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Baltimore Ravens

Ravens vs. Jaguars scouting report for Week 15: Who has the edge?

Coming off their stirring win in Cleveland, the Ravens hold many advantages going into their Week 15 matchup with the 1-12 Jacksonville Jaguars. Here’s who has the edge in each phase of the game.

RAVENS PASSING GAME: Quarterback Lamar Jackson completed just six passes through the first three quarters of Monday night’s 47-42 win over the Cleveland Browns. But he did use his arm to lead the Ravens to two scores in the last two minutes. Jackson’s dramatic performance pushed him from 20th to 11th in ESPN’s QBR rankings. Tight end Mark Andrews returned from the reserve/COVID-19 list to lead the Ravens with five catches on six targets for 78 yards. Marquise Brown rapidly went from goat to hero as he bounced back from three drops to catch a 44-yard touchdown pass on the Ravens’ penultimate drive. For all the scrutiny of Brown’s uneven performance, he’s scored a long touchdown in each of the past three games. The Ravens placed Brown, Miles Boykin and James Proche II on the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, raising questions about their availability for the Jaguars game, even though none of the three tested positive, coach John Harbaugh said. The Ravens rank 31st in passing and 24th in yards per attempt.

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JAGUARS PASSING GAME: Jacksonville is going back to Gardner Minshew II at quarterback after he relieved Mike Glennon in Sunday’s 31-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans. Minshew has completed 65.1% of his passes and thrown 14 touchdowns against five interceptions, but he grades as one of the league’s 10 worst starters, according to Pro Football Focus and ESPN’s QBR. Keelan Cole (47 catches on 74 targets, 571 yards, five touchdowns) and DJ Chark (45 catches on 82 targets, 591 yards, four touchdowns) have been the team’s most productive pass catchers. The Jaguars rank 20th in passing and 26th in yards per attempt.

EDGE: Ravens

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RAVENS RUNNING GAME: The Ravens have gained 525 yards over the past two games, reasserting their status as the league’s preeminent running offense. They lead in total yardage (173.8 per game) and yards per attempt (5.3). Jackson gained a season-high 124 yards on just nine attempts against the Browns, and he’s on pace to near 1,000 for the season. Running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards have combined for 274 yards on 38 carries over the past two games while veteran Mark Ingram II played just one snap against the Browns. With tight end Nick Boyle out for the season, fullback Patrick Ricard has taken on a more prominent role as the team’s lead run blocker.

JAGUARS RUNNING GAME: Jacksonville has run efficiently, averaging 4.7 yards per carry, but ranks last in attempts. James Robinson has been the brightest spot in a dreary season, starting every game and running for 1,035 yards as an undrafted rookie. The Jaguars don’t have another significant running threat, though Minshew (5.3 yards per attempt) bears watching as a scrambler.

EDGE: Ravens


RAVENS RUSH DEFENSE: The Ravens did a decent job preventing big plays against Cleveland’s high-powered rushing attack but allowed 138 yards on 28 carries overall. They’ve allowed opponents to average 4.5 yards per carry and have struggled to hold up for 60 minutes against the league’s best ground attacks. Defensive end Calais Campbell was the team’s top interior run defender through nine games, but he’s fighting to regain his form as he deals with a lingering calf injury. On the bright side, rookies Patrick Queen and Justin Madubuike played well against the Browns.

JAGUARS RUSH DEFENSE: The Jaguars rank 30th in run defense after surrendering 215 yards to Tennessee’s Derrick Henry. They’ve allowed at least 100 yards in 11 of 13 games and have allowed at least 200 to three opponents, not the resume you want going into a matchup with the Ravens. The Jaguars are weak up front but do have a pair of productive linebackers in Joe Schobert and Myles Jack.

EDGE: Ravens


RAVENS PASS DEFENSE: The Ravens appeared exhausted as Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield led three touchdown drives of at least 70 yards in the fourth quarter. With Jimmy Smith struggling to stay on the field, their cornerback depth is gone, and starters Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey carry heavy loads every week. Humphrey forced another two fumbles against Cleveland and is making a strong case for All-Pro honors. Mayfield effectively countered the Ravens’ attempts at pressure with rollouts and quick outside throws. We’ve seen this often in recent weeks as Don “Wink” Martindale’s defense has produced just six sacks over the past seven games.

JAGUARS PASS DEFENSE: The Jaguars haven’t performed any better against the pass than they have against the run, allowing opposing quarterbacks to average 7.7 yards per attempt. Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill diced them for 212 yards and two touchdowns on just 24 attempts. Cornerback Tre Herndon and safety Josh Jones have been particularly vulnerable in coverage, and the Jaguars rank near the bottom of the league in most pressure statistics.

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EDGE: Ravens


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RAVENS SPECIAL TEAMS: Kicker Justin Tucker nailed a 55-yard game-winner into the blustery Cleveland wind to reaffirm his status as the best of his generation. Tucker has made 22 of 24 attempts on the season, with one of his misses coming from 61 yards. Punter Sam Koch ranks sixth in the league with a net average of 42.9 yards and has put 21 of 49 inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. Rookie Devin Duvernay has consistently produced as a kickoff returner, averaging 28.4 yards on 19 runbacks.

JAGUARS SPECIAL TEAMS: The Jaguars have used six kickers this year. Their most recent choice, Aldrick Rosas, has made seven of 10 field-goal attempts, including three of five from 50 yards or beyond. Punter Logan Cooke ranks just ahead of Koch with a 43.4-yard net average and has put 18 of 49 inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. Cole returned a punt 91 yards for a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers. The Jaguars have also covered punts and kickoffs well.

EDGE: Ravens


RAVENS INTANGIBLES: The Ravens are coming off one of the most inspiring wins in their history with a playoff berth in clear sight. They know they can’t afford to slip up in their final three games and have generally handled their business against teams such as the Jaguars. They’ve dropped just two games to opponents with losing records over the past two seasons.

JAGUARS INTANGIBLES: The Jaguars have not won since Week 1 and are in full rebuild mode after firing general manager Dave Caldwell. They’ve played hard, hanging with more talented teams such as the Browns and Packers. But they don’t have much reason for optimism as they travel to Baltimore coming off a thumping at the hands of the Titans.

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EDGE: Ravens


PREDICTION: 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. 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. Ravens 31, Jaguars 17


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