Here’s how The Baltimore Sun sports staff views the outcome of Sunday afternoon’s game between the Ravens and the Jacksonville Jaguars at M&T Bank Stadium:
C.J. Doon, editor
Ravens 34, Jaguars 17: After an emotional roller-coaster of a game against the Browns — in which the Ravens’ playoff odds swing nearly 30% on one play — Baltimore should have an easy, comfortable victory at home. Jacksonville’s defense ranks last in the league in efficiency, per Football Outsiders, and is 24th against the run. Lamar Jackson, J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards should be able to gift-wrap a victory, but the defense could be tested by unheralded receivers D.J. Chark and Keelan Cole and rookie standouts Laviska Shenault Jr. and Collin Johnson, all of whom grade as above-average at their position.
Daniel Oyefusi, reporter
Ravens 28, Jaguars 16: The status of wide receivers Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin and James Proche II, all of whom were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list this week as close contacts, will be interesting to monitor. But even if the Ravens are short on wide receivers Sunday, they should do just fine running the ball against a Jaguars team that doesn’t do much of anything well. Outside of a setback against the New England Patriots, the Ravens have fared well against teams with losing records, and this should be no different.
Mike Preston, columnist
Ravens 31, Jaguars 13: There is some concern that the Ravens might have a let down after playing such a physical and exciting game against Cleveland on Monday night, but there is too much at stake for Baltimore. The Ravens are in playoff mode: one loss, and it’s over. It’s not a matter of how the Ravens will play, but how much will they win by. Jacksonville is totally overmatched.
Jonas Shaffer, reporter
Ravens 31, Jaguars 20: There’s not a lot about this Jacksonville defense to like. Even if the Ravens’ passing game is disrupted by the coronavirus, their run game is in good shape thanks to Lamar Jackson and an improving offensive line. The Jaguars have a handful of fun pieces on offense, and Gardner Minshew has some Baker Mayfield-esque qualities. But they’ve also lost 12 games in a row. The Ravens can’t let injuries derail their push for a wild-card berth.
Childs Walker, reporter
Ravens 31, Jaguars 17: Don’t be shocked if this is closer than expected in the third quarter. The Jaguars have played plenty of tight games this year, and the Ravens defense looked tired in the fourth quarter against the Browns. But Jacksonville’s defense won’t hold up against a Ravens running attack that’s built tremendous momentum over the past two weeks. Lamar Jackson and his teammates have fought hard to get back in the playoff race, and they’re not going to blow their chance against a 1-12 opponent.