News on L.J. Fort, Preseason History Made & Predictions
The Baltimore Ravens will look to make the postseason for the fourth consecutive year in 2021. But of course, John Harbaugh and company are aiming for much more.
The Ravens have gone 30-7 under Lamar Jackson ever since he took over as the starter in the midst of the 2018 season.
But all of that success has only amounted to one playoff victory, which took place in last season’s Wild Card Round against the Tennessee Titans. The Ravens weren’t much of a match for the Buffalo Bills, who soundly defeated them 17-3 in the Divisional Round.
Baltimore is officially in Super Bowl-or-bust mode. According to the online gambling in Maryland, they are the early favorites to win the AFC North at +115.
L.J. Fort Suffers ACL Tear, Will Miss Season
The Ravens defense was dealt a tough blow on Saturday. Veteran linebacker L.J. Fort was injured in Saturday’s 20-3 preseason victory over the Carolina Panthers.
Per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Fort suffered a torn ACL and will miss the entire 2021 season. As Fowler noted, this is the first “major injury” of Fort’s career.
The 31-year-old appeared in 14 games for the Ravens last season, recording 53 combined tackles, one forced fumble and two passes defended.
Ravens Make Preseason History
By defeating the Panthers, the Ravens won their 19th consecutive preseason game.
This matches the record for the longest preseason winning streak in NFL history that was previously set by Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers (1959 to 62).
Baltimore hasn’t lost a preseason game since Sept. 3, 2015 — when they fell 20-19 to the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Home.
The Ravens can set a new record at 20 if they defeat the Washington Football Team this Saturday at 6:00 PM EST.
Weeks 1 to 4 Predictions
Week 1 at Las Vegas Raiders
The Ravens will open up their 2021 season with a visit to Allegiant Stadium against the Las Vegas Raiders.
This will mark the first regular game with fans at Allegiant Stadium, as Vegas didn’t have any fans at their 2020 home games because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. So the Ravens will have to brace themselves for an ultra-boisterous crowd.
The Ravens have only lost three regular season road games since the start of the 2019 season. Their ball-hawking secondary led by Marlon Hupmhrey and Marcus Peters secondary should be able to neutralize the Derek Carr-led passing game.
The resilient front seven should be able to wreak havoc on the Raiders’ rebuilt offensive line. And Vegas just doesn’t have the playmakers on defense to contain the NFL’s best rushing offense. Lamar Jackson could seriously push for 150-plus rushing yards in this one.
Prediction: Ravens 30, Raiders 21
Week 2 vs Kansas City Chiefs
The Ravens know that if they’re to claim the AFC crown in 2021, they’ll most likely have to get past Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.
Baltimore’s stout defense has had no answer for Mahomes, who owns a perfect 3-0 record against them. He has nine touchdowns against just one pick in those three games, with a ridiculous 70.45 completion percentage.
Jackson, on the other hand, has struggled mightily against the Kansas City defense. He has completed only 52.63 percent of his passes for three touchdowns and no picks.
The Ravens will have home advantage for the second straight meeting, but it’s hard to give them the edge here considering recent history. We’ll need to see an actual win over KC before we believe it.
Prediction: Chiefs 27, Ravens 24
Week 3 at Detroit Lions
This is by far the easiest contest on the Ravens schedule, even if it’s an away game.
They’ll be visiting the rebuilding Detroit Lions, a trendy pick to finish with the league’s worst record in 2021.
Detroit allowed 134.9 rushing yards per game last season. The Ravens have led the NFL in rushing in each of the last two seasons. And of course, the lack of playmakers on the Lions’ offense add up to a field day for the Baltimore defense.
Prediction: Ravens 30, Lions 10
Week 4 @ Denver Broncos
The Ravens will come back to the site of the Mile High Miracle — perhaps the most iconic play in franchise history — before they embark on a four-game homestand.
This feels like a potential trap game for the Ravens. Denver has recorded four straight losing seasons, but the star-studded defense — led by Von Miller, Bradley Chubb, Justin Simmons and Kyle Fuller — could give the Baltimore offense some issues.
That said, the Broncos have a major question mark at quarterback. Drew Lock has struggled with accuracy and turnovers. Teddy Bridgewater could be the starter for this game, but the Ravens’ defense should be able to get by with his limitations as a downfield passer.
It won’t come easy, but the Ravens should get by with a hard-fought victory.
Prediction: Ravens 20, Broncos 16