The Ravens (5-2) will face the Arizona Cardinals (1-6) at 4:25 p.m. Sunday in Glendale, Arizona. Here are predictions from The Baltimore Banner’s sports staff.
Kyle Goon, columnist
The Ravens have followed some of their most impressive games with disappointments, but they’re aware of this and are deeply invested in following up one dominating win with another. These inconsistencies have loomed larger on offense, but after dicing up Detroit’s competent D last week, they have a blueprint to follow. As offensive coordinator Todd Monken said: “That’s the way [the offense] should look.”
The possibility that Kyler Murray will play adds an aspect of unpredictability, and obviously you’d figure Marquise Brown is eager to do damage to his old team. But the Cardinals are rebuilding, and their statistical output reflects how they’ve struggled to be competitive even before injuries that have hung them up more this season. It’s a chance for the Ravens to prove they can handle their business, and it’s hard to see them passing up the opportunity. Roquan Smith and Patrick Queen have packed cowboy hats: giddy up.
Ravens 34, Cardinals 9
Jonas Shaffer, reporter
The Ravens are mostly healthy; the Cardinals are not. The Ravens have Lamar Jackson at quarterback; the Cardinals have Joshua Dobbs (and maybe Kyler Murray). The Ravens lead the NFL in yards per play allowed; the Cardinals rank 29th.
Sure, the Ravens stubbed their toe the last time they played a winnable road game, leaving Pittsburgh in Week 5 with one of their worst losses in recent memory. But that was a special level of offensive wastefulness. The Ravens have the upper hand in most on-field matchups, and that should quickly become apparent.
Ravens 30, Cardinals 10
Giana Han, reporter
The Ravens have strung together back-to-back wins. The offense looked how Todd Monken hoped it would look every game, the defense was impressive yet again, and they’re mostly healthy. Are they finally finding their stride? If they build from here, the Ravens will be an impressive contender.
But, even if they don’t show out the way they did against the Lions, they have a good chance of winning against the Cardinals. Down their starting quarterback as well as several others, the Cardinals are limping along — and not so successfully. The Ravens would have to completely overlook the Cardinals to let this one go.
Ravens 31, Cardinals 7
Brandon Weigel, editor
Just as I’d hate to be the guy who asked for a trade away from a Lamar Jackson-led offense and ended up on the rudderless ship that is the Arizona Cardinals (sorry, Marquise Brown).
Look, Kyler Murray was a full participant at practice this week, a positive development on his road back from an ACL tear, but he’s not expected to play. With running back James Conner on injured reserve, a once-formidable rushing attack (second in the league with 5.2 yards per carry) has had to rely on quarterback Joshua Dobbs (5.7 yards per carry) and wide receiver Rondale Moore (9.1 yards per carry) for big gains. Mike Macdonald will surely have an answer for that.
Then there’s the Arizona defense, which has surrendered 26 points per game. Opponents have averaged 5.7 yards per play against the Cardinals and converted third downs 46% of the time. Lamar Jackson and the offense are riding high, and there’s no reason to think the Cardinals will have anything to stop them.
Ravens 27, Cardinals 13
(Editor’s note: Sports Editor Chris Korman is taking a well-deserved week off. We hope he holds up his end of the deal by actually relaxing and not scouring The Banner website.)