Forecasting the 2019 Ravens record as the 53-man roster is set

We now know the players who will make up the 2019 Baltimore Ravens 53-man roster to start the season.

Happy trails Maurice Canady!

When I did this in June, I had the Ravens finishing the season 8-8 and missing the 2019 NFL playoffs. Let’s see how they will fare now that we have answers to some of the unknown variables that existed back then.

Week 1: Sunday September 8 – 1:00 pm @ Dolphins: Win

From the June prediction: “This is a prediction that is not likely to change throughout the off-season as the Dolphins have an unsettled (and terrible) quarterback situation. Couple that with a poor roster, (somehow now worse) and the fact that this could be a de facto home game for the Ravens and it all leads to a 1-0 start for the purple and black.”

It hasn’t changed.

Week 2: Sunday September 15 – 1:00 pm vs Cardinals: Win

Kyler Murray may turn into a hell of an NFL quarterback but it’s tough for me to see him coming into Baltimore and beating the Ravens in their home opener. Rookie quarterbacks are 6-16 against Baltimore under John Harbaugh and with the defense expected to be stout once again, it could be a rough first NFL road game for the Oklahoma product.

Week 3: Sunday September 22 – 1:00 pm @ Chiefs: Loss

A lot of fans will have the game circled as potential game of the week in the NFL. The Ravens nearly tripped up the high-flying Chiefs in Arrowhead last season before ultimately falling to Patrick Mahomes and company 27-24 in overtime.

Star wide receiver Tyreek Hill will be in the fold after avoiding suspension. Running back LeSean McCoy was added to the embarrassment of riches in KC this weekend as well. The Chiefs defense should be improved and their offense is too explosive for the Ravens to keep up in this one.

Give me the Chiefs in a close one.

Week 4: Sunday September 29 – 1:00 pm vs  Browns: Win

The on paper champions will come to M&T Bank Stadium in week four. The Ravens will be looking to send a message that this isn’t the year for Cleveland to end their playoff drought.

While that may not prove to be the case over the course of the season, the Ravens will take care of Baker Mayfield and the rest of his star studded Super Bowl bound group.

Give me the Ravens getting to 3-1 here with the pass rush wrecking the Browns porous offensive line.

Week 5: Sunday October 6 – 1:00 pm @ Steelers: Loss

For whatever reason folks have been dismissing the Pittsburgh Steelers the entire off-season.

Antonio Brown and LeVeon Bell have found new homes making this an even bigger season for JuJu Smith-Schuster,  who will need to step up at wide out for the Steelers. They will also need James Conner to remain healthy and productive for 16 games.

Add in the emerging receiver James Washington and veteran tight end Vance McDonald and the Steelers will remain stout offensively. They also have a guy named Ben Roethlisberger who can still get it done at a very high level.

I see Jackson struggling in this one against an improving Steelers defense and the Ravens will fall to 3-2.

Week 6: Sunday October 13 1:00 pm – vs Bengals: Win

The Ravens will get to 4-2 by picking up an AFC North Division win over the Bengals. The Bengals have been ravaged by injuries this preseason with A.J. Green on the shelf once again. Green could be back for this game, but they also had to put projected starting left tackle Jonah Williams on season ending IR with a torn labrum. The Bengals also lost two other linemen to injuries/retirement.

The Ravens will be able to run all over a weakened Bengals defense that ranked 29th against the run last year after giving up 137.8 yards per game. While Andy Dalton and the Bengals do play well in Baltimore, their offensive line is terrible and Dalton won’t have time to  play well enough to steal a road win in this one.

Week 7: Sunday October 20 – 4:25 pm @ Seahawks: Loss

For those of you who are unaware, the Seahawks don’t lose many home games. Russell Wilson and company are 21-11 at home over the last four seasons with the 12th man providing one of the most raucous environments in the NFL.

The Seahawks offense led the NFL in rushing last season and while the Ravens defense could thwart them, I trust Wilson to be able to make more plays through the air if the need arises. Doug Baldwin was forced to retire but Tyler Lockett has emerged as a legitimate number one wide receiver.

The Seahawks just added Jadeveon Clowney to their defensive front and he brings 18.5 sacks over the last two seasons and a hunger for a big pay day with him.

The home field advantage plus an improved Seahawks pass rush will be too much for the Ravens in this one.

Week 8: Bye

Week 9 Sunday November 3 – 8:20 pm vs Patriots: Loss

This is one of the three most difficult games for me to project with the Texans and Bills representing the others. Baltimore is 9-2 coming off of a bye in the Harbaugh era. The Patriots struggled on the road last year with embarrassing losses to Jacksonville, Miami, Tennessee, and Detroit.

Rob Gronkowski has retired but Josh Gordon has been re-instated. The Patriots have a trio of running backs that could provide issues as well in James White, Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead. This is also thought to be the most talented defense for the Pats in recent memory.

And New England still has Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. They will find a way to win this game to wreck my birthday weekend.

