Ravens at Jaguars in London: How to watch and stream on NFL Sunday, picks
The Ravens and Jaguars head across to pond to play an early-morning game in Wembley Stadium
Even with star Ravens run-stopper Brandon Williams unavailable due to a foot injury, this figures to be a low-scoring, defensive-minded battle between two teams that want to establish the run and avoid forcing their quarterback to win the game while playing from behind. The Ravens have, as expected, taken a leap to , and it's even possible they could wind up in impressive company among the .
The Jaguars got off to an excellent defensive start by sacking Texans quarterbacks Tom Savage and Deshaun Watson 10 times in a Week 1 victory, but took a step backward last week against the Titans. Playing against Joe Flacco and company without perennial Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda should provide them a nice chance to get back on track.
The experts in Vegas see this as a pretty close, low-scoring contest, favoring the Ravens by 3.5 points and setting an over/under total of 39.5 points for the game.
How to watch, stream
- Kickoff: Sept. 24, 9:30 a.m.
- Streaming: Yahoo!
Can the Jaguars ramp up the pressure?
Jacksonville dominated the Texans in Week 1 by constantly getting after the quarterback, whether it was Tom Savage or Deshaun Watson. According to Pro Football Focus, the Jags sacked, hit, or hurried Savage on 16 of his 29 drop backs in the first half, and did the same to Watson on 11 of his 19 drop backs after halftime. As a result, the duo completed just 19 of 36 passes for a pitiful 164 yards.
Week 2 was a different story for the Jags. Going up against a Tennessee Titans offensive line that is one of the best in the league, Jacksonville generated pressure on only nine of Marcus Mariota's 30 dropbacks. Mariota didn't exactly tear them up through the air, but the lack of pressure kept the Jaguars defense from dominating the game as it did in the opener, and the Jaguars lost 37-16.
Joe Flacco hasn't had to throw that many passes in 2017 as the Raiders have dominated games against the Bengals and Browns, but he's also been extremely well-protected when he has dropped back to pass. He's been under pressure on only 29.6 percent of his dropbacks thus far, per PFF, the eighth-lowest rate among 33 qualifying passers. Of course, the best offensive lineman on his team, Marshal Yanda, is out for this game, so the Jags may be able to take advantage and get to Flacco more often than other teams have so far.
Flacco, like every other passer in the NFL, sees his performance drop off significantly when under pressure, so if the Jaguars' defensive front can find a way to dominate this game, that will go a long way toward helping them find their way to a victory.
Can the Ravens shut down Leonard Fournette?
On the other side of the ball, the Jags will surely want to establish the run with bruising rookie back Leonard Fournette so that they don't have to depend on Blake Bortles to steer them to a win.
As we wrote this offseason, the Jaguars made every effort to Cam Robinson early so as to provide him with a better infrastructure around him. Some of that infrastructure has already begun to crack as top wideout Allen Robinson tore his ACL in Week 1 and will miss the rest of the season, but he still has a couple strong wideouts and the Jaguars still want to minimize his workload by running the ball down opponents' throats with Fournette., drafting Fournette and lineman
They were able to do just that in Week 1, giving Fournette 26 carries for 100 yards and throwing him the ball three times as well, while also handing it off to Chris Ivory nine times for 42 yards. Again, Week 2 was a different story. Fournette carried 14 times for 40 yards and Ivory gained only 17 yards on his six totes.
The Ravens have allowed only 162 yards rushing through two weeks of this season, but could struggle to stop the run without Brandon Williams occupying blockers and making plays in the backfield. Williams' strength as a run defender is the reason he got a massive new contract this offseason, and the Ravens simply don't have anyone that can replace what he does. It will take more of a group effort from the guys up front to shut down the Fournette-led rushing attack, but if they can hold him in check and force Bortles to carry the load, that will only mean good things for their chances at a win.
You can read more from each team ahead of Sunday's matchup here.
Who will win?
The Ravens are 3.5-point favorites and all eight CBSSports.com experts are picking Baltimore to win. This includes Pete Prisco:
The Ravens have feasted on bad offenses and get another one in the Jaguars in London. The Ravens defense is real, but Jacksonville's defense is good too. This will be tight, but Baltimore will find a way.
Pick: Ravens 21, Jaguars 14
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