Baltimore Ravens @ Jacksonville Jaguars: A tale of two defenses

The Ravens will be looking to Javorius Allen for another big game
The Ravens will be looking to Javorius Allen for another big game

Adam Baylis previews the 18th NFL game to be played on these shores in a potentially lopsided matchup at Wembley Stadium on Sunday afternoon...

"When these two sides meet it invariably ends in a clock controlling defense heavy war and there's not much to suggest any different at Wembley on Sunday. The injuries to Yanda and Williams are of major concern but the Ravens still look much the stronger side especially when you factor in Jacksonville's offensive frailties."

Baltimore Ravens @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Start Time - Sunday September 24th, 14:20 BST
TV Coverage - Live on Sky Sports Action

The first of four NFL matchups on British shores this year kicks off on Sunday afternoon and for Jacksonville it's fast becoming their home away from home having already competed in four games here. They've made Wembley Stadium their own on their past two visits running out as winners and in what, on paper at least, looks a lopsided matchup, they'll need to make that experience count against a defense that has allowed just ten points so far this season.

Ravens out to continue strong start

While not a huge amount was expected of the Ravens this season, they've started the campaign impressively, a 20-0 shutout of Cincinatti in Week One and a hard fought 24-10 home win against the Browns showcased their defensive strength and that Joe Flacco's injury woes have been put to bed. The same unfortunately can't be said for Marshal Yanda who in some circles would be considered one of the best guards in the NFL. A season-ending fractured ankle will have a huge impact on the Ravens and there'll be a lot of pressure on the recently acquired Tony Bergstrom this week and beyond; especially when lining up against a Jaguars team that notched no less than ten sacks against the Texans a fortnight ago.


Bortles has a point to prove

Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles and the Baltimore Ravens defense don't have a good working relationship. He was picked off three times by the Ravens last season (two interceptions, one fumble) and if they can force Bortles into utilising his big arm to get downfield they'll more than likely set a new record for interceptions in the first three games of the season (four or more would equal the record set by the 1961 Chargers). It's worth noting that when Bortles has been forced into throwing multiple interceptions in a game, the Jaguars record stands at a miserly 1-15. Moreover he has been sacked five times every time he's lined up against John Harbaugh's men.

Doug Marrone will be all too aware of these stats and he'll likely look to Leonard Fournette to put up similar numbers to those that he achieved in Week One; 100 yards and one touchdown vs Houston. He was limited to just 40 by Tennessee last weekend but still managed to find the end zone. The Ravens will be missing defensive tackle Brandon Williams which will only serve to enhance Fournette's chances of adding to his TD tally.


Allen the key man

When these two sides meet it invariably ends in a clock controlling defense heavy war and there's not much to suggest any different at Wembley on Sunday. The injuries to Yanda and Williams are of major concern but the Ravens still look much the stronger side especially when you factor in Jacksonville's offensive frailties. Both sides are likely to rely heavily on their running game and this is the real area where Baltimore can exercise their superiority. Javorius Allen has already clocked up 137 yards this season (projected to reach 1,096) and lines up against a Jaguars side that have 272 yards in just two games.


Recommended Bets

Baltimore Ravens win and Javorius Allen to score a touchdown @ 21/10 (Sportsbook)
Total points - under 39 @ 1.981/1
Blake Bortles Passing Yards - under 199.5 yards @ 1.9720/21

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