Sunday's game between the Ravens and Lions will feature two potent offenses, two subpar defenses and the NFL's most electric player in Lamar Jackson. This one has all the makings of a classic shootout played on the turf inside Detroit's Ford Field. Start your engines, indeed.
Dan Campbell's Lions have played 60 good minutes of football thus far. The issue is that Campbell's team has played 120 minutes. Detroit outscored the 49ers 21-3 during the final 20 minutes of their season-opening loss. They held a 17-14 halftime lead in Green Bay on Monday night before being outscored 21-0 in the second half. In Baltimore, the Ravens have already been part of two epic finishes. They dropped their season-opener in overtime in Las Vegas before rallying from 11 points down to defeat the Chiefs last Sunday night. Baltimore is 1-1 despite a slew of injuries on both sides of the ball.
We'll break down Sunday's showdown as well as make our final score predictions. But first, here's how you can follow the action in real time.
All NFL odds are via Caesars Sportsbook.
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With J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill out for the season, the onus of Baltimore's rushing attack has once again fallen on Jackson. Jackson has risen to the occasion, as his 193 rushing yards was the third-highest total in the NFL entering Week 3. Jackson has been complemented in the backfield by Ty'Son Williams (142 yards through two games) and veteran Latavius Murray (64 yards, two rushing touchdowns). The trio has helped the Ravens remain the NFL's top-rushing unit. With 182 yards and two touchdowns, Marquise Brown remains Jackson's top receiving target. New Raven and Super Bowl XLIV champion Sammy Watkins has emerged as the Ravens' No. 2 receiver with 140 yards while averaging 17.5 yards per catch. Baltimore's offensive line has found its footing despite injuries to Ronnie Stanley and Ja'Wuan James.
Injuries and the challenge of facing two of the league's hottest offenses have led to some ugly numbers for Baltimore's defense. A traditionally tough unit, Baltimore's defense is currently 29th in the NFL in scoring, 24th in rushing touchdowns allowed and 32nd in passing. They are still a tough team to run against, as they are currently sixth in the league in run defense and 10th in yards-per-carry allowed. Leading the charge has been linebacker Patrick Queen (17 tackles and 1 sack) and rookie defensive end Odafe Oweh, who has one sack, five tackles, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery through two games. The Ravens still possess one of the NFL's top cornerbacks in Marlon Humphrey, who is currently second on the team in tackles. Baltimore has struggled to get to the quarterback, however, as it has just three sacks entering Sunday's game.
Consistency is key for a Lions team that remains in search of its first win. At times, Jared Goff has looked like the quarterback who helped lead the Rams to the Super Bowl. He's completed nearly 69 percent of his throws with five touchdowns against two interceptions. His top two targets have been tight end T.J. Hockenson (16 catches for 163 yards and two touchdowns) and second-year running back D'Andre Swift, who actually has more receiving yards (106) than rushing yards 76) thus far. Swift has been complemented in the backfield by former Packer Jamaal Williams, who along with leading the Lions in rushing is currently third on the team in receptions. The Lions need to get more production from their receivers, however, as only 23 of Goff's 64 completions have gone to one of his receivers.
The Lions' defense -- led by linebackers Alex Anzalone and Jamie Collins and safeties Will Harris and Tracy Walker -- grudgingly gave up yards against the Packers on Monday night, giving up 96 yards and a score on 31 carries and not allowing a run of over 9 yards. Detroit's defense has had its share of injuries that include cornerback Jeff Okudah's season-ending Achilles injury. Like the Ravens, the Lions have already faced two formidable offensives and quarterbacks in Jimmy Garoppolo and reigning league MVP Aaron Rodgers. The Lions did not stack up particularly well, as they are currently 31st in the league in scoring, 28th in both touchdown passes allowed and in red-zone efficiency.
If the Lions play four quarters while minimizing Jackson's big plays, they can pull off the upset. Detroit will also have to win the battle of the trenches, which is where first-round pick Penei Sewell comes in handy. I won't pick the Lions in an upset, but I do think they can cover the spread while coming up short for a second time in three weeks.
Score: Ravens 31, Lions 27
Check out CBSSports.com for even more predictions on this game and the rest of Week 3.