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Green Bay Packers vs. Baltimore Ravens Preview and Predictions in NFL

Ultimately, Aaron Rodgers' relationship with Mike McCarthy deteriorated, and that led to his eventual departure after thirteen seasons as head coach of the Green Bay Packers. And now the organization has reached out to a quarterback "guru," Matt LaFleur, who they hope will bring some of that Sean McVay success formula from his previous stop with the Los Angeles Rams. As LaFleur begins his new journey - while recovering from a torn Achilles, we might add - many observers are wondering how he will ultimately mesh with his star quarterback. 

The Baltimore Ravens have been a rather profitable pre-season team for their backers, and they certainly reinforced that in last week's game against Jacksonville. Last year Joe Flacco was holding onto his starting job in camp. But now the offense belongs to Lamar Jackson, the former Heisman Trophy winner who is the #1 man from Day One. 

On Thursday night, the Packers visit the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. 

TV: 7:30 PM ET, Local/ Regional coverage, NFL Network (replay).  LINE: Ravens -5   O/U: 37.5

ABOUT THE PACKERS: Green Bay held off the Houston Texans in the preseason opener, registering a 28-26 victory. DeShone Kizer, the former Notre Dame quarterback, took most of the snaps and completed 8-of-13 for 102 yards. Another former member of the Fighting Irish, sixth-round draft pick Dexter Williams, had 62 yards on the ground. The Packers are looking for some running back depth behind Aaron Jones, who averaged a robust 5.5 yards per carry last season. Jones, by the way, had been out of action since July 31 with a hamstring issue but returned to practice this week. The rookie who stood out on the defensive end was inside linebacker Ty Summers, the seventh-round pick from TCU who was in on ten tackles. But he wore down late, and according to coach Matt LaFleur, the team missed 24 tackles which allowed the Texans 164 additional yards. LaFleur says that Rodgers and the rest of the starters will play "a quarter or so" on Thursday night's game. 



ABOUT THE RAVENS: It was a mismatch from the word "go" against Jacksonville last week, in a 29-0 blowout victory for the Ravens. Lamar Jackson ran the offense for three possessions, completing four of six passes and directing two scoring drives (TD and field goal). But the story was the Ravens' defense, as the Jaguars managed just 112 net yards. It was ugly for J-Ville and beautiful for Baltimore, which won its fourteenth consecutive pre-season game. Jackson claims much better command over the offense this year, and it has been tailored more toward his skills, rather than the drop-back style of Joe Flacco. Marquise Brown, the explosive little receiver out of Oklahoma who was the team's first-round draft pick, may not be ready to play yet, but he is moving close to full speed. Brown had Lisfranc foot surgery in January and only got into his first practice on August 10. When healthy, he's a starter. Patrick “Peanut” Onwuasor and Chris Board, who began their careers as undrafted free agents but might both start at linebacker this year, and they've drawn rave reviews. Brian Baldinger, analysts for NFL Network, says they are "Crazy good. We’ve got to start talking about them -- a lot.”

EXTRA POINTS 

1. Aaron Rodgers who drew some fire for criticizing the decision to have joint practices with the Texans, which probably angered management, actually sits on the other side of the table when it comes to the NBA, as he is a minority owner of the Milwaukee Bucks. 

2. John Harbaugh of the Ravens is one of the NFL's most consistent coaches when it comes to covering in the pre-season, with a sizzling 31-15 record (67.4%) against the number. 

3. Inside linebacker Oren Burks, a projected starter for the Packers has suffered a torn pectoral muscle and will miss significant time, perhaps the entire season.   


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Key Players to Watch

Stadium

M&T Bank Stadium
Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
Capacity: 71,008

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Last Injuries

Baltimore Ravens

  • Tavon Young

    Neck
    Out indefinitely | out

    Young is in danger of missing the entire 2019-20 season due to a disc issue in his neck.

  • Chris Board

    Concussion
    Out indefinitely | out

    Board has a concussion, and it is uncertain when he will pass the league-mandated protocol.

  • Michael Onuoha

    Wrist
    Out indefinitely | out

    Onuoha is sidelined with a fractured wrist, and it is unknown how long he will be out of action.

Green Bay Packers

  • Equanimeous St. Brown

    Leg
    Ques Week 1 | questionable

    St. Brown injured his left leg and is also experiencing concussion-like symptoms. His status for the season opener against the Bears in question.

  • Rashan Gary

    Lower Body
    Ques Week 1 | questionable

    Gary sustained a lower-body injury, and it is unclear if he will play Week 1 against the Bears.

  • Oren Burks

    Pectoral
    Out indefinitely | out

    Burks is sidelined with a torn pectoral muscle and is without a definitive timetable for return.

  • Kendall Donnerson

    Hamstring
    I-R | I-R

    Donnerson is on the injured reserve list with a hamstring injury.

  • Jamaal Williams

    Hamstring
    Ques Week 1 | questionable

    Williams is dealing with a hamstring injury, leaving his status for the season opener versus the Bears in question.