The Baltimore Ravens had a sharp preseason opener in 2019 with a 29-0 drubbing of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Lamar Jackson did what he had to do in his only series of the game with a touchdown on 5-of-9 passing. Jackson was great, but no other quarterback provided a good look on the field.
The Ravens are without their backup, Robert Griffin, so they’re digging deep in the depth chart to get through the preseason. John Harbaugh must be careful with Jackson. Griffin is expected to be back for Week 1, but if his thumb injury continues to linger, the Ravens are going to be in trouble if Jackson gets hurt.
Joe Flacco is with the Broncos in Denver, so the quarterback situation would quickly become quite dicey. That’s if Week 1 of the preseason is any indicator. The Ravens may have won 29-0, but it wasn’t because of excellent play behind Jackson.
Having said that, the defense was firing on all cylinders, from the starters to the backups, they were generating plays. The Ravens are going to be a top-5 defense with potential to be the best or next to best defensive unit in the NFL. Their success will come down to what Jackson does on the field. He blossoms into a serious threat, then the Ravens are going to be the biggest dark horse in the AFC.
Harbaugh had said that the Ravens’ offense is going to be something no one has seen before. We’ll see what he has in store, but they certainly have to take care of Lamar. Running him into the ground isn’t going to bode well in December. The Packers on the other hand, have to keep Aaron Rodgers upright in the pocket.
He’s been banged up the past few years and the Packers cannot afford Rodgers to go down or it’s easy over. Rodgers didn’t play last week, but Matt LaFleur has said that he will play a quarter on Thursday. Expect the same for Jackson in Week 2 of the preseason. Head below for our free Packers vs. Ravens preseason Week 2 pick.
Green Bay Packers vs. Baltimore Ravens Preseason Week 2 Betting Odds:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
Packers vs. Ravens Pick:
The Ravens went with Trace McSorley and Joe Callahan after Jackson last week. The only reason Callahan is on the roster is because of the injury to Griffin. He is nothing more than a roster filler at the moment. This is why Josh Johnson rejected the Ravens contract offer and signed with the Lions. It looks like a sure thing he is going to catch on in Detroit after Tom Savage got a concussion.
He is likely going to backup Matthew Stafford there. With the Ravens, he would have been cut as soon as Griffin returned to the roster. Callahan gets to put some tape out there, but it’s going to be difficult for him to attract any team.
Trace McSorley was drafted in the 6th round by the Ravens out of Penn State. I watch Big Ten football closely and I never thought he was an NFL quarterback. With a selection in the 6th round, the Ravens don’t take on too much risk, though.
He was awfully shaky in his professional debut last week. McSorley threw for 85 yards and an interception on 9-of-22 passing. He is a bit of a scrambler, but not a burner. McSorley can find a way out of the pocket if it breaks down. Callahan threw for 30 yards on 3-of-4 passing. In other words, Jackson is the only QB who did anything last week. Justice Hill led the Ravens with 33 yards on the ground.
An inept Jacksonville offense allowed the Ravens to get the blowout win last week. Aaron Rodgers is going to be playing for a quarter in this one. He did not play last week, so this is his first look with new head coach Matt LaFleur. McSorley and DeShone Kizer are likely to see the brunt of the snaps in this one.
Again, I’m not confident in McSorley and he’s only a rookie who was drafted in the 6th round. Kizer started 15 games for the Browns in 2017 and he saw some action in the regular season a year ago for the Packers. The results weren’t too good, but he should be able to handle backups better than McSorley.
I am well aware how good Harbaugh is in the preseason, but laying 4 points looks like a bit too high here. Also, LaFleur is a rookie head coach who is going to want to win preseason games. Take the points in what should be a 3-point game either way.