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Matchups to Watch: Week 3 @Ravens

NFL Pro Bowl Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

DeForest Buckner vs. Josh Simpson / Kevin Zeitler

DeForest Buckner has been enjoying a productive start of the season, as he seems back to his best form and is again on the upper echelon of NFL defensive linemen. Buckner will face off against a couple of guards that have struggled a bit so far, with 3 pressures allowed each. Interior pressure against scrambling quarterbacks is not that effective, as Lamar could just roll out if the contain fails, but Buckner will be key in the running game.

Odafe Oweh vs. Bernhard Raimann / Braden Smith

Odafe Oweh has 8 pressures on just 44 pass rushing snaps this season, as he is clearly the Ravens’ most productive pass-rusher at the moment. Braden Smith has been regaining the level of play that made him one of the highest paid tackles in the NFL, and I can’t speak well enough for Bernhard Raimann, who is following up on his last 8 weeks of the 2022 season and has put up two impressive outings so far.

Gardner Minshew vs. Ravens’ pass defense

The Ravens’ passing defense has been lights out so far. Even though I don’t give them much credit for shutting down Stroud on his rookie debut, I do think that what they did against Cincinnati was impressive. Anthony Richardson has not cleared concussion protocol, which means the Ravens will face off against Gardner Minshew, who ran the offense flawlessly when coming in relief last week. This will be a nice test for Minshew and the Colts’ wide receivers.

Matt Gay vs. Baltimore’s stadium/weather

The weather in Baltimore is treacherous, and there is rain and winds in the forecast. This is also a haunted location for Colts’ kickers after what happened to Rodrigo Blankenship in 2021, where Hot Rod missed 2 field goals and an extra point in an overtime loss that still stings to this day. Matt Gay is perfect so far this year for the Colts, but both games where in a dome, and there were not any high pressure kicks, so this will be a huge test for him.

Shane Steichen vs. John Harbaugh

John Harbaugh has 16 years of experience being a head-coach in the NFL, Steichen has two games. So far the Colts’ new leader has been solid and overall I like what I am seeing from him, as we are leading up to his toughest test yet, going to play in one of the most hostile grounds in the league, without his starting quarterback, and against one of the best head coaches. Being completely honest, I don’t expect the Colts to come out of Baltimore with a win, but I would like the team to be competitive.