In the first edition of Monday Night Football in the preseason, the Baltimore Ravens travel to Indianapolis for a date with the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. It’s not going to be the most suspenseful game in Week 2 of the preseason, but it will be nice to see Andrew Luck get some extra work against the Ravens. The Colts have made it clear that Luck will see an increase in playing time from the first week. Luck played in two series against the Seahawks and looked find enough.
He completed 6-of-9 passes in his limited amount of work in the first in-game action we’ve seen of Luck since 2016. The shoulder injury wiped out his entire 2017 campaign even though he tried hard to give it a go. The Colts and Luck were cautious and waited another year to get him on the field. Luck completed a career-high 63.5 percent of his passes in 2016 before having to have shoulder surgery. He was operating behind an anemic offensive line, which ultimately led to way too many bumps in the pocket.
Reports out of camp suggest that the shoulder injury is behind Luck. He’s looked sharp and showing no ill-effects of the shoulder that has been hampering him for two years. With Luck out, the Colts made it a point to improve their offensive line. Even with a healthy Luck out there, he was just going to get banged around some more and the team wasn’t going to go anywhere.
So, with Luck out nursing his shoulder, the Colts were smart and addressed the line. In what was an offensive line that ranked at the very back of the league, Pro Football Focus has them ranked 17th going into 2018. That may not seem like much, but it’s a whole lot better than 32nd. Luck should be able to make it work with this line. Rookie guard out of Notre Dame, Quenton Nelson, has the potential to be a fixture on the offensive line for a long time in Indianapolis.
Along with Andrew Luck watch in this matchup, there will be people tuning-in to see the Lamar Jackson show. Jackson looked decent last week, completing 7-of-19 passes with 119 yards and a touchdown rushing on the ground. His rushing touchdown led the headlines, but he will have to improve on just hitting 36% of his targets. Getting by with his legs alone won’t work in the NFL. Jackson seen the most work last week, with Griffin and Flacco finding the end zone as well. Get our free Ravens vs. Colts pick on Monday night below.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Indianapolis Colts NFL Preseason Betting Odds:
vs. Colts pk(+100)
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Ravens vs. Colts Pick:
Everyone looked good at quarterback for the Ravens last week. They all got involved in the fun against the Rams. Flacco and Griffin both threw touchdowns, while Jackson followed it up with a touchdown on the ground. The result was a convincing 33-7 win for the Ravens. Of course, the win means absolutely nothing and we’ve all forgotten about the victory already.
Flacco got started quickly, as he led a 70-yard drive right out of the gate in the opening drive. The defense looked impressive for the Ravens, but the Rams played backups pretty much from the beginning to the end. I expect Flacco to get a couple of series in this one against the Colts. Last week was the first preseason game Flacco seen since 2016. John Harbaugh doesn’t typically like to give him work in these meaningless games.
While Harbaugh likely isn’t going to give Flacco an extended look in this game, look for Luck to get an extra workout. He played in two series vs the Hawks and will get more tonight, so I’d expect him to play the entire first quarter with the potential of it going into the 2nd.
The Colts are also going to give the rest of their starters an opportunity to gel with Luck. They’re using the preseason a chance for him to shake off the rust. Jacoby Brissett will follow Luck in the rotation, who is likely going to get the brunt of the snaps in this game. The Seahawks offered a second-round pick for Brissett but the Colts shot that down.
He is one of the better backups in the NFL and should do well against Ravens’ backups. I don’t know if we can call a preseason game a trap, but it appears that oddsmakers are trying to pull in money on the Ravens. Baltimore looked dominant last week, while the Colts were average. However, this game is listed as a pick despite everyone watching what Jackson and the Ravens’ quarterbacks put on last week. With that said, Luck is going to take this week and next a little more seriously. I expect him to want to show something in front of the Indianapolis crowd. Give me Brissett as well, who is more than serviceable. It should be a close final, but a 3-6 point win for the Colts looks accurate.