Baltimore Ravens vs. Los Angeles Rams Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 10th 2023

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From the back of the pack in the NFC West, the Los Angeles Rams performed like a different team since a bye week, winning three straight games to climb back into the playoff picture.

The Rams try to stay the course when they visit the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, but it won’t be easy against one of the most well-rounded teams in the NFL.

And now it’s the Ravens who are rested. Baltimore is coming out of the bye week and 12-3 in that situation under coach John Harbaugh.

Baltimore (9-3) has also won two in a row and six of seven to take a two-game lead in the AFC North. The Ravens feature the top rushing attack in the league at 158.6 yards a game and lead the NFL in rushing touchdowns (22).

Their defense has teeth, too. The Ravens allowed the second-fewest total yards (273.9) in the NFL, the fewest points (15.6) and generated the most sacks (47) entering Week 14.

“They are at the upper echelon of the league,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. “They are exactly what they’re broadcasted to be, and that’s one of the best.”

The Rams (6-6) have joined the conversation following wins against Seattle Seahawks (17-16), Arizona Cardinals (37-14) and Cleveland Browns (36-19), but they’re 0-2 this season against teams coming off their bye week, losing to the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Rams running back Kyren Williams missed four games with an ankle injury. Then he helped rejuvenate the offense, looking like the missing link the past two games in accounting for 317 total yards and three touchdowns.

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford has also picked up the pace, throwing seven touchdown passes with just one interception in the past two games.

Harbaugh also said Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald is “probably the best to ever play at that position.”

That’s gotten the attention of the Ravens.

“We recognize the challenge that’s in front of us,” Harbaugh said. “We understand what they’re bringing. They’re fighting for a playoff spot, but we’re fighting for things, too. We have a lot to play for, so I’m confident our guys are going to be out there playing well and playing their best.”

Baltimore continues to be spearheaded offensively by quarterback Lamar Jackson, who’s 18-1 in his career against the NFC, including 6-0 against the NFC West.

When the offense gets bogged down, the Ravens have shown they can make game-changing plays on the other side of the ball.

They forced four turnovers in their most recent game, a 20-10 win at the Los Angeles Chargers on Nov. 26, which was half the number of turnovers the Chargers had in their first 10 games.

“I think it’s just an outstanding mixture of variety schematically, outstanding personnel really on all three levels of the defense,” McVay said. “When you combine personnel, great scheme, ability to be able to have depth when they do rotate, those are always the challenges.”

Los Angeles wide receiver Puka Nacua sustained an AC sprain against the Browns. He was a limited participant during practice on Wednesday and the injury shouldn’t impact his availability against the Ravens, McVay said.

“We might be smart with him early on in the week, but don’t expect that to affect his ability to be ready to go with a great challenge this week,” McVay said.

Rams tight end Tyler Higbee did not practice on Wednesday and is day-to-day with a neck stinger. Higbee was evaluated for a concussion during Sunday’s game against the Browns, but McVay said he will not be in protocol.

The only player absent from Baltimore’s practice on Wednesday was wide receiver Rashod Bateman (illness).

–Field Level Media

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