Monday Night Football Preview: Can the Rams Upset the Ravens?
This week's edition of Monday Night Football features the 8-2 Baltimore Ravens traveling to Los Angeles to face the 6-4 Los Angeles Rams. With both teams near or at the top of their respective divisions, this matchup brings explosive potential.
Continuing their six-game winning streak, the Ravens demolished the Houston Texans 41-7 last week. On the other side, the Rams struggled offensively but ultimately defeated the Chicago Bears 17-7. While the Ravens look like the superior team on paper, both squads hold matchup advantages in this spot.
On the Ravens' side, Lamar Jackson continues his MVP-caliber season. Heading into Week 12, Jackson ranked 11th in the NFL in overall rushing yards (781). Also improved as a passer, Jackson currently completes 66.3-percent of his passes with a 7.3 net yards per attempt. Jackson also has a healthy stable of pass-catchers, with Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews finally recovered from their early-season injuries. While the addition of Jalen Ramsey certainly helped this defense, Jackson should still find room to pass against the Rams' 16th-ranked pass defense, according to our schedule-adjusted metrics.
On the other side, Jared Goff has regressed sharply as a passer in 2019. Completing only 60.3-percent of his passes (29th in the NFL), Goff has still found a way to average 278.3 passing yards per game. This week, he returns both Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods to the offense, potentially elevating his ceiling here. However, the Ravens rank sixth in overall pass defense, setting up Goff for a difficult spot in this one.
Running Back Breakdown
Largely splitting time with Malcolm Brown to start the year, Todd Gurley emerged as the Rams' clear lead back last week. Playing at least 73-percent of the Rams' snaps in back-to-back weeks, Gurley erupted for a massive 25-carry game last week. He recorded 97 rushing yards and a score on those attempts. Gurley looks likely to lead this backfield moving forward. Lucky for Gurley, the Ravens present a distinct run-funnel defense -- ranking 25th in rush defense. Gurley should find room to run here in Week 12.
On the other side, Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards, and even Justice Hill contribute to a rushing attack led by Lamar Jackson. Among the running backs, Ingram leads the group with 667 rushing yards and 8 rushing scores. Ingram is currently averaging 49-percent of Baltimore's snaps, with Edwards and Hill mixing in for 32 and 17 percent, respectively. The Rams currently rank seventh in rush defense, but will now have their hands full against Baltimore's premier rushing attack.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Ravens rank 11th and the Rams enter the week ranked 7th in overall defense.
On the Baltimore side, the Ravens rank 6th against the pass and 25th against the run. Conversely, the Rams slot in 16th against the pass and 7th against the run.
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