Game Predictions & Player Projections - BAL vs. JAC

David Dorey, @DMDorey

Prediction: BAL 17, JAC 27 (Line: BAL by 1)

UPDATE: Chris Ivory was limited on Wednesday but had full practices on Thursday and Friday. He should finally get playing time as a Jaguar but is likely to not handle as heavy of a load as he will in future weeks. I am adding him into the projections for having a limited workload but how much or how little depends on his conditioning and how much his unnamed illness took out of him these last two weeks.

The 2-0 Ravens have enjoyed a nice opening stretch to their season and travel to their second road game. The Jaguars are 0-2 and it hasn't been that close. After losing to the Packers, they were steam rolled in San Diego. This should be a close game but the Jags at home are due for a win and the Ravens luck is bound to change.

The Jaguars won 22-20 in Baltimore last year.

Baltimore Ravens

1 BUF 13-7 10 CLE ---
2 @CLE 25-20 11 @DAL ---
3 @JAC --- 12 CIN ---
4 OAK --- 13 MIA ---
5 WAS --- 14 @NE ---
6 @NYG --- 15 PHI ---
7 @NYJ --- 16 @PIT ---
8 BYE --- 17 @CIN ---
9 PIT ---      
News | Statistics | Roster
BAL @ JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco 240,2
WR John Brown 2-30
WR Michael Crabtree 4-60,1
WR Willie Snead IV 3-50
PK Justin Tucker 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Ravens have really been only average in almost every area other than Mike Wallace who owns all three of the Ravens touchdowns this year. Dennis Pitta surprised last week but otherwise this offense has been very mediocre and once a defense can actually cover Wallace, the offense is going to struggle until someone - anyone - else steps up. The schedule remains very favorable for the next three weeks.

QUARTERBACK : Joe Flacco passed for over 250 yards in both games but as mentioned - all the scores have ended up with Mike Wallace and certainly no other wide receiver has mattered which is a surprise. But the schedule is kind for the next three weeks so Flacco should continue to produce at least average numbers.

RUNNING BACK : This is the problem area but one the Ravens have no solutions. Justin Forsett topped out at 56 total yards. Terrance West gets nearly an even split in the workload with never better than 57 total yards. No running back has scored this year and the notion that bringing in anyone else will help is wrong because it just further waters down what the two main backs are doing... which is very mediocre. And that is against a softer schedule. Kenneth Dixon may be back by Week 4 but that only muddies very shallow waters.

WIDE RECEIVER : Mike Wallace scored three times and he followed up his 91 yard game with one score versus the Bills with two touchdowns on his four catches for 41 yards last week versus the Browns and mostly Joe Haden. The biggest surprise is that Kamar Aiken has just two catches for 14 yards on the season and he's never had more than two passes in a game. Steven Smith managed 64 yards on three catches in Cleveland but he's made no difference. Breshad Perriman has three catches so far which is a positive after missing his rookie year, but overall this unit is nothing but Mike Wallace.

TIGHT END : Dennis Pitta is the big surprise here and the only real positive other than Wallace. He was only used on three catches for 39 yards in his first game but that was after missing nearly two years. He followed that up with nine catches for 102 yards in an offense that wants to use the position. Crockett Gillmore is back to being a blocker and Maxx Williams remains just a bust so far.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Jaguars at home held Eddie Lacy to only 61 yards on 14 carries so the Ravens should be certain for disappointment splitting up the backfield work between two mediocre backs. Flacco faces a defense that held Aaron Rodgers to only 199 yards and two passing scores. They gave up four touchdowns to Philip Rivers in their road game but even he only had 220 yards.

The only players worthy of consideration are clearly Mike Wallace - who should have at least a decent showing against a defense that is only average versus the position. And Pitta needs to get some playing time as well though the Jags have only allowed five catches to the position this year but one was a touchdown to Antonio Gates last week.

Forsett is just a very deep flex play if you have no other players with actual upside.

Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 21 27 18 9 10 18
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 28 9 27 9 20 22

Jacksonville Jaguars

1 GB 23-27 10 HOU ---
2 @SD 14-38 11 @DET ---
3 BAL --- 12 @BUF ---
4 IND --- 13 DEN ---
5 BYE --- 14 MIN ---
6 @CHI --- 15 @HOU ---
7 OAK --- 16 TEN ---
8 @TEN --- 17 @IND ---
9 @KC ---      
News | Statistics | Roster
JAC vs BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Blake Bortles 310,2
QB Cody Kessler 180
RB Carlos Hyde 40 3-20
RB T.J. Yeldon 40,1 2-20
WR Marqise Lee 2-30
PK Josh Lambo 3 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Jaguars lost both games but it was mostly thanks to a defense that has apparently regressed. And yet the biggest surprise has been the decline in the offense for at least these first two games. The Packers and Chargers both have decent defenses and it would be easy to undervalue what they were able to do. The rushing effort has completely disappeared so far and the wide receivers - the only real strength of the offense - have been nearly shut down. These next two home games versus the Ravens and Colts should be much better or there has been a fundamental change that the Jags may not recover from.

QUARTERBACK : Blake Bortles threw for over 320 yards in both games and threw a total of three scores. But he also has three interceptions and lost a fumble. And much like 2015, most of the yardage came late in the game during trash time. Bortles has spread the ball around better than last year but that's only ensuring that no one is having a big game. The opposing secondaries are going to be softer and Bortles has to take advantage of them using the wide receivers.

RUNNING BACK : Chris Ivory may return this week from his unnamed illness but I will hold him out until more is known about his status. As it is there is nothing to share anyway since T.J. Yeldon only gained 67 yards on 28 runs over the last two weeks. He had an amazing eight catches for 10 yards last week. This was not a great rushing unit last year and the addition - or at least attempted - of Ivory is not going to make the line block any better. The same line that already allowed five sacks. The outlook should be better the next two weeks but that doesn't mean big things are in store here.

WIDE RECEIVER : Allen Robinson is perhaps the biggest surprise for wideouts since he has only nine catches for 126 yards over the first two weeks with no touchdowns. None of the wide receivers have scored. Allen Hurns also totals nine catches for only 139 yards. Most of that came later in games. Marqise Lee had one long catch last week but otherwise the other wide receivers are contributing very little just like last year. Unlike 2015, the Allens have yet to score or either turn in a big yardage game.

TIGHT END : The lone positive development is that Julius Thomas is improved with at least four catches each week and one score. He is averaging around 65 yards per week but saw Marcedes Lewis score once last week. The tight ends have two of the three passing scores so far and that third belongs to running back Corey Grant on his only touch of the year. Thomas is showing the consistency to merit an every week start.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Jaguars at home will play better and this is the weakest matchup that they have faced thus far. The Ravens appear good statistically on defense because they have only hosted the dysfunctional Bills and then went against the Browns. They allowed a score to both opposing running backs which could bode well for Yeldon but is Ivory does play that only makes it a big risk.

So far the Ravens have only faced two good wideouts. Sammy Watkins who is hopping on one good foot and then Corey Coleman who ended with 5-104 and two scores last week. This should be where Robinson gets back on track. If he cannot score here, then there is a bigger problem with the Jags.

Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 13 18 23 3 20 26
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 3 20 5 6 1 16

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