ATLANTA — All signs point to Lamar Jackson making his third straight start for the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday and his first on the road. Here are the basic details for Baltimore’s game in Atlanta…
With Jackson behind center the past two weeks, the Ravens followed a renewed running game to two victories. The formula has logic to it: Let the first-round rookie quarterback use his dual-threat skills, commit to the ground game to control the clock and lean on the NFL’s top-ranked defense down the stretch. Everything’s run smoothly so far — but how might that change when Jackson makes his first start on the road in favorite of win-hungry opposing fans? We’ll find out soon.
While Jackson will garner the most attention, the quarterback on the other sideline Sunday owns more accolades and experience. Matt Ryan, the 2016 NFL MVP, remains one of the best passers in the league, and if Baltimore’s standout secondary cannot contain Atlanta’s receivers, the Ravens could face a long afternoon — no matter how Jackson fares.
The Ravens have an inside track to the final playoff spot in the AFC, but they face the first-place Chiefs in Kansas City next week and also have a trip to play the Chargers (8-3) in Los Angeles on the schedule. So if Baltimore loses to Atlanta on Sunday, its climb to the postseason will grow much steeper. This is a big game for a franchise that’s missed the playoffs in three straight seasons.