The Baltimore Ravens will take on the Las Vegas Raiders during Week 1 of the 2021 season. They’ll be under the bright lights of Monday Night Football, and will look to get off to a fast start in their quest to win a Super Bowl.
There are plenty of things to look at when analyzing Baltimore’s Week 1 matchup. Some major storylines include the fact that the Ravens have been dealing with a plethora of injuries, while Las Vegas will be working with a very inexperienced offensive line.
Baltimore has been completely unstoppable in Week 1 games over the last four seasons, outscoring their opponents by a total of 164-19. They’ve averaged 41 points per game in that span, steamrolling through anyone that gets in their path. The Ravens might be on their way to another high point total output, as the Raiders ranked in the bottom half of the league in both rushing yards per game allowed (T-23rd) and passing yards per game allowed (26th) in 2020.
In the offseason, Baltimore did what they could to improve their team. They overhauled their offensive line, added pass catching weapons around quarterback Lamar Jackson, and brought in a veteran pass rusher in Justin Houston to go along with rookies Odafe Oweh and Daelin Hayes. Las Vegas also made some key additions, especially on the defensive side of the ball that include defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, linebacker K.J. Wright, safety Tre’von Moehrig and others.
The outcome of this matchup will be determined by a few factors. If the Ravens can control the time of possession battle effectively (much like they’ve done over the last few years), all signs will most likely point towards a Baltimore win. However, if Las Vegas can score a couple of quick touchdowns while forcing the Ravens’ offense to punt, Baltimore will have to dig themselves out of a hole against the Raiders.
Getting momentum first will be paramount for the Ravens, especially entering what should be an electric atmosphere in Las Vegas. If they can suck the air out of Allegiant Stadium it will be one less advantage that the Raiders would have.
Overall, this game is shaping up to be a good one. While Baltimore has dominated over their last four opening week matchups, there will be a few new pieces getting on the field with their teammates in regular season action for the first time, which could cause some sloppiness on both sides. However, the Ravens should be able to come out on top and continue their Week 1 winning streak.
Final score prediction: Ravens 35, Raiders 24