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Ravens-Colts: Matchups to Watch, Advantage, Prediction

Baltimore is favored by 7.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens host the Colts on Monday Night Football.

Here are the matchups to watch, along with who has the advantage and a prediction.

Offense

Passing Offense: Quarterback Lamar Jackson is having his best season throwing the ball. Opponents are stacking the box to stop the Ravens' high-powered running attack, so Jackson is showing he can beat them over the top. Over four games, Jackson has thrown for 1,077 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions (89.3 passer rating). Baltimore is ranked 13th in passing and sixth in yards per attempt. Marquise Browns leads the team with 326 yards receiving with three touchdowns. Tight end Mark Andrews has also been solid. The Colts have managed just eight sacks, which ranks in the bottom third of the league. Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner (five quarterback hits, one sack) has been effective. Indianapolis is allowing 216.8 yards passing per game. The Ravens should be able to make plays downfield. 

Advantage: Ravens

Rushing Offense: The Ravens are ranked third in the league with 164.5 rushing yards per game. The Ravens had to overhaul their running backs room when J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill each suffered season-ending injuries in training camp. As a result, the Ravens brought in Latavius Murray, Devonta Freeman, and Le’Veon Bell to join Ty'Son Williams, who was already on the roster. Jackson leads the team with 279 yards rushing, followed by Williams (6.1 ypc) and Murray (3.4). Linebacker Darius Leonard and defensive tackle Tyquan Lewis have been solid against the run for the Colts, who are allowing 115 yards rushing per game. However, defensive end Kwity Paye has been ruled out. The Ravens should eventually be able to wear down this unit. 

Advantage: Ravens

Offense

Passing Defense: The Ravens are facing quarterback Carson Wentz for a second consecutive season. Last year, Wentz nearly led the Philadelphia Eagles to a stunning comeback against Baltimore. He threw for 213 yards with a touchdown as the Eagles scored 22 points in the fourth quarter but fell short 30-28. Wentz has thrown for 920 yards with five touchdowns and one interception this season. He has blended well with the Colts' new offense. His favorite targets are wide receivers Michael Pittman (23 receptions, 279 yards) and Zach Pascal (15 receptions, 156 yards, 3 touchdowns). The Ravens dominated the Broncos and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater last week with five sacks, and they'll keep the pressure on Wentz in this game.  

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Advantage: Ravens

Rushing Defense: Baltimore has been stout against the run and is allowing 85 yards per game. Indianapolis is led by Jonathan Taylor (274 yards, 4.7 yards per carry); however, they held him to to 27 yards on six carries when they played last season. Nyheim Hines will also get some carries and Wentz is capable of making plays with his feet. The Colts are running for 112 yards per game, which ranks 15th in the league. They will try to run the ball to keep Jackson off the field.

Advantage: Ravens

Special Teams: Ravens kicker Justin Tucker is having another solid season. Devin Duvernay leads the NFL with an 18.9-yard punt return average. Colts kicker Rodrigo Blankenship has made nine of 10 field-goal attempts.

Advantage: Ravens

Prediction

The Ravens got through the hardest portion of their schedule with three wins in four games, including three on the road. M&T Bank Stadium will be packed and loud for a Monday night game in October. The Ravens are also trying to break the record for most consecutive games with 100 or more rushing yards. They are currently tied with the Steelers (1974 to 1977) at 43. The Colts are struggling and won't be able to keep pace with surging Baltimore, which could also be healthier this week.

Ravens 34, Colts 18