Week 10 Sunday November 10 – 1:00 pm @ Bengals: Win

I had originally projected this one as a loss and still think it could break that way.

The game against New England will be an emotional roller coaster type game. Regardless of the outcome in that one, a letdown game wouldn’t shock me one bit. The Bengals are a division rival so the Ravens should be up for the contest.

Cincinnati will be coming off their bye week giving them extended time to prepare for the Ravens. It won’t matter as the Ravens will sweep the Bengals for the first time since 2011.

Week 11 Sunday November 17 – 1:00 pm vs  Texans: Loss

In the first prediction I pointed out that their offensive line was terrible but after acquiring stud left tackle Laremy Tunsil from the Miami Dolphins, the group looks more competent.

Right now Deshaun Watson is a significantly better QB than Lamar Jackson entering the season. However, that could be a different story by November 17 and the Ravens could come out on top in this one. On an unrelated note, I am giddy thinking about DeAndre Hopkins matching up with Marlon Humphrey.

This will be a competitive game and I HATE picking against the Ravens at home but give me back to back home losses for the Ravens.

Week 12 Monday November 25 – 8:15 pm @ Rams: Loss

If you haven’t picked up on the theme here, I don’t project the Ravens to win too many road games this upcoming season. While their ball control offense should travel well, I don’t trust Jackson to protect the ball enough or to make enough big plays in the passing game to beat quality opponents on the road.

Wade Phillips is a damn good defensive coordinator and road night games are not easy tasks in the NFL. The Rams are the better team on paper and they will prove that winning this one more convincingly than we might think here in Charm City

Week 13 Sunday December 1 – 1:00pm vs Niners: Win

Who knows what the Niners will look like at this point in the season. Does Jimmy Garoppolo stay healthy? Will he be effective? He was brutal in the preseason for San Francisco but could help steady the QB position if he can stay on the field.

Defensively, the Niners could be much improved with the additions of outside linebackers Dee Ford and first round pick Nick Bosa. The two could prove to be a stout 1-2 pass rushing punch and with question marks along the Ravens offensive line, they could wreck the backfield in this one.

I am betting against that being the case. Garropolo is too unproven for me to pick against the Ravens in this one. They gut out a December win at home to remain in the playoff hunt.

Week 14 Sunday Dec 8 1:00 pm @ Bills: Loss

I’m channeling my inner Tom Petty on this one: “I’ll stand my ground. And I won’t back down.”

From the second the schedule was released, I had this marked down as a loss and here’s why. The Bills are a different beast at home, going 19-13 over the last four seasons. This is a major swing game for the Ravens but they get the Bills at the Ralph in December with Buffalo coming off of a mini-bye after taking on the Cowboys on Thanksgiving.

The Ravens are the better team on paper but this is an intangibles nightmare for the Ravens. Josh Allen and company get a hotly contested victory.

Week 15 Thursday December 12 – 8:25 pm vs Jets: Win

Just four days later the Ravens will wrap up their slate against the AFC East as the Jets hit Baltimore for Thursday Night Football in the Ty Montgomery revenge game!

In all seriousness, if the Jets are as improved as many expect them to be, this could prove to be a key matchup in relation to AFC Wild Card contention/playoff seeding. C.J. Mosley will return to Baltimore in this game along with fellow newcomers LeVeon Bell, Jamison Crowder, and Kelechi Osemele.

It’s very difficult to win on the road in the NFL, especially on Thursday night and the Ravens will prove to be too much for the Jets in this one.

Week 16 Sunday December 22 – 1:00 pm @ Browns: Loss

The Ravens lost to the Browns in Cleveland last season and if the Browns do live up to the hype and maintain their locker room harmony there’s no reason to think they can’t even up the season set with the Ravens. The Browns very well could win the division IF they keep the drama to a minimum.

The Ravens will be enjoying a mini-bye having played on the Thursday prior but if Baker Mayfield and company have their offense firing on all cylinders, the Ravens will fail to keep up.

Week 17 Sunday December 29- 1:00 pm vs Steelers: Win

Since 2000, the Ravens and Steelers have split their single season series 12 out of 18 years with each team registering three sweeps.

With both teams projected to battle for a playoff spot, this could very likely be an elimination game in week 17. It could also be the contest to decide the AFC North division winner.

The Ravens take care of Pittsburgh in this one when Lamar Jackson hits Marquise Brown deep behind Artie Burns for the go ahead touchdown. Had to do one oddly specific prediction here.

Final Record Prediction- 8-8

That’s simply two good bounces away from 10-6 and two bad bounces from 6-10. It’s a game of inches in the NFL. The Ravens were 3-5 in games decided by one score last season. That is a figure that could change year-to-year so maybe this becomes a ten win team. The road schedule is too difficult for me. After the opener in Miami, the Ravens have one of the most difficult road slates in football. It’ll prove too much for John Harbaugh and company to overcome.

Jake McDonnell season Prediction: 9-7

Nolan McGraw season prediction: 9-7

Image Credit: Clutch Points

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.