AFC Week 3 NFL Picks ATS: Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars

Blake Bortles and the Jags are still looking for their first victory of the 2016 season.
Blake Bortles and the Jags are still looking for their first victory of the 2016 season.

Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars
Spread: PICK
Total: 47

Betting odds c/o 5dimes

The Jacksonville Jaguars have yet to win a game in two tries. The Baltimore Ravens have yet to lose a game in two tries. Despite the imbalance in the records, the teams are pitted evenly. NFL oddsmakers have set the line EVEN between the Ravens and Jaguars. The game will air at Noon Central on CBS.

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The Jags were a bit reliant on the pass in Week 2. Blake Bortles launched 50 passes, completing 31 of them while throwing a pair of TDs and a pair of interceptions. He was also sacked twice for a total lossage of 10 yards. Bortles also had a lost fumble.

Even with those black marks, Bortles also led the Jags in rushing with 34 yards on three attempts, though Jacksonville did not get it going on the ground. The Jags rushed only 11 times for 69 yards, and TJ Yeldon had 28 yards on seven carries.

Michigan converted-quarterback Denard Robinson had just one touch for seven yards.

Jacksonville desperately needs to get something going in the backfield, because predictability is hurting them. The return of Chris Ivory this week should help some, but it is unclear how many touches he will see after sitting out with what was simply called “a general medical issue.”

Marqise Lee caught five passes for 75 yards and Julius Thomas had four for 71 yards, as Miami had four players with 54 yards or more on the game. But the Chargers were abusing Jacksonville’s defense to the tune of 207 passing yards and 150 rushing yards, and Chargers QB Philip Rivers was efficient and good as ever, throwing 17 of 24 for 220 yards, four TDs while throwing no interceptions.

Bortles is now in his third season out of UCF and he threw for 4,428 yards in his sophomore season last year. Bortles threw 58.6 percent for completion last year while averaging 7.31 yards per attempt, both of which are respectable for a second-year quarterback.

This year Bortles has been even better, with 61.8 percent landing for completion, but his three interceptions and lost fumble are troubling. Bortles will need to cut down on the turnovers and the Jags need to get something out of their backfield. That is on the slate for Week 3 if Jacksonville is to get its first ‘W’ of the 2016 season.

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Baltimore is 2-0, but its two victories came against the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns. Neither were in convincing fashion either. The Ravens in typical fashion got it done defensively, limiting Buffalo to just six points and Joe Flacco provided just enough offense to squeak by the Browns in Week 2.

Flacco has thrown 47 of 78 (60.3 percent) on the year for 560 yards and three TDs, but he has thrown two interceptions and been sacked four times for a total loss of 33 yards.

Justin Forsett and Terrance West have been workhorses in the backfield, but neither is having terrific success. Forsett and West each average about 3.2 yards per carry, and neither has a rushing TD on the season. The Ravens have no rushing TDs at all, for that matter. Mike Wallace has scored all three Ravens’ TDs and he is second on the team in total receiving yardage with 132 yards on seven catches.

Tight end Dennis Pitta leads the team in yardage with 141 yards on 12 catches, averaging 11.8 yards per attempt with a long-play of 30-yards. The Ravens are not a good offensive team, but this matchup should be a close battle as Jacksonville looks for its first victory of the season and Baltimore sees if it can continue to ride Flacco to another improbable victory.

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