I want to wish everyone in our reading/listening audience at WNST.net a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, and, most importantly, a Happy Festivus.
I don’t know about you, but all I want for Christmas is a Ravens playoff berth…and Fifa ’09…and some Ravens gear…and a new set of golf clubs…and a job…but I digress.
Regardless of what holiday you’re celebrating this time of year, if you’re a Ravens fan, regardless of race or creed, we can all celebrate the Festivus together on Sunday around 7:00 if the purple birds take care of business against the Jags.
And I think they will. Jacksonville allowed the Colts to put up 17 points in the fourth quarter last week, which inevitably led to a 31-24 loss for the Jags. This season, the Ravens have completely dominated the fourth quarter in most of their games.
Yeah, I know. The Jaguars are a proud football team with a plethora of talent, and Jack Del Rio used to coach here, but I just can’t find a plausible scenario that leads to the Jaguars beating the Ravens at home this week. Especially considering what’s at stake.
My prediction: Jacksonville pride aside, the Ravens take care of business this week and blast the Jaguars in front of a rabid Baltimore crowd. I almost want to predict a shutout, but considering how well the Jags played the Colts last week, I have to give them SOME credit.
Ravens – 32
Jaguars – 13
Pivotal match-up: Ravens Defense vs. Jacksonville Offense. Last week, Jacksonville showed the league that they can be aggressive on offense. Regarding their most recent loss to the Colts, Head Coach Jack Del Rio said: “I thought we had started a little conservatively. I want to be in the attack mode. I feel that has been embraced. The last couple of weeks have been more of what I’m looking for. We want to attack people to start the game.” The Ravens defense needs to step up and shut down the Jaguar offense from jump street.
Where it could all go wrong: Ravens turnovers lead to Jacksonville touchdowns; Ravens defense allows Maurice Jones-Drew to have a big day; Patriots win in Buffalo and Ravens can’t muster a win against a 5-10 team.
Surprising statistic: Mark Clayton is averaging a career-best 15.3 yards per reception this season.
Last Week’s winner: We should have trusted Franchise, but the check mark goes to Ravenator this week. They were the only two responders that predicted a Ravens win, but Ravenator gets a leg up because he predicted a more accurate score: 27-13 Ravens. My prediction: 28-19 Cowboys. Actual Score: 33-24 Ravens.
Week 15 winner: Dennis picked the Steelers over the Ravens, predicting a final score of 12-10. My pick: 17-9 Ravens. Actual score: 13-9 Steelers.
Week 14 winner: white guy 26 is the winner, picking Ravens – 26 Redskins 10. My pick 29-17 Ravens. Actual score: 24-10 Ravens.
Week 13 winner: Ravenator predicted a Ravens blowout, picking a 34-0 route of the Bengals. My pick: 32-13 Ravens. Actual score: 34-3 Ravens.
Week 12 winner: Polostat was one of the few fans out there who predicted an easy Ravens win, predicting a 28-17 Ravens victory. My pick: 23-16 Ravens. Actual score: 36-7 Ravens.
Week 11 winner: would have been Ravenator if he would have picked the Giants to win, but the check mark goes to Johnny Rocket, who predicted a 31-11 Ravens loss. My pick: 23-20 Giants. Actual score: 30-10 Giants.
Week 10 Winner: My man Franchise gets the check mark, predicting a 31-10 Ravens victory. Remember when Ozzie Newsome was getting verbally crucified on the airwaves? I guess all of us should trust the Franchise. My pick: 29-12 Ravens. Actual Score: 41-13 Ravens.
Week 9 Winner: Johnny Rocket picked the closest score, predicting a 22-16 Ravens win. I don’t think anyone could have predicted the Ravens to put up 37 points on the road. My pick: 23-17 Browns. Actual score: 37-27 Ravens.
Week 8 winner: Nestminder is our first back-to-back winner, picking the Ravens to win 24-6. We had a record-low in the number of predictions received, but we can rebound this week. We’ll chalk that one up to the new website. My pick: 27-6 Ravens. Actual score: 29-10 Ravens
Week 7 winner: Nestminder picked a 20-13 Ravens victory and Polostat was a close second. My pick: 24-16 Ravens. Actual score: 27-13 Ravens.
Week 6 winner: Johnny Rocket correctly picked against the Ravens, per usual, predicting a 32-8 Colts victory. My pick: 28-23 Colts. Actual score: 31-3 Colts.
Week 5 winner: Columbia Ken picked the closest score, predicting a 17-13 Titans victory. My pick: 17-9 Ravens. Actual score: 13-10 Titans
Week 4 winner: Jon R. reluctantly picked a 24-20 win for the Steelers. My pick: 13-10 Ravens. Actual score: 23-20 Steelers (OT)
Week 3 winner: EazyE picked a 23-13 win for the Ravens vs. Cleveland. My pick: 23-13 Ravens. Actual score: 24-10 Ravens.
What are your predictions this week?