JACKSONVILLE – Each week during the 2023 season, Jaguars "experts" – Tony Boselli, Frank Frangie, Jeff Lageman, Brent Martineau, John Oehser, Brian Sexton, J.P. Shadrick and Kainani Stevens – will analyze the following day's Jaguars matchup.
Up this week:
The Baltimore Ravens at EverBank Stadium in Jacksonville.
Tony Boselli, Jaguars Analyst and Former Jaguars Left Tackle
- The Jaguars will win if: They can match the physicality of the Ravens' defensive front seven while the Jaguars on offense and force Jackson to operate from the pocket. The Jaguars offense must find some ability to run the ball because it will be tough to hold up if they have a similar run/pass ratio as last week's Browns game. Defensively, Jackson is playing very well from the pocket in new offensive coordinator Todd Monken's scheme, but he is still most dangerous when he is extending plays with his feet.
- The Ravens will win if: Their defense makes the Jaguars one-dimensional by taking away the run. That will allow their pass rush by committee to wreak havoc. Offensively, they need to be smart with the ball and not turn it over. The Jags have done a great job in wins this year getting turnovers and turning them into points.
- As Boselli sees it: This is a tough one to call. The Jaguars have not been great at home this year, and the Ravens are one of the best teams in the NFL. It's a great opportunity for the Jaguars to get the bad taste of the last two weeks out of their mouths. I think it comes down to who wins the line of scrimmage and turnovers, and will be a tight game in the fourth quarter.
Frank Frangie, Radio Voice of the Jaguars
- The Jaguars will win if: They get a bit healthier. They were without so many players by game's end in Cleveland that it finally caught up with them. They also need to run some against a physical Baltimore defense. As always with the Ravens, the Jaguars must keep Jackson from beating them with off schedule plays. Keep him in the pocket, stop the run and make the Ravens beat them through the air.
- The Ravens will win if: They stop the Jags' run and can turn the pass rush loose on Jacksonville's beat-up offensive front. And they need Jackson, playing much of the season without standout tight end Mark Andrews, to find enough weapons among his skill players.
- As Frangie sees it: It will be tough for the Jags with all the injuries against this physical Ravens team. But if they take care of the ball and stop the run, they will win the game.
Jeff Lageman, Jaguars Analyst and Former Jaguars Defensive And
- The Jaguars will win if: They clean up some of the mistakes and communication issues. The Ravens have a top five scoring offense and defense. If the Jaguars aren't clean, it will be nearly impossible to win.
- The Ravens will win if: They play their brand of "bully ball" in EverBank Stadium. Baltimore is the NFL's No. 1 rushing offense with the mobile Jackson adding to the rushing totals, but his ability to extend passing plays and stress defenses is special.
- As Lageman sees it: This a great December matchup that the Jaguars must take advantage of to keep some distance in the AFC South standings. The Ravens will be hungry to keep their No. 1 seed moving forward. EverBank Stadium has only seen two Jaguars victories this season. Getting a third on Sunday Night Football would be a great way to generate some momentum as this team heads towards the playoffs.
Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Sports Director
- The Jaguars will win if: They are productive on first down. There's a lot of talk about third-down conversions and red-zone efficiency in the NFL, but the Jaguars have struggled the most when first down is an issue. The Jaguars were not good last week on first down and that included two interceptions on that down. If they get on schedule, they can sustain drives and keep Jackson off the field.
- The Ravens will win if: They dominate the trenches. Baltimore can beat you up at the point of attack and the Jaguars have been vulnerable to those kinds of teams. San Francisco and Cleveland come to mind. The Jaguars need to bring their hard hat to this one and match the physical play of the Ravens. If Baltimore wins that part of the game, they will win the game.
- As Martineau sees it: The AFC is crazy, and Baltimore is without question the best team in the conference right now at 10-3. It doesn't feel like this is a year that someone is running away with that top seed. Are the Jaguars going to lose for a fifth time this season in Jacksonville? Are they going to lose a third consecutive game for the first time since last October? I don't think so. The Jaguars will find a way to bounce back and win this one in prime time, 30-27.
John Oehser, jaguars.com Senior Writer
- The Jaguars will win if: They run for close to or more than 100 yards as a team and limit Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson's big plays. The Jaguars have been steadily less effective running in recent weeks, which makes it hard to be consistent offensively. The Ravens are one of the NFL's most-balanced teams, but still rely on Jackson's dynamic playmaking ability.
- The Ravens will win if: They play as well defensively as they have all season and run effectively. The Ravens have been the AFC's most consistent team and are the NFL's best running offense. If they run well on a Jaguars defense that has been strong in that area this season, it's trouble for the Jaguars.
- As Oehser sees it: Despite losing two consecutive games, the Jaguars are good. They haven't lost their fight. They can win Sunday, but must communicate better and reduce the mental/self-inflicted errors that have cost them the last two weeks.
Brian Sexton, jaguars.com Senior Correspondent
- The Jaguars will win if: They get on the same page on both sides of the ball. The word after a home loss to the Cincinnati Bengals two weeks ago was the defense struggled to communicate in the noise. The word after a loss to the Cleveland Browns this past Sunday was there were too many communication issues between quarterback Trevor Lawrence and his wide receivers, which resulted in three interceptions. This is a good team. Communication issues shouldn't derail their season, should they?
- The Ravens will win if: The Jaguars can't run. The Ravens are the NFL's No. 2-ranked defense and lead the NFL with 49 sacks. If the Jags are one-dimensional Sunday, they will not win.
- As Sexton sees it: The Ravens are the better team and playing their best football at the most important time of the season. That doesn't guarantee they will win, just ask the Miami Dolphins if they thought there was any way they were going to lose to the Tennessee Titans and a rookie quarterback at home on Monday Night Football. But it sets a high bar for the Jaguars, who are not playing their best football at the most important time of the season.
J.P. Shadrick, jaguars.com Senior Reporter
- The Jaguars will win if: They don't let the Ravens run wild and protect the ball on the other side. The Jaguars gave the ball away four times last week, and this week they're facing a Ravens defense that leads the league in sacks. If the Jags can't run, long down-and-distance situations would be bad for business. Also, the Jaguars defense cannot allow the Ravens running game to get moving, though that's easier said than done with the Ravens leading the league in rushing average.
- The Ravens will win if: Jackson balances the Ravens' offense. Jackson is the No. 1 priority, as he's the leading rusher for the Ravens and about to surpass 3,000 passing yards for the season. Make it one-dimensional, and preferably where he must stand back and throw.
- As Shadrick sees it: This is the most difficult game remaining on the Jaguars' regular-season schedule. It's a battle of division-leading teams on Sunday Night Football in December. The Jaguars need reserve players to step up and play big, but more importantly they need starting players to more consistently be in the right place in key moments on both offense and defense. Missed assignments and mental mistakes plagued this team the last two weeks. No matter the strength of the opponent, those must stop for this Jaguars team to make it to the finish line as division champs a month from now.
Kainani Stevens, Jaguars Team Reporter
- The Jaguars will win if: They play mistake-free football. The Jaguars have all the talent in the world, but have shot themselves in the foot in losses this season. If they can stop turning the ball over and improve communication on both sides of the ball, they have a chance.
- The Ravens will win if: They continue to have a well-balanced offensive attack. The Ravens were effective when Jackson was mostly a running quarterback. Now that Jackson has some weapons and is comfortable in the pocket, the Ravens have become even more dangerous.
- As Stevens sees it: I expect a better effort from the Jaguars this week at home, but it is a tall task to take down the top team in the AFC right now. I think the Ravens win, 35-28.