The Jacksonville Jaguars will be “hosting” the Baltimore Ravens in London for a Week 3 matchup that kicks off at 9:30am EST — and to get us ready for the game we sat down with Kyle Barber over at Baltimore Beatdown.
Know thy enemy.
1. Blake Bortles came back down to earth last week and your defense has been a turnover machine. Is there any chance for our beleaguered quarterback?
No. I don't think the Jaguars quarterback has a shot in this game. The Ravens managed to create four interceptions and a strip-sack on Andy Dalton. The next game, they created another five turnovers. Now, the Ravens are playing against a turnover-prone quarterback. Maybe if Allen Robinson was healthy, they'd have a chance by spreading the Ravens out, but he isn't healthy.
2. The Ravens offensive line will be missing a couple of key players. Do you think the Jaguars defensive line has the juice to capitalize?
I believe the Jaguars defense will not be nice to Joe Flacco and the offensive line. Jacksonville is a souped-up Ferrari; meanwhile, the Ravens are continuing to replace parts on their beloved first car. After losing both Alex Lewis and Marshal Yanda, we lost both starting guards. John Urschel retired, and Nico Siragusa sustained a torn ACL, MCL, and PCL in training camp. It's not pretty right now, and Jacksonville is going to harrass this offense.
3. What caused such a steep decline for the Ravens overall? It was just three years ago you were neck and neck with the Patriots in the AFC Divisional game. Now you've won 13 games over two seasons. What happened?
I hate using the injury excuse, but every season, this team ranks rather high in the injured reserve players. In 2014, we were so low on cornerback depth that teams were literally signing their own practice squad CB's so the Ravens weren't picking them up. In 2015, Joe Flacco tore his ACL. In 2016, the Ravens couldn't close out games. Now, they look different. They aren't relying on Justin Tucker to score all of their points.
4. With Allen Robinson out for the season, is there a Jaguars player on the offensive side of the ball that you'd say, "If the Ravens don't stop him, we're in trouble"?
This does have an answer, and it's Leonard Fournette. Baltimore cannot allow for the rookie to create yards. If he plows through for 100+ yards and a score or two, it lets Bortles off the hook. There is a chance of this occurring, as defensive tackle Brandon Williams injured his foot late in Week 2. He did not make the trip to London, and is out for Week 3.
5. What's gonna happen on Sunday? Will the Jaguars be able to defend their "home" turf?
This has been my biggest worry game of the past three weeks. I was extremely confident against the Bengals. I believed we'd march past the Browns, but these Jaguars are worrisome. We tend to scrape by the Jaguars, needing special teams heroics to win. I expect a sloppy game, with two defensive monsters slugging it out. The Jags interior pressure will snuff out any attack from the Ravens, while Baltimore's secondary keeps the Jaguars one-dimensional. Leonard Fournette can't create anything big with eight Ravens stacking the box. Which defense gets their offense in better position, that's what this entire game boils down to.