Baltimore Ravens vs. Las Vegas Raiders Matchup Preview (9/13/21): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)
Baltimore Ravens vs. Las Vegas Raiders Matchup Preview (9/13/21)
Monday Night Football are three of the best words to hear as a sports fan and the first Monday Night game should be a great one. Both teams enter the season with explosive offenses with completely different styles. Baltimore likes to beat the spirit out of their opponents using their great rushing attack, led by former MVP Lamar Jackson. Las Vegas likes to air the ball out and have their great cast of receivers and solid QB Derek Carr. Baltimore gets the added benefit of having one of the best defenses in the NFL, but the Ravens are limping into the season while the Raiders have no injuries to date. We’ll see what style wins out in a primetime matchup for the ages.
Date: September 13, 2021
Time: 8:15 pm ET
Location: Allegiant Stadium – Las Vegas, NV
Baltimore Ravens vs. Las Vegas Raiders Live Stream
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RB J.K. Dobbins (ACL)
RB Gus Edwards (ACL)
LB L.J. Fort (ACL)
T Ja’Wuan James (Achilles)
WR Rashod Bateman (Groin)
CB Khalil Dorsey (Undisclosed)
CB Inman Marshall (Knee)
CB Marcus Peters (ACL)
T Randin Crecelius (Concussion)
Baltimore Ravens Analysis
Lamar Jackson trots out as the star quarterback for the Ravens. Jackson is a handful to contain as he is one of the fastest and most elusive players in the NFL. He couples his incredible leg talent with his strong arm, where he can throw the ball 40 yards down the field on a rope. However, we don’t know how good Lamar could be as a pocket passer because Baltimore never throws the ball. Last year, the Ravens had the fewest passes attempted and had the fewest passing yards in the NFL. Teams caught onto this and started to crowd the box, leaving Jackson and his cast of running backs with nowhere to run. This lack of production in the passing game wasn’t so much on Jackson, it’s more because Jackson had nowhere to throw the ball.
TE Mark Andrews was their most effective pass catcher last season as WR Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, WR Willie Snead, and WR Devin Duvernay could not get separation. The Ravens addressed this issue head-on by getting WR Sammy Watkins in free agency and WR Rashod Bateman and WR Tylan Wallace in the draft. If this isn’t enough to get the passing offense up in the air, then I don’t know what can fix the worst passing team in the NFL last year.
Baltimore’s running back situation has been decimated to start the year as they have now lost both J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards to season ending injuries. This led to them signing Latavius Murray, who was recently cut by New Orleans.
When the offense was struggling, it was up to the defense to keep them in games. And it was a good thing for the Ravens that they had a top 5 defense last year. Every level of their defense has All-Pro talent and it starts in the secondary. CB Marcus Peters and CB Marlon Humphrey were monsters in the secondary last year as Peters had 4 INTS, 4 forced fumbles, and 9 passes deflected while Humphrey had 1 INT, 8 forced fumbles, and 82 tackles. However, Ravens lost Peters as well for the seasonRounding out the secondary are S DeShon Elliot and S Chuck Clark who are good players on their own merit and will never be exposed as the weaker links of the defense. At linebacker, they have a mix of veterans and young players as they have Patrick Queen, Pernell McPhee, Malik Harrison, Tyus Bowser, and Justin Houston. These guys are all solid players as they can all stop the run as well as cover opposing running backs and tight ends. In the trenches, the Ravens have some of the best big uglies in the NFL as they have monsters like DT Calais Campell, DT Brandon Williams, and DE Derek Wolfe. These guys will mess their day up as they have great power and speed for big guys and will sack your quarterback in a hurry.
The Ravens have huge expectations this year as they are not only one of the most complete teams in the NFL, but also have one of the highest odds to win the Super Bowl. Their division and schedule are one of the toughest in the NFL, but they have the talent on offense and defense to get to the playoffs.
Baltimore Ravens Depth Chart
QB: Lamar Jackson
RB1: Latavius Murray
RB2: Ty’son Williams
WR1: Marquise Brown
WR2: Sammy Watkins
WR3: Tylan Wallace
TE1: Mark Andrews
TE2: Nick Boyle
Las Vegas Raiders Analysis
The Raiders are one of the most fun teams in the NFL because they are the definition of boom or bust. They have all of the offense in the world with no defense to back them up. To give you perspective, the Raiders scored the 10th most points in the NFL last year while also giving up the 4th most amount of points. Head coach Jon Gruden hasn’t had much success with the team since returning to the Raiders, and his seat is awfully hot for a guy with a 10-year contract. If the defense is serviceable, then this team can go as far as the Super Bowl. Let’s look at some of Las Vegas’ players.
At quarterback, the Raiders have one of the most underrated players in the NFL in Derek Carr. Carr has had over 4,000 yards and around 20 touchdowns to 10 INTS a season for the past three seasons under Gruden. Carr has great numbers because of his solid arm strength, intelligence, and accuracy. It also helps that he has a great cast of receivers and offensive weapons to throw to. The best receiving threat on the team is their tight end, Darren Waller. Waller had the best year of his career last year as he racked up 1,196 yards and 9 TDS. Waller functions as the Travis Kelce for the Raiders as he has great hands, size, and speed for a receiving tight end. Linebackers are too slow to cover him while safeties are too small. On the outside, John Brown and Willie Snead are the new additions to a team that was already loaded with receiver talent. Henry Ruggs was the speedster last year, although he didn’t live up to his 12th overall selection. Bryan Edwards is a huge target on the outside while Hunter Renfroe was one of the best slot receivers in the NFL last year.
Their running backs are also solid, which is a good thing since their offensive line has regressed. Josh Jacobs is the man for their offense as he is physical and fast for a guy as big as he is. To help take some of the pressure off of Jacobs, Kenyan Drake was added to the roster. Drake is a number 1 option in his own right as he had 955 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns for the Cardinals last year. The issue I have with their rushing production is that they lost several good offensive linemen. The Raiders did select T Alex Leatherwood from this year’s draft, but they lost Trent Brown, Gabe Jackson, and Rodney Hudson. These are three Pro-Bowl players and 1 high draft selection can’t make up for that type of production.
The defense is the real sore spot for Las Vegas. They are among the worst in the league and can’t stop the run or the pass. The real problem for the Raiders defense is that they didn’t sign anyone noteworthy in the offseason. Their best signings were DE Yannick Ngakoue, CB Casey Hayward, and DT Quinton Jefferson, who both had down years last season. These guys are still solid players, but not good enough to carry the many mistakes the Raiders have on that side of the ball. Their secondary is as good as burnt toast as they have players like S Jonathan Abram, CB Trayvon Mullen, S Karl Joseph, and S Tre’Von Moehrig. These players are susceptible to being beaten in the open field and they leave large spaces for receivers to catch the ball as a unit. Their linebackers aren’t much better as they have Cory Littleton, Tanner Muse, and Nick Kwiatkoski. These players can stop the run, but can’t cover opposing running backs or tight ends. And finally, we have their defensive line, which is actually pretty solid and definitely the best part of their defense. Maxx Crosby, Karl Nassib, Clelin Ferrel, Jonathan Hankins, Solomon Thomas, Quinton Jefferson, and Yannick Ngakoue are actually some pretty scary dudes to block. They all have tremendous power and great hands to make opposing quarterbacks’ lives a living nightmare.
The Raiders need a respectable defense to be good. They have all the firepower in the world on offense but have been gashed and burned by their defense for the past couple of seasons. If Jon Gruden and the coaching staff can figure out the defense, the Raiders have a legitimate chance to make the playoffs this year.
Las Vegas Raiders Depth Chart
QB: Derek Carr
RB1: Josh Jacobs
RB2: Kenyan Drake
WR1: Henry Ruggs
WR2: John Brown
WR3: Bryan Edwards
TE1: Darren Waller
TE2: Foster Moreau
Baltimore Ravens vs. Las Vegas Raiders Betting Corner
Kicking off the season with a Monday night shootout isn’t a bad way to start the season. This game should be filled with huge chunks of yards and points due to the offensive firepower the Raiders have on offense coupled with the great offense of the Ravens and the bad defense of the Raiders. The Raiders had one of the worst defenses last season and I don’t think their defensive issues will be magically fixed in Week 1. On the other side, the Ravens have a monstrous run game, which will look even better with the terrible Ravens defense. They also have Lamar Jackson, who makes good defenses look silly so imagine what he will do to the Raiders. In their first games last season, the Ravens beat the Browns 38-6 while the Raiders beat the Panthers 34-30. So this just tells me that these two teams come to play Week 1. This also tells me that the Ravens love to beat up teams as the Ravens beat the crap out of a good Browns team while the Raiders barely beat a bad Panthers team.
So, on my card, put me down for -4.5 Ravens and over 51 points because of the two great offenses playing in this game and the Ravens having a defense that can get one key stop to win the game.
Prediction: -4.5 Ravens & over 51 pts
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