Here’s how The Baltimore Sun sports staff views the outcome of Monday night’s Week 5 game between the Ravens (3-1) and Indianapolis Colts (1-3) at M&T Bank Stadium:
Jonas Shaffer, reporter
Ravens 28, Colts 17: Indianapolis’ ground game propped up a wasteful offense in the Ravens’ road win last year, and now the Colts will be without star guard Quenton Nelson and potentially right tackle Braden Smith. Then there’s the matter of Carson Wentz’s sprained ankles. No matter how many tackles Jonathan Taylor might run through Monday, the Ravens should have the advantage in all three phases, plus home-field advantage.
Mike Preston, columnist
Ravens 24, Colts 14: The Ravens turned in their best defensive performance of the year against Denver last Sunday and they will continue to build against the Colts. Indianapolis is as physically beaten down as the Ravens but the Colts don’t have as much depth. The Ravens should win in every phase of the game again and they’ll be able to pound the ball with the running game against Indianapolis.
Childs Walker, reporter
Ravens 30, Colts 20: The Ravens found an effective formula in Denver, mixing punishing defense with a big-strike offense that took advantage of the Broncos’ fixation on stopping the run. The Colts are also coming off their best all-around performance, but they’ll be playing on the road for the third straight week, and it’s not clear Carson Wentz is the man to go play-for-play with Lamar Jackson. The Ravens will kick off their long homestand with a workmanlike victory.
Ryan McFadden, reporter
Ravens 34, Colts 21: Even though the Colts will come into M&T Bank Stadium with momentum from their victory over the Miami Dolphins, expect the Ravens defense to build off their performance against the Denver Broncos while Lamar Jackson continues to make plays down the field with his arm. The Ravens’ return home won’t feature any crazy last-minute finishes like we’ve seen from other prime-time games this season.
C.J. Doon, editor
Ravens 30, Colts 13: The Colts are better than their 1-3 record indicates, but not by much. They’ve faced a tough schedule to start the season, losing to the Seahawks, Rams and Titans before picking up their first win over the Jacoby Brissett-led Dolphins. Running back Jonathan Taylor, wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. and tight end Mo Allie-Cox are tough to defend, but quarterback Carson Wentz is going to have a tough time playing against the Ravens’ pressure-heavy defense on a pair of injured ankles. Lamar Jackson and Co. should have no trouble moving the ball against a defense that’s taken a significant step backwards this season.
Tim Schwartz, editor
Ravens 34, Colts 14: This won’t be close. Colts quarterback Carson Wentz, hobbled by two injured ankles, hasn’t been good, ranking in the bottom third of the league in passing yards, completion percentage, yards per pass attempt, QBR ... you get the point. Wentz took a beating against the Ravens last season as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles as he was sacked six times and completed 21 of 40 passes in a loss where he showed his signature toughness and resilience. The Colts defense is allowing 114 rushing yards per game, but expect the Ravens to exceed that number and break the NFL record for consecutive 100-yard rushing games. Lamar Jackson might get that on his own.