LONDON – As thousands of Baltimore natives flock to Wembley stadium to watch their home team participate in the International Series for the very first time, equally as many people will enjoy their morning coffee in the United States. with a game of football at 9:30 AM. As the NFL expands it’s influence beyond the U.S, more and more of the United Kingdom’s citizens are becoming fans of the “off-brand” rugby, as it has been referred to. There are an overwhelming amount of Ravens and Jaguars fans that are native to the UK and have their respective fan clubs.
Sunday will mark the fourth consecutive year that Baltimore has faced Jacksonville in the regular season, something fans haven’t seen since the days of the AFC Central rivalry. The Ravens own two of the last three matchups and look to extend their winning ways against Jacksonville to 3-1 over the last four years.
Some things to look for in this matchup:
Ravens Offensive Line: With future Hall of Fame guard Marshal Yanda done for the season with a broken ankle, Tony Bergstrom will be thrusted into the front five. How they will handle a Jaguars defense that exploded for 10 sacks in week 1? Joe Flacco will have his hands full nonetheless.
Blake Bortles: This guy is awful, probably the worst QB the Ravens will face this season. Baltimore could easily capitalize on mistakes made by Bortles and leave the game with another 5 turnover game to their name.
Brandon Williams OUT: After suffering an ankle injury in last week’s 24-10 win over the Cleveland Browns, defensive tackle Brandon Williams will not play on Sunday. Without the anchor on Baltimore’s defensive line, Leonard Fournette could see a lot of carries up the middle to try and take advantage of Williams’ absence
Ravens WRs: It’ll be fun to watch the downfield sparring matches that will undoubtedly take place between WRs Mike Wallace and Jeremy Maclin, and DBs A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey. Ramsey has not practiced all week (ankle), but he did not practice all of last week and still played against the Titans. Ramsey says he will play against the Ravens, despite his ankle problem. It could go either way as there will be at least one big play on each side.
Ravens Run Game: Although early runs look promising, we have yet to see if the Ravens will continue to run in a pressure situation, which they could face from the Jaguars.
Whoever wins this matchup will own bragging rights, bring back memories of good times in the AFC Central.