Two teams, one city. The Ravens and Colts are forever linked.
It’s been a long time since that day in March of 1984 when the Colts left Baltimore under cover of night. But the city has not forgotten, as it was 12 years before Art Modell moved the Browns from Cleveland to form the present-day Baltimore Ravens.
Tonight the Ravens visit Indianapolis, where both teams will be very interested in certain quarterback developments. The Ravens are a two-point favorite for the contest, according to OddsShark.com. The Ravens are -125 to win on the moneyline, while the Colts are a small underdog at +115. The point total is set at 43, with the under slightly favored against the over.
For the Colts, the singular focus during the preseason has been the activity and recovery of Andrew Luck. The former top pick played his first football since 2016 last week, finishing two Indy drives that bled into the second quarter. New head coach Frank Reich said it was pretty much the same schedule this week for Luck, which means we could see nearly a full half of Luck.
Personally, I’m looking for a more aggressive Andrew Luck on Monday. For the Colts to have success this season, Luck needs to do two things: throw the ball downfield, and hang in the pocket and take contact. The Colts are hesitant to experiment with the latter, but it’s important for Luck to take some hits before the season gets underway.
The Ravens also have a quarterback that needs action, but Lamar Jackson is much less of a priority at this time. Jackson has shown flashes of what made him dominant in college, but should see his workload diminish slightly this week as the Ravens get their starters ready for the season. Joe Flacco only played one series last week, and that should increase for the team’s third preseason contest. Jackson is competing for the spot of Flacco’s primary backup with Robert Griffin III. I expect two series for Flacco, with RG3 working the rest of the half. That would leave most of, if not all of the second half to Jackson.
Fantasy players will be watching the Colts backfield closely on Monday. There’s a trio of capable backs in Indy, but each have claimed the title of starter at some point in training camp. Jordan Wilkins has been getting the early-down work with Marlon Mack injured, but there’s real excitement around rookie Nyheim Hines. The NC State standout has been lining up everywhere in training camp, and could see a role similar to Tarik Cohen’s in Chicago.
Colts vs. Ravens Prediction
The Ravens have the edge having played one extra preseason game, but that’s not all they’ve got going for them in this matchup. The Colts are working with a first-year head coach and coordinators, which is always a knock when betting preseason contests. The Ravens are also just a more talented, more experienced team, as evidenced by their waxing of the Rams in last week’s exhibition.
Taking the Ravens.
Prediction: Ravens 23, Colts 16