To get a little bit more insight into what the Jaguars will be facing on Sunday in Baltimore, we spoke with Kyle Barber, managing editor of SB Nation’s Baltimore Beatdown — a fantastic site for coverage of the Ravens.
Here is what he had to say:
1. The Ravens are currently sitting at 8-5 and right behind the Dolphins for the seventh playoff spot. Do you think Baltimore makes it into the playoffs, and if so, do you see this team as a legitimate Super Bowl contender?
Kyle: I’m confident the Ravens make the playoffs. The recent Monday night victory over the Browns was a real springboard for this team and I trust the Ravens to win out and give themselves the best opportunity to make the postseason.
I don’t know if I’d call Baltimore a contender, but anything can happen.
2. The Ravens have a couple of talented defensive linemen and former Jaguars in Calais Campbell, and Yannick Ngakoue who the Ravens traded for mid-season. How have those two played this year and do you expect them to have a big game on Sunday?
Kyle: Campbell played well until suffering a calf injury. I believe he was brought Back a bit too quickly and is struggling. However, he’s still playing well for his age. I think he’s finally slowing down, unfortunately.
Ngakoue has just narrowly missed making “the plays.” He’ll create pressure, but narrowly miss the sacks. This just may be the game he gets going.
3. How can Jacksonville’s defense, which has been shredded all year long, contain Lamar Jackson?
Kyle: Speed at linebacker paired with responsibility will do wonders for any defense hoping to contain Jackson. The misdirection, counter and bash concepts have really done well lately. I think Myles Jack and Joe Schobert are capable of defending him well.
4. Is there a player on either side of the ball for the Ravens who could make an impact on Sunday that Jaguars fans may not be aware of?
Kyle: Going with two names here.
First, Dez Bryant. I know you’ve heard of him but it’s still quite a shock that he’s a Baltimore Raven and finally returning from a COVID scare. Especially considering the Ravens could be without Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin and James Proche II. They could play on Sunday but they have to test negative all week after being a “high-risk, close contact.”
On defense, Tyus Bowser. He has notched an interception in three straight games. Of all the Ravens’ outside linebackers, he’s produced the most in terms of splash plays.
5. What is the general feeling amongst Ravens fans about John Harbaugh and his staff? As a Michigan State fan I have to ask, but John couldn’t possibly be as annoying as his brother, Jim, right?
Kyle: The Ravens’ fan base is incredibly fickle. One week, Harbaugh is a genius. The next, they should’ve fired him two years ago. As for my feelings, I’m confident in him. I’m also confident he’d be unemployed for 30 seconds if fired or released. He’s a top coach in the NFL.
6. Score prediction?
Kyle: I’m desperate for a 44-7 revenge score, but I’m not confident this defense can truly rack up such strong numbers.