Week 2 of the NFL preseason gets started Thursday night, highlighted by a game between the Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Ravens. At home, the Ravens are favored by four points with an over/under of 37 points.
Baltimore is hoping to build off of last year’s division title and playoff appearance behind Lamar Jackson. They are also coming off an impressive preseason opener, beating Jacksonville 29-0. Jackson led the Ravens to 10 points in the three drives he played, while the defense pitched a shutout and scored a touchdown, so the Ravens should feel good about where they are on both sides of the ball right now.
The Packers were also victorious in their preseason opener, beating the Texans 28-26. Things are a little different in Green Bay this year, as Matt LaFleur is taking over as head coach. The Packers have also gone back-to-back seasons without making the playoffs, so they are eager to turn things around and perhaps win a few more preseason games.
After sitting out last week’s game, Aaron Rodgers will get his first action of 2019 against the Ravens. The Baltimore defense that dominated the Jaguars last week will have to deal with Rodgers for at least a quarter. Of course, Rodgers will be trying to develop some chemistry with some of his receivers not named Davante Adams, as the Packers are a little inexperienced at that position.
Once Rodgers has played enough, the Packers will turn the offense over to DeShone Kizer for most of the game. Kizer played well last week, completing eight of his 13 passes with a touchdown. Third-string quarterback Tim Boyle also tossed two touchdown passes, so the Green Bay offense appeared to be clicking, even with their backups getting a majority of the snaps in the exhibition opener. The Packers should provide a suitable challenge for a Baltimore defense that impressed last week but underwent a lot of changes during the offseason.
More of the Same
The Ravens will be hoping for more of the same after last week’s impressive outing. Jackson only threw six passes, but he completed four of them for 59 yards and led the offense to two scores. He figures to play more than three offensive series this week, which means he’ll have to show a little more consistency. Baltimore’s problem could be what happens when Jackson leaves the game. Robert Griffin III is unavailable due to injury, leaving plenty of snaps for Trace McSorley, who was just 9 for 22 with an interception in his preseason debut last week.
Of course, the Ravens are likely to run the ball a lot during the regular season and in Thursday’s preseason game. The Green Bay defense had some trouble against the run last week, especially when it came to stopping Houston’s mobile quarterback Joe Webb, who played the entire game. The Ravens could have similar success on the ground this week against the Green Bay defense.
Can’t Stop Me Now
After last week’s win over the Jaguars, Baltimore has now won 14 consecutive preseason games. For what it’s worth, they aren’t perfect against the spread. But that kind of streak is too much to ignore, especially with the Ravens playing at home. Bet on the Ravens to win and cover on Thursday.
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