What: Ravens (2-0) at Jaguars (0-2)
When: Sunday, 1 p.m.
Where: EverBank Field, Jacksonville
Five questions you should ask:
1. Can the Ravens get their rushing attack going?
Jacksonville ranks 25th in run defense, and Melvin Gordon of the Chargers ran for 102 yards against the Jaguars last week. If Justin Forsett and Terrance West can’t combine for at least 100 yards, it will raise more concerns about the state of the Ravens’ running game.
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2. Can the Ravens’ secondary control Jaguars receivers Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson?
Both Hurns and Robinson caught a touchdown pass last year in Baltimore, when the Jaguars beat the Ravens. Expect Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles to test Ravens’ corners Jimmy Smith and Shareece Wright, looking to strike with some big plays.
3. Will Jaguars running back Chris Ivory be a problem for the Ravens?
After missing the first two games with an undisclosed illness, Ivory is expected back against the Ravens. A 1,000-yard rusher with the Jets last season, Ivory is a physical runner who the Ravens will have to gang tackle.
4. Will the Ravens’ offense have another sluggish start?
The Ravens don’t have a first quarter touchdown yet this season. It hasn’t stopped them from going 2-0, but another slow start, especially on the road, could lead to a deficit from which they don’t escape. Offensive coordinator Marc Trestman and quarterback Joe Flacco both want to see the offense start faster.
5. Do the Ravens keep banking wins in September, before the schedule gets tougher?
The Ravens haven’t been 3-0 since 2009. No matter how favorable the schedule has been, there’s nothing wrong with stacking wins early. The Jaguars figure to be desperate, and road wins in the NFL are rarely easy. The Ravens may need their best game so far to leave Jacksonville with a win.
The Jaguars are more desperate, but I think the Ravens are the better team. I see Justin Tucker winning a close game with a late field goal.
Ravens 23, Jaguars 20
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