Arizona Cardinals @

Baltimore Ravens

Sun, Sep 15
10:00 AM Pacific
Rotation: 267
Odds: Baltimore Ravens -13, Total: 46

Game Analysis

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Strong Opinion – Arizona (+13) over BALTIMORE

Baltimore’s offense dominated in Miami last week but it was the easiest defensive matchup they’ll face all season and I certainly don’t expect a repeat of that performance. The Dolphins front 7 is atrocious and the Ravens first 3 rushes of the game went for 40, 22, and 13 yards, forcing Miami to sell out for the run, which led to single coverage deep down the field – and Lamar Jackson took advantage. The Cardinals have issues in the secondary without Patrick Peterson and Robert Alford, but Baltimore’s offensive identity is still run-first and I do not think they will have as much early success in the ground game on Sunday. Arizona’s defense held the Lions to 3.6 yards per rush and Vance Joseph coached a top 10 rush defense in Denver last year. Rookie Hollywood Brown led all wide receivers in week 1 with 18.4 yards per route run, but he will not see as many single coverage looks this week. Jackson will look for his tight end Mark Andrews coming off a game gaining 6 yards per route run, but he should be blanketed by DJ Swearinger. Overall, I expect the Cardinals to do a much better job containing the Ravens ground game with their front 7, which will in turn lead to fewer opportunities for Jackson to find players downfield in single coverage.

Arizona’s offense did most of their damage last week versus Detroit’s prevent defense. The Cardinals were on pace for 58 plays using no-huddle on 28% of snaps before the Lions punted halfway through the 3rd quarter. Then, the rest of the way Arizona’s offense was at a 74 plays full game pace with 52% no huddle and that’s when they started to click. The Cardinals used 10 personnel on 73% of snaps, which is extremely uncommon in the NFL, as last year the highest 10 personnel rate was 12%. Baltimore’s defense would normally be best suited in the league to defend the spread offense with their excellent cornerback depth, but Tavon Young suffered a season-ending neck injury in training camp and now it looks like Jimmy Smith will miss multiple weeks. Kyler Murray had the 4th-most air yards per attempt in week 1 but I do not expect him to find much success downfield with Earl Thomas back there. Murray will need find the receivers not lined up across from cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Brandon Carr on short passes and look for David Johnson out of the backfield (he was second among running backs with 41 routes in week 1).

Our ratings have the Ravens defense 2nd even after adjusting for the injured cornerbacks and they will definitely be the toughest opponent the young rookie quarterback has ever faced. However, there’s a chance Baltimore’s defense doesn’t have enough game film on Murray and this spread offense to effectively counter. Rookie quarterbacks are now 20-11 ATS in the first 3 weeks of the season before the league has enough tape on them to adjust to their play style.

This line has jumped 4 points from the advanced spread of Baltimore -9.5, but 10 is the only key number it moved through and it’s only an implied 8.9 percentage points jump in win probability according to our numbers, which is significantly less than most 4 point moves. For example, a 4 point move from 2 to 6 would be 17.1 percentage points in win probability. I’m still not convinced Arizona’s offense will be able to move the ball against a non-prevent defense, but I do expect the Baltimore’s offensive approach to be less effective in this matchup. Our model favors the Ravens by just 8.7 points, with a predicted total of 45.4, but there is a chance we’re undervaluing Jackson’s improvement throwing the ball. Thus, I’ll resist making the Cardinals a Best Bet as the model would suggest. I’ll consider Arizona a Strong Opinion at +13 points or more.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Cardinals
  • Ravens


  • Pass Plays 51.0 43.5
  • Succ Pass Plays 39.9% 47.0%
  • Sack Rate 7.7% 5.7%
  • Int Rate 0.9% 0.0%
  • Deep Pass Rate 21.0% 28.9%
  • Big Pass Yards 55.5% 55.5%
  • NYPP 6.2 7.1


  • Rush Plays 17.0 32.5
  • RB YPR 3.5 3.2
  • Stuff Rate 24.7% 20.1%
  • Succ Rush Plays 46.4% 49.3%
  • Big Rush Yards 17.9% 42.0%
  • Yards Per Rush 3.3 4.6


  • All Snaps 68.0 76.0
  • Early Down Succ 45.2% 52.4%
  • Succ Rate 42.0% 47.9%
  • Big Yards Rate 52.7% 53.9%
  • Yards Per Play 5.6 6.0
  • Fumble Lost Rate 0.0% 1.3%
  • Time Per Play (sec) 23.7 30.4
  • Run Ratio 24.2% 42.9%
  • Starting Field Pos 24.2 27.6
  • Game Control -8.0 8.0
  • Points 22.0 25.0
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