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Scouting report for Ravens-Jaguars on Sunday at Wembley Stadium in London

RAVENS PASSING GAME: The Ravens opened things up a bit on offense last week and Joe Flacco was sharp. He has been intercepted in eight straight games dating to last year, the longest current streak in the NFL. Flacco completed 20 of his 25 passes against the Cleveland Browns last week to backs or tight ends. The Ravens want to get Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman involved and take more deep shots. The patchwork offensive line will have its hands full against an aggressive Jaguars front.

JAGUARS PASSING GAME: Young quarterback Blake Bortles nearly lost his job during the preseason. That talk has quieted somewhat but the former first-round draft pick hasn’t looked a whole lot different than he has in previous years. He’s completing 56.4 percent of his attempts and he’s averaging only 6.33 yards per throw. The Jaguars lost their top receiver, Allen Robinson, to a season-ending knee injury. The Jaguars offensive line was considered a problem but the unit has only allowed two sacks in two weeks.

EDGE: RAVENS

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RAVENS RUNNING GAME: True to their offseason vow, the Ravens have been committed to the run through the first two weeks, and they’ve had decent success. Their 74 rushing attempts are the second most in the league, just one behind the Denver Broncos. Their 293 rushing yards are behind only the Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs. It will be a challenge for those numbers to continue without Marshal Yanda, but the Ravens believe they have three diverse backs in Terrance West, Buck Allen and Alex Collins.

JAGUARS RUNNING GAME: Head coach Doug Marrone wants Jacksonville to be a physical, run-oriented team and he has a back in place in rookie Leonard Fournette to accomplish that. The fourth overall draft pick has a touchdown in each of his first two games and ranks fifth in the league with 140 rushing yards. His 40 rushing attempts are the second most in the NFL. Chris Ivory is Fournette’s primary backup. Bortles is a threat to scramble, as well.

EDGE: EVEN

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RAVENS RUSH DEFENSE: The Ravens are surrendering 85 rushing yards per game, which ranks a respectable 12th in the NFL. However, that’s probably more a function of their opponents abandoning the run over the first two games because they’ve been behind. The Ravens are allowing opposing ball carries to gain four yards per carry, more than defensive coordinator Dean Pees would like. Stopping the run-oriented Jaguars without Brandon Williams would be a big challenge. Carl Davis needs to play big.

JAGUARS RUSH DEFENSE: The Tennessee Titans ran all over the Jaguars last week with 179 rushing yards on 5.0 yards per carry and three touchdowns. Expect the Ravens to test whether the Jaguars have shored up their run defense. After playing little as a rookie, Myles Jack has been all over the field so far this season with 20 tackles in two games. Tevin Smith plays alongside Jack as Paul Posluszny is no longer being used as an every-down linebacker.

EDGE: RAVENS

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RAVENS PASS DEFENSE: After two weeks, the Ravens have eight interceptions, two more than any other team, and eight sacks, tied for fourth in the NFL. Ravens defensive backs, though, acknowledge that they are committing way too many coverage breakdowns that will bite them against better teams. Rush linebacker Terrell Suggs, who has three sacks and two forced fumbles, draws rookie second-round tackle Cam Robinson. The Ravens will try to get after Jaguars mistake-prone quarterback Blake Bortles.

JAGUARS PASS DEFENSE: There’s a lot of talent with this group. A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey, a player the Ravens coveted in the 2016 draft, are one of the best cornerback duos in the league. Barry Church and Tashaun Gipson form a solid veteran safety tandem. Calais Campbell and former Maryland standout Yannick Ngakoue are explosive edge rushers and Malik Jackson gets penetration inside. The Jaguars sacked Houston Texans quarterbacks 10 times in Week 1 and are allowing just 160.5 passing yards per game.

EDGE: JAGUARS

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RAVENS SPECIAL TEAMS: It hasn’t haunted them yet, but the Ravens are relying on so many young players on their coverage units. One such player, Bam Bradley, who was being counted on to help offset the loss of injured Albert McClellan, is done for the year. Sam Koch has put six of his 11 punts inside the 20-yard line. The Ravens have not been aggressive with their kick-return game in taking balls out of the end zone. Michael Campanaro is averaging seven yards per punt return.

JAGUARS SPECIAL TEAMS: Jacksonville has had its problems on special teams. Third-year kicker Jason Myers has a big leg, but he missed a short field-goal and an extra-point attempt last week. The Jaguars are allowing 25.3 yards per punt return, tied for the most in the NFL. Brad Nortman ranks 28th in the league with a 37.4-yard net punting average. Former Raven Donald Payne is used on special teams. Marqise Lee is Jacksonville’s primary punt returner with Corey Grant handling kickoffs.

EDGE: RAVENS

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RAVENS INTANGIBLES: The Ravens have tried to treat this week as a typical road game and not get wrapped up in all the pomp and circumstance of playing in London. But it is a different experience for most of the Ravens players compared with the Jaguars, who are playing overseas for the fifth consecutive year. The Ravens are also pretty banged up, but they’re probably used to that by now. This is the fourth straight year these teams have met and the Ravens haven’t been at their best during the matchups.

JAGUARS INTANGIBLES: The Jaguars were one of the talks of Week 1 when they throttled the division rival Texans on the road. Much to their mercurial nature, they came back home the following week and were dominated by the Titans. In that game, Marrone’s team committed three turnovers and was called for 10 penalties. Turnovers have plagued the Jaguars in recent years. Jacksonville has won its past two games in London after losing its first two.

EDGE: EVEN

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PREDICTION: The Ravens and Jaguars have played four times since the 2011 season and those games have been decided by 17 total points with each team winning two. Regardless of how poorly the Jaguars played last week, this is a dangerous matchup for the Ravens. The Jaguars don’t always look the part, but they have an extremely talented defense and the personnel to expose several areas where the Ravens have question marks. Still, when it comes down to a close game, I trust Flacco more than Bortles and the Ravens’ pedigree more than the Jaguars. Ravens, 20-19

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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