Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) throws against the Houston Texans during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Monday Night Football Preview

The Baltimore Ravens travel to Las Vegas, Monday, to take on the Raiders. The Ravens open up as favorites with kickoff scheduled for 8:15 p.m.

A Banged Up Backfield

The Ravens finished last year’s regular season with an 11-5 record and a loss to the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Divisional round of the playoffs.

Coming into the 2021 season, the Ravens’ depth chart at running back looked promising. With J.K. Dobbins coming into his second season and both Gus Edwards and Justice Hill behind him to assist, the Ravens’ rushing attacked was poised for big numbers.

However, the Ravens have been dealt a series of blows with all three running backs picking up season-ending injuries. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said the team is sad for those who got hurt but the team must keep moving forward.

Since then, the Ravens have added veteran running back Latavius Murray to their roster. Murray last eclipsed 1000 yards in a season as a member of the Raiders in 2015.

Harbaugh said Murray is a great fit for the team and that he can picture him playing well in the offense.

The Ravens have also added running backs Le’Veon Bell and Devonta Freeman to their practice squad.

The Reformed Raiders

Despite an 8-8 regular season, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr put up big numbers. Carr passed for over 4,000 yards and 27 touchdowns on just nine interceptions. However, