Week 7 Match-up: Baltimore (4-1) @ Jacksonville (1-5)
The Ravens head to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars, a Monday night football match-up. Which Jacksonville team will show against the Ravens? The team who shut down the Steelers offense in the second half last week and were consistent on offense? Or the Jacksonville team who has struggled all season? We’ll find out Monday night.
Ray Lewis (run defense) vs. RB Maurice Jones-Drew (MJD): MJD is one of the top running backs in the NFL, in essence he’s the offense for the Jaguars right now while rookie QB Blaine Gabbert adjusts to the NFL. Drew is averaging 4.8 yards per carry (572 yards, 2 TD’s). Jacksonville’s rush offense is ranked 10th, averaging 122 yards on the ground per game. The Ravens run defense is ranked third in the NFL (76.6 yards per game). Like last week against Houston’s Arian Foster, Ray Lewis and his defense will look to stop the run in order make Jacksonville one-dimensional.
WR’s Anquan Boldin/Torrey Smith vs. CB Rashean Mathis (Jaguars secondary): The one bright spot for the Jaguars defensively is the secondary. Mathis has been a little inconsistent of late, but at home he should play better. The unit is ranked 8th in passing yards allowed at 210 yards per game. Both safeties Dawan Landry (third on the team in tackles) and Dwight Lowery (2 INT’s) have been effective acquisitions for the team. Don’t look now, but the Ravens offense is ranked 5th in points scored (29.6) per game. QB Joe Flacco got on a roll last week because he got back to finding Anquan Boldin.
RB Ray Rice vs. MLB Paul Posluszny (Jaguars run D): The Jags middle linebacker is having a solid season and leads his team in tackles (55 combined). He had a career high 16 tackles against Pittsburgh last week. Ray Rice is the engine to the Ravens offense, he’s been deadly this season coming out of the backfield. Besides the great rushing numbers he is putting up, he’s second on the team in receptions with 21 for 302 yards (14.4 yard average).
Ravens Secondary vs. QB Blaine Gabbert: A let down like the Ravens secondary had in Tennessee (week 2) is less likely on Monday night. In Tennessee the Titans hurt the Ravens through the air with a veteran quarterback (Matt Hasselback) and a talented group of receivers. The Jaguars receivers and quarterback are developing. After 6 games Jacksonville is ranked 32nd in passing and 31st in scoring (12 points per game). Expect FS Ed Reed and the secondary to make things difficult for the Jaguars passing attack.
WHO MAKES THE HIGHLIGHT FILM
Jonathan Scruggs: The “Ball-Hawk” Ed Reed
“Playing against a rookie quarterback likely to bend under the pressure of Monday Night Lights, I expect Ed Reed to pad his all time interceptions statistics nicely.”
Matt Jergensen: Anquan Boldin
“Boldin had a huge game last week. After reading a few of Flacco’s comments this week about how he’d like to get Q off early to get him going has me thinking that he may have a repeat performance.”
Gene Winner: T-Sizzle!
“Jacksonville’s line has allowed 14 sacks, partly due to injuries and having a rookie QB doesn’t help. Look for Terrell Suggs to rack up a couple sacks Monday night.”
Ben Zinman: Mt. Cody
“Terence Cody will appear on the next highlight reel. This year he has a motor that will not quit. He will have a very good night against the inexperienced Jacksonville QB Blaine Gabbert.”