Here’s how The Baltimore Sun sports staff views the outcome of Sunday afternoon’s Week 4 game between the Ravens (2-1) and Denver Broncos (3-0) at Empower Field:
Jonas Shaffer, reporter
Ravens 20, Broncos 17: Three games in, we’re still flying blind on how good these teams are. Denver has faced only winless teams, and the 2-1 Ravens are a couple of plays away from being 0-3. They’re also a missed kick in Las Vegas away from being 3-0. As the Ravens get healthier, it’s Denver’s injuries on offense that could be decisive here. Expect another white-knuckle finish.
Mike Preston, columnist
Broncos 27, Ravens 24: Like the Ravens, the Broncos have suffered a lot of injuries, especially on offense. But Denver has a major advantage playing at home, while the Ravens are playing on the road for the third time in four weeks. Fatigue should be a factor.
Childs Walker, reporter
Broncos 27, Ravens 24: The Ravens have played three one-score games. The Broncos have beaten up on three bad teams. Is this a matchup of AFC contenders or a mystery bowl between two teams with a lot of questions left to answer? The Ravens will have the most dynamic player on the field in Lamar Jackson, but the Broncos have made fewer mistakes and have played better defense. They’ll edge out another victory at home.
Ryan McFadden, reporter
Ravens 21, Broncos 18: The Broncos’ 3-0 start consists of victories against the league’s bottom-tier teams, so we really don’t have a clear idea of how good they can be. The same can be said about the Ravens. Despite being 2-1, Lamar Jackson’s late-game heroics have overshadowed tackling issues and secondary struggles. Sunday’s game is looking like another tightly contested matchup, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned from the past three weeks, expect the unexpected.
C.J. Doon, editor
Ravens 24, Broncos 21: Might we see another game decided by a late Justin Tucker field goal? Sure, the Broncos have beat up on the Giants, Jaguars and Jets, but they rank fifth overall in efficiency, according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA. Teddy Bridgewater has been playing like one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant and Tim Patrick should test what’s been a leaky Ravens defense. The Ravens need a big game from Lamar Jackson and fewer drops from Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and Mark Andrews to escape with a win.
Tim Schwartz, editor
Ravens 23, Broncos 20: Justin Tucker’s 66-yard game-winning field goal in Detroit against the Lions last week might just be an appetizer for Sunday in Denver, where the altitude is high and the kicks are long. This Broncos defense is no joke, but neither is Tucker’s right leg. The Ravens have their own problems to fix on defense, but Teddy Bridgewater and his offense have feasted on some of the worst units in the league through three weeks. Tucker will be the difference-maker again as Lamar Jackson relies more heavily on his running backs as Baltimore grinds out a close victory.