Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#407 Packers vs.
#408 Baltimore Ravens
Thursday, August 15, 2019 at 7:30pm EDT
M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore
Written by Chris Kubala

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It’s an interconference clash on the gridiron in Charm City as we have a week 2 NFL preseason tilt here. The Green Bay Packers are on the road as they make the trip east to face the Baltimore Ravens Thursday night. Green Bay opened their preseason slate with a 28-26 home win over Houston last Thursday night. Baltimore trounced Jacksonville 29-0 at home in their preseason opener last Thursday. The Packers have won four of the six regular-season meetings between the teams but it was Baltimore taking a 23-0 win on the road in the last matchup on November 19, 2017.

Green Bay Packers Tuning Up for Regular Season

Green Bay looked to be in good shape early on in their preseason opener but they had their hands full against the Texans. The Packers held a 28-10 advantage after three quarters before getting outscored 16-0 in the fourth. Green Bay saw the Texans climb within two with 29 seconds to play but recovered the ensuing onside kick to pick up the victory. The Packers were outgained 412-237 in the contest, allowed 29 first downs while picking up 16 and lost the time of possession battle by a 32:09 to 27:51 margin. Green Bay’s big edge in the game came in the turnover department as they forced four takeaways while committing just one turnover of their own. The Packers recovered a fumbled punt in the end zone for a touchdown and had an interception that set them up for a score from the Houston 3.

The Packers rested 26 guys in the opener, which gave playing time to plenty of guys you would expect not to see on the field with any regularity in the regular season. DeShone Kizer completed eight of 13 passes for 105 yards plus a score. In the battle for the #3 QB spot, Tim Boyle was three of five for 40 yards plus two scores while Manny Wilkins failed to connect on three attempts. Dexter Williams was the leading ground gainer as he ran the ball 14 times for 62 yards while Tra Carson struggled to gain 15 yards in eight attempts. J’Mon Moore (seven yards, TD) and Jake Kumerow (27 yards) each caught two passes to lead the team. Allen Lazard (27 yards) and Darrius Shepherd (14 yards) each caught touchdowns. Perhaps in Week 2, we might see Aaron Rodgers actually get an opportunity to see the field rather than wear a headset.

Update: (8/13/19): New Packers head coach Matt LaFleur announced plans to play his starters for “a quarter or so” in the second game against Baltimore. Rodgers didn’t play last week, but he should get some rare reps this week.

“It’ll be a good test for our first time running this offense in another stadium, on the road, against a really good defense,” Rodgers said after Tuesday’s practice.

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Baltimore Ravens Seek to Build Off Shutout Victory

Baltimore had little problem dispatching Jacksonville in their preseason opener. Then again, as my brother said when we talked about the fact that the Jaguars held out a staggering 32 players in the contest, it was basically the Ravens against the Jacksonville practice squad. Baltimore throttled Jacksonville, winning the total yardage battle by a 288-112 margin. The Ravens held an 18-8 advantage in first downs, held the edge in time of possession by a 31:30 to 28:30 margin and forced two turnovers while committing only one. One of the Baltimore takeaways was a pick-six by Cyrus Jones in the third quarter.

Lamar Jackson was effective in his time on the field as he completed four of six passes for 59 yards and a score. The Ravens scored on two of his three drives on the field. Rookie Trace McSorley hit nine of 22 for 85 yards with an interception while adding 16 yards on the ground while Joe Callahan was three of four for 30 yards. Jaylen Hill led the Ravens on the ground with 10 carries for 33 yards while De’Lance Turner (six carries, 29 yards) and Kenneth Dixon (four carries, 21 yards) added some depth to the ground game. Miles Boykin led the team with four receptions for 39 yards while Sean Modster had three grabs for 17 yards. Willie Snead IV hauled in the lone Ravens’ touchdown pass as he had a 10-yard score on his lone reception. Justin Tucker hit a 52-yard field goal attempt in his lone try while Kaare Vedvik hit both his extra points and all four field goal tries, connecting from 55, 45, 26 and 29 yards. With Tucker entrenched at the kicker spot, Vedvik was expendable and the Ravens dealt him Sunday to Minnesota for a fifth-round pick in 2020.

Update (8/14/19): Jackson played the first quarter (16 snaps) in the opening preseason game. John Harbaugh might play him more against the Packers.

“We kind of balance it out,” Harbaugh said. “We have a way of doing it that goes back … My brother did it in San Francisco. It’s unique. It’s different than, really, what anybody else does, but that’s how we do it. He’ll play about the same.”

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Baltimore put together a stifling performance in their preseason opener but it will be a little different with Rodgers on the field, even if it is for a limited time. The Packers have to be better offensively than we saw in the opener and they were carved up by journeyman QB Joe Webb III, who threw for 286 yards in the contest. Baltimore is looking for Jackson to take the next step in his progression this season but he has work to do. Give Green Bay a slight advantage in this contest as they pick up the victory on the road here.

Prediction: Green Bay Packers

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There were a lot of points on the board for Green Bay’s opener, especially when you consider it was week one of the preseason. The Packers should be able to get something going early on, especially if Rodgers, Aaron Jones and the rest of the expected starters for the Packers get some time on the field. Baltimore pitched a shutout of Jacksonville in the opening game of the preseason but the Jaguars fielded a less than impressive lineup with one-third of their guys inactive. Will Jackson be able to build off his solid showing in the preseason opener with another one here?

The over is 9-3 in the Packers’ last 12 games on fieldturf, 6-2 in their last eight on Thursday and 37-18 in their last 55 road games. With the way we saw both teams put points on the board in their openers and the likely addition of Rodgers, even if for a short period, this one likely goes over the total.

Prediction: Over

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Prediction: Green Bay Packers

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The Packers managed to put up 28 points in their preseason opener despite struggling to move the ball for the majority of the game. Green Bay held a 14-10 edge at the half in their game against Houston while Baltimore was up 16-0 at the half, mainly thanks to special teams. Having two kickers boot field goals from beyond 50 yards is a nice problem to have to work with in preseason. Given the way we saw things in the opener, look for this one to edge over the total at the half.

Prediction: Over
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.