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9/15/2019 Cardinals vs. Ravens Pregame

The Ravens host the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday in their home opener. The fans will be loud and proud to be sure and I would expect them to push the decibel meter to the max. Seeing the bevy of receivers and the accurate throws from Lamar last week has given new hope to the fans that these are not the same Ravens we have been seeing in recent years. The Ravens are coming off perhaps their most impressive and dominating road victory in franchise history and the temptation is for the players to think they are better than they really are at this point in the season. I have no doubt Harbaugh and the coaches are trying to keep their player’s heads from getting inflated but these are young men and not so easily persuaded. Let’s hope that this group stays hungry and motivated.

Sunday’s game will also be a home coming for Suggs, Williams and Crabtree. No one cares about Max and Crab, but it will be interesting to see the fans reaction to seeing T-Sizzle in a red jersey. Suggs was the defensive leader for the Ravens when Ray left and as a 16 year veteran he was a loved player in the stands as well as in the locker room. You have to believe that Suggs would love nothing more than to be a game wrecker on Sunday and you also have to know that Coach Roman is going to do everything in power to make Suggs a non-factor in this game. I would expect that Coach Roman will game plan to double team, chip and harass Suggs all day long. Let’s hope that it works and that Suggs stat line at game’s end is full of goose eggs.

The Cardinals are not projected to be very good this year and they are starting a new rookie quarterback in Kyler Murray – who like Jackson has a strong arm and running back like skills. Murray and Jackson are very similar in style and talent. Ravens are pretty good at home and they are especially good against rookie quarterbacks where their record is 15 and 2. In his season debut Murray threw for two TDs and over 300 yards, but it took 54 attempts to get these stats. Lamar had better stats last week with less than half those pass attempts. The Ravens secondary can only hope that Murray throws over 50 times on Sunday.

After week one in the NFL the Ravens are the number one ranked offense and defense. This won’t likely last too long but it is fun to see it in the stats section even if for just one week. The Ravens are the overwhelming favorites this Sunday and the odds makers have the Ravens by 13 ½ points. For those of you unfamiliar with betting lines that is a huge margin for victory. That tells you that Vegas expects this game to be a blow out. If the Ravens stay to their game plan and protect the ball then this game should be a walk away win. The Cardinals have some very good receivers in Fitzgerald and Johnson and the Ravens will have to keep their games in check. The Cardinals are not as bad as the Dolphins but they are not very good and that is why they are ranked in the bottom 5 teams in most NFL power rankings. I think Ravens play their game on Sunday and they will control the ball and the clock and have this game in hand by the 3rd quarter. Even at 13 ½ points I would take the over. Enjoy the game my friends and stay thirsty.

Game Predictions
Score      Ravens    30      Cardinals    16
Turnovers      Plus    2
Net Rushing Yardage      Ravens    161      Cardinals    72
Net Passing Yardage      Ravens    292       Cardinals    269

Miscellaneous Predictions
• Peanut leads all tacklers with 7 tackles and 1 assist
• Chris Moore has 3 receptions and 1 TD
• Suggs does not record any sacks
• Refs make terrible calls

Keys to the Game
• Contain Murray and don’t let him run on you
• Control the clock 35+
• Protect the rock

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