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11/25/18 Raiders Pregame

Baltimore will host the hapless Oakland Raiders in what is probably their easiest game left in the schedule. The odds makers have the Ravens by 10 ½ points which is a huge margin especially for a team as inconsistent as the Ravens. It tells you how poorly the Raiders are thought of this year. Jon Gruden’s return to the NFL has been a rocky one and it seems that every decision he makes is a bad one. Raiders have only two wins this year – one against the Browns and one against the Cardinals. The Raiders seem to be a team in turmoil and they have been unable to get any traction in this season.

The Ravens will start Lamar Jackson for a second straight week as Flacco has been declared out for Sunday. Lamar has had the benefit of practicing all week which should help him on Sunday. He will have the benefit of playing one of the weaker defenses in the NFL as the Raiders are ranked 22nd in the league, and rank 31st against the run. If the Raiders have a difficult time stopping the run game then you could see a similar style game that you saw this past Sunday. If the Ravens can play ball control offense, they will be able to keep the Raiders offense off the field and the Ravens defense can stay fresh. On paper this game looks like a bad day for the Raiders.

The Ravens are banged up right now especially on the offensive line so you have to keep your eye on how well they do in the trenches. Lamar’s speed and elusiveness really helps the line because the defense cannot over commit which keeps them from being overly aggressive on their rush. One would think that Lamar will not run as much as he did last week and that Collins and Edwards will see more carries in this game. Coach Mornhinweg will likely call more pass plays this week especially if Lamar protects the ball early, plays smart, and does not try to force the ball in tight spaces. I think the Ravens will dominate in this game but I don’t think the scores will get out of hand. I like the Ravens to cover the 10 ½ points but just barely. Let’s hope that the Ravens defense can find a way to get a turnover this week and put an end to this takeaway drought – Lord knows they are way overdue for some. Enjoy the game and stay thirsty my friends.

Oakland Raiders hosted by the Baltimore Ravens – November 25th at 1:00 pm
Odds – Ravens by 10 ½ points     Over/Under 42 1/2

Game Predictions
Score         Ravens 27         Raiders 16
Turnovers         Even
Net Rushing Yardage         Ravens 178         Raiders 88
Net Passing Yardage         Ravens 190         Raiders 182

Miscellaneous Predictions
• Lamar cracks 80 rushing yards
• Ravens call a fake punt
• Ravens TOP north of 33 minutes
• Refs make terrible calls

Possible Monday morning headlines in the Sun Papers
• Lamar leads Ravens to second straight win

Keys to the Game
• Play possession football
• Force turnovers
• Stop the run

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