With the first half of the Ravens 2020 season covered, I will now reveal my predictions for the second half.
Week 9- Sun 11/8: @ Colts 1:00 ET
Coming off a perfectly placed Week 8 bye and a loss to their division rival Steelers at home, the Ravens will go to Indianapolis hunting for a fresh kill. While many could see this game as a fairly good contest with a heavily improved Colts roster adding Philip Rivers, DeForest Buckner, and Jonathan Taylor, the Ravens offense will come out with a bang and strike down upon the Colts’ questionable secondary hard and early. Not to say the Colts aren’t talented, but I see the Ravens winning big in this game following their bye.
Week 10- Sun 11/15: @ Patriots 8:20 ET
By this point in the season, we will all know how good or bad the Patriots will be. Is Jarrett Stidham the true successor to Tom Brady, or is Cam Newton going to bring a new flashy style of play to New England? Whether the Patriots offense is successful or not, Belichick and the defense will still be a force to be reckoned with. Stephon Gilmore will return from his Defensive Player of the Year season, and the McCourty twins will be wreaking havoc on the gridiron.
All being said, this is another game I can’t see the Ravens losing. Even if the Patriots defense can partially hold up the Ravens explosive offense, Newton or Stidham and their offense, good or not, will not likely be able to capture a lead or hold one down. The Patriots may have a chance if they receive turnovers and let the Ravens beat themselves, but at this point in the season, I can only see the Ravens flying higher and faster.
Week 11- Sun 11/22: vs. Titans 1:00 ET
Besides their Week 3 clash with the Chiefs, the Ravens Week 11 date with the Titans will be the second huge game to watch. While the Titans are not as high powered as the Chiefs, the Ravens will be looking to neutralize a team eliminating them from the playoffs last season. The Ravens number one goal going into this game will be to throw everything they have on defense at Derrick Henry. Henry destroyed Baltimore’s defense in the playoffs last year with 30 rushes for 195 yards, embarrassing Earl Thomas in the process. If the Ravens are able to slow Henry down and force Tannehill to pass more often, the Ravens will undoubtedly win.
The Titans defense has also taken a step back after losing five-time Pro Bowler Jurrell Casey and CB Logan Ryan. Even though the Titans signed Vic Beasley, the Ravens will look to get back at Tennessee on offense and put some numbers on the scoreboard. With the momentum the Ravens have at this point in the season, I find them hard to stop.
Week 12- Thu 11/26: @ Steelers 8:20 ET
The Ravens will go into Pittsburgh Week 12 with one thing on their mind: win no matter the cost. At this point, the playoff race will be on and division leaders will emerge and set themselves apart. I believe the AFC North is a three team race between the Ravens, Steelers, and Browns, and this duel could declare who comes out on top.
After a devastating loss in Week 7, the Ravens will use their momentum they have to narrowly beat the Steelers. No doubt it will be a close back-and-forth game, but it will be the Ravens defense, particularly the secondary, that makes a big play to seal the game. In addition, I think we could see some fatigue in Roethlisberger considering he was out all last season and is now in Week 12 of an assumingly fully played season. This will be a cold, hard-hitting game with lots on the line, but the Ravens will come out with a W.
Week 13- Thu 12/3: vs. Cowboys 8:20 ET
With their second Thursday night game in a row, the Ravens will go up against another team with questions surrounding it. How will Dak perform with Mike McCarthy? Is the Cowboys defense really good enough to shutdown playoff caliber offenses? The Cowboys may have a surplus of talent on their team, especially on offense, but their defense will not be able to stop Lamar Jackson. Losing Byron Jones and Robert Quinn burns deep holes in an already poor Cowboys defense that did not live up to expectations last year. This game does have potential to be a shootout, but the Ravens offense against the Cowboys defense is such a mismatch I can’t see the Cowboys winning.
Week 14- Mon 12/14: @ Browns 8:15 ET
With over a week to prepare for their second game against the Browns, the Ravens will have time to process how much Cleveland has changed since Week 1. I see Cleveland getting better over the course of the season especially on defense. Miles Garrett and Denzel Ward will lead this team toward an upset victory over the Ravens. The Browns defense will partially shut down the Ravens early in the game and give Mayfield, Beckham, and Chubb the time they need to break down the Ravens defense. By this point in the season, Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry will be full-fledged weapons as intended last year. Mayfield will have a comeback season after last year’s mediocre one, and the Browns will make a case to becoming a playoff team.
Week 15- Sun 12/20: vs. Jaguars 1:00 ET
Similar to the Redskins, the Jaguars will be a very easy team for the Ravens to beat. The Jaguars have one of the worst defenses in the league which screams “come on in” to Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense. Even though Gardner Minshew, Leonard Fournette, and D.J. Chark are serviceable players on offense, the Jaguars are merely a pebble in Baltimore’s road.
Week 16- Sun 12/27: vs. Giants 1:00 ET
This will be the game to not only send the Ravens to the playoffs, but also to secure the AFC North. The Ravens have another fairly easy match-up at home against a Giants team not much is expected from. Facing another bottom 10 defense in the league, this will be a hay day for Lamar Jackson as some serious points will be scored. Saquon Barkley does pose a threat to the Ravens defense, but overall, I can’t see the Giants scoring any more than 14 points in this game. Ravens win.
Week 17- Sun 1/3: @ Bengals 1:00 ET
By this point in time, the Ravens will have won the AFC North and will be in competition for the #1 seed in the AFC. Therefore, with the #1 seed being the only team with a bye, I expect the Ravens to play full-force through the first half of this game. They will dominate the Bengals on offense and score enough to sit some of the starters in the second half. This game will not be as close as the Week 5 game, but the Bengals could still find some success on offense with Burrow, Mixon, and Green. The Ravens will win their final game of the season and be on their way to the playoffs.
Final Record: 13-3
While some analysts and fans have stated this could be the Ravens first 16-0 season, personally, I disagree. This is one of the most talented Ravens teams in recent years going up against a mediocre NFC East, a questionable AFC South, and the Bengals twice, but there are some losses to be had. Even the most talented teams eventually lose and this Ravens team will likely be no different, quality opponents will still be faced. Whether they finish 16-0 or 13-3, the Ravens will still see themselves in the playoffs following the 2020 regular season. The road to the playoffs however, is still up for debate until September hits.