Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#267 Arizona Cardinals 41.5 vs.
#268 Baltimore Ravens -13
Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 1:00pm EDT
M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore
Written by Ricky Dimon

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#267 Arizona
#268 Baltimore
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Both the Baltimore Ravens and Arizona Cardinals will be hoping to remain undefeated when they clash at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on Sunday afternoon.

Fit to be tied

Both teams may be undefeated, but the Cardinals are not coming off a win. In their first regular-season game in the new era led by head coach Kliff Kingsbury and quarterback Kyler Murray, they tied Detroit 27-27 at home in Week 1. It may not have been an ideal beginning, but it also wasn’t bad for a team that started 0-4 last year and finished 3-13. Arizona managed nothing more than two field goals through the first three quarters, but that is when Murray’s NFL career began to take flight. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner threw touchdown passes to Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson and the Cardinals also got a field goal and a two-point conversion (also on a pass by Murray) to score 18 unanswered points and force overtime.

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“It was three quarters of the worst offense I’ve seen in my life and it was my fault,” Kingsbury admitted. “Bad play calls, just trying to do too much, and we’ll get that corrected.”

Murray finished 29-of-54 (yes, he attempted 54 passes) for 308 yards with two TDs and one interception. He also kept it three times for 13 yards, while Johnson was the team’s leading rusher with 82 yards and 18 carries.

One player who will have mixed feelings about returning to Baltimore is Terrell Suggs, 12th all-time in sacks. The former Ravens All-Pro linebacker, who spent 16 years in Baltimore, had seven sacks last season and two in the opener against the Lions.

“I think we’re all clear that for three hours come Sunday, I am their opponent, they are my opponent,” Suggs said Friday. “They gonna try to win, and I’m gonna try to win. And after the game, we’ll see if I’m showed the backseat or embraced like a brother. We’ll see.”

Not bad for a running back

Baltimore blasted Miami–which is expected to be the worst team in the NFL–by a 59-10 margin. Thus the Ravens return home with extremely high expectations, especially after quarterback Lamar Jackson’s brilliant performance through the air. He completed 17 of 20 passes for 324 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions.

“The offensive line did a great job; I barely had pressure,” Jackson noted. “And the receivers were getting open and catching the ball…. Not bad for a running back.”

It was an impressive defensive performance by Baltimore, as well. Again, though, that is not exactly saying a lot against the Dolphins. Miami starter Ryan Fitzpatrick, making his team debut, had little time to throw the ball and went 14-of-29 for 185 yards and one score while getting sacked twice. Josh Rosen replaced Fitzpatrick to cheers late in the third quarter and went 1-for-3 for 5 yards with one interception.

Jackson did have just three carries for six yards, showing that he can do it with his arm and not just his legs.

“If they allow Lamar to run, he’s going to run,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said at his weekly news conference Monday. “They didn’t. They were taking it away, for sure. It was part of their plan not to allow him to run. If people decide that that’s going to be the way it’s going to go, he’s not going to run. That’s the way the offense is organized. So we’re not worried about it at all.”

One major concern for the Ravens right now is at cornerback, where Jimmy Smith (knee) is out indefinitely and slot corner Tavon Young (neck) is already out for most, if not the entire season. Smith will miss “multiple weeks” which means more time for second-year pro Anthony Averett and veteran Brandon Carr. Averett will likely get the start next to fellow Alabama starter Marlon Humphrey.

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This line is a classic overreaction to Baltimore beating up on what is the worst team in the NFL and could be one of the worst teams ever assembled in this league. As for Arizona, it probably won’t be some kind of juggernaut in year one with Kingsbury and Murray but the fourth quarter of Week 1 was quite encouraging. It should also be noted that Arizona’s defense limited Matthew Stafford and the Lions to a mere seven second-half points. That kind of competence on both sides of the ball should help the visitors keep this one somewhat close. The road team is 4-0 ATS in the last four head-to-head matchups and the underdog is 5-1 ATS in the last six.

Prediction: Arizona Cardinals

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To go along with Murray’s success through the air, Arizona averaged 4.9 yards per carry as a team against Detroit. Johnson is one of the best pass-catching running backs in the league and Fitzgerald looks like he could go on forever. He is simply an ageless wonder on the football field. Murray and Jackson should put on a show in Week 2. The over is 5-2 in the Cardinals’ last seven on the road and 4-0 in their last four on fieldturf. Look for this one to go over the total.

Prediction: Over
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Written By Ricky Dimon

A 2006 graduate of Davidson College, Ricky is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to joining the Winners & Whiners Staff, he worked with various websites in the sports handicapping industry and is generally a fan of going with the hot hand while in most cases showing a willingness to take favorites and give the points. Beyond the four major sports, Ricky is an avid tennis fan—and writer—and covers the ATP Tour on a daily basis.