 20 straight preseason games they went 3-0 this past pre-season. Another interesting fact about the Ravens is that they have a superb week 1 record. Baltimore has outscored its opponents by a score of 164-19. They have averaged 41 points a game in that stretch, while allowing an average of just 4.75 a game.
With all that being said this game is far from a walk in the park for the Raiders. The Raiders brand new and very criticized offensive line will be tested out the gate as Ravens have always had a great defense. The best aspect about the Ravens defense is their secondary. Sports Illustrated this summer ranked them as the second best in all the league. It’s an excellent test for Derek Carr and his young targets Henry Ruggs and Brian Edwards.
The Raiders new Gus Bradley led defense will also be tested early playing a Ravens team that has been the top rushing team in all the league. Even though J.K. Dobbins will be out the remainder of the year. Ravens backup Gus Edwards has averaged 5.2 ypc for his career. The Raiders have had issues with their starting linebackers all off-season but with the recent addition of KJ Wright they finally hope to have some stability there. The Raiders linebackers will be tested early against pro bowl tight end Mark Andrews.
Both teams are built the same on offense they love to run the football and both have top tight ends. For a week 1 primetime game we are certainly in for a treat. It wouldn’t be surprising if it came down to the last possession.