Ravens And Jackson Look To Stay Atop AFC North

Shawn Hubbard/Baltimore Ravens Photos

Every Week Is a Must Win

All AFC North teams have a winning record going into Week 10. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens will need to win on Thursday night to be sure to maintain a one game lead over their division rivals. This is a lot of pressure to perform on a short week of rest, but thankfully, the Ravens (6-2) travel to the 2-7 Dolphins.

Lamar Jackson torched the Dolphins in the two teams’ most recent meeting in Miami. In 2019, Jackson threw for 324 yards and 5 touchdowns, achieving the perfect 158.3 QB rating. He likely will not need to reach such high marks in this game, but his track record has to be reassuring for Ravens fans. Baltimore is coming off an impressive comeback win in overtime against the Vikings, and they look to carry the positive momentum into South Beach.

Tua A Game-Time Decision

If history isn’t enough to scare Dolphins fans, their starting quarterback uncertainty might do the trick. Head coach Brian Flores said on Tuesday, “He’s making some progress, Still somewhat limited, so we’re just going to take it day-to-day and see how he is today, tomorrow, and probably take it right up to the day of the game.” The progress is enough to have Tua Tagovailoa dressed in an emergency backup role, but it is looking like the Dolphins will be running Jacoby Brissett out of the tunnel on Thursday night.

Jacoby Brissett has a 1-3 record as a starter this season. Brissett led the Dolphins to victory, but threw two interceptions in the process against Houston. The Dolphins will also be without WR DeVante Parker, who has returned to the IR. Brissett will look to rookie standout Jaylen Waddle and athletic TE Mike Gesicki in the passing game.

Lamar Jackson – Dual Threat Legend

Lamar Jackson is currently ninth in the NFL in passing yards, and sixth in rushing yards. Should he stay in the top 10 in both categories, he’ll be the first to do so since Randall Cunningham in 1990 (CBSSports). Jackson’s passing ability has been criticized throughout his career, so proving he can be a dual-threat in such an impressive way should silence any remaining critics.

Jackson leads the Ravens in rushing, after stepping up due to not one, but two season ending injuries to young, talented running backs. JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards both suffered season-ending injuries, and Lamar Jackson has stepped up to shoulder the load. The recent return of rookie WR Rashod Bateman has helped in the passing attack, and we cannot forget about the playmaking abilities of TE Mark Andrews. All signs point to another monstrous offensive output in Miami for Jackson and the Ravens. But, as we all know, there is a reason we actually have to play the games.

Tight Thursday games

For lack of a better phrase, Thursday Night Football games have been weird. Seven of the nine games so far have been decided by less than 10 points. Four of those were decided by three points or less. It stands to reason (or not follow reason) that this game will be closer than expected.

If you had asked me before Week 9 if the Ravens should be worried, I would have laughed in your face. But after watching the mayhem last week, who knows? Denver destroyed Dallas, Jacksonville stifled the Bills, and the Browns beat down the Bengals. Not to mention the Colt McCoy-led Cardinals clobbered the 49ers at home.

Miami will try to be the next successful underdog, because on paper Lamar looks to be the perfect QB he was last time in Miami.

Could this be a trap game for the Ravens? Will Tua play and overcome his injured finger? Can the Miami D slow down Lamar Jackson? Nobody has these answers, but I definitely can’t wait to find out.

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