The Denver Broncos (2-0) will head to M&T Bank Stadium to take on the Baltimore Ravens (1-1) in Week 3 (September 23, 2018 at 1:00pm EST). The Ravens opened as 5-point favorites.
With Case Keenum under center, Denver’s offense has been much better than last season. But Keenum is still turning the ball over at an alarming rate – four interceptions in 2018. His 73.6 passer rating is not up to standard, but he has at least performed well late in games when the Broncos need him the most.
Their offense is enjoying the most success when running the football. They score 23.5 points per game (15th), primarily thanks to their second-ranked rushing attack. The Broncos produce 157 yards per game on the ground, led by undrafted rookie Phillip Lindsay.
The 24-year-old has rushed for 178 yards (3rd) this season, with 107 of them coming last week against the Raiders. Linday’s 6.1 yards per carry is tops among players with at least 23 carries. Getting Lindsay some opportunities with the ball in space will be essential on Sunday.
Denver’s defense is built to stop the run. They only spot their opponent 78 yards per game on the ground (6th), compared to 261.5 through the air (21st). The Broncos’ stinginess against the run has resulted in them allowing only 21.5 points per game (15th).
Denver’s defense will have to be much better defending the pass than they were last week against Oakland.
Thanks to a rejuvenated aerial attack, the Ravens are scoring 35.0 points per game (third). Joe Flacco has been very respectable for Baltimore this year, passing for 612 yards (7th) with 5 TDs and two INTs, good for a 93.5 passer rating.
Flacco wouldn’t want all the praise, though, as his revamped receiving corps has been great. John Brown has caught 7 passes for 136 receiving yards (41st) and two TDs this season.
The Ravens have needed this kind of effort from Flacco and his receivers, though, as they have not been able to run the ball efficiently. Led by Alex Collins, Baltimore averages just 3.3 yards per carry (30th in the league).
Flipping to the other side of the ball, Baltimore’s defense has been pretty good. They’re giving up just 18.5 points per game, ranking sixth in the league. But those numbers are also being padded by a Week 1 matchup with the lowly Bills.
After being torched by AJ Green and the Bengals for 34 points last week, the jury is still out on how good the Ravens defense really is.
If Baltimore can continue pestering QBs the way they have thus far, though, they’ll be just fine. Led by Tavon Young, the Ravens average three sacks per game (9th). Denver will need Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman to alleviate get rolling early and alleviate some pressure off Case Keenum this week.