Just two days away from the Las Vegas Raiders season-opener against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football, it’s time to make some predictions.
At first glance, it might seem like a game favoring the Ravens. They are coming off a 2020 campaign that saw them make the NFL Divisional Round and fell to the Tennessee Titans.
In 2020, the ground game averaged just under 192 yards per game.
However, the Ravens losing the crew who made that happen, running backs J.K. Dobbins and Justice Hill, and most recently Gus Edwards for the season, the running back corps is completely different compared.
Due to these season-ending injuries, Ty’Son Williams, who was fighting to just make the roster, will be the starting running back for the Ravens. He will play the first regular-season game under the lights in primetime.
Additionally, the Ravens signed running back Latavius Murray on Friday, adding depth to the now lackluster running back corps.
All of this is mentioned because I believe the Raiders have an opportunity to take advantage of the Ravens' weaknesses.
The Ravens will most likely have a pass-heavy game on Monday, especially with the uncertainty of the new running backs.
The Raiders' defensive unit, led by defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, will have an opportunity to show it is new and improved against a Ravens ground game that is duck-taped together at the last minute.
I personally think it comes down to whether the Raiders' defense can take advantage of the injures the Ravens are having and shut down their offense by forcing them to throw the ball all game.
The new secondary unit looks promising and could take its first true big test on Monday Night Football.
I believe the Raiders will win, 24-17.
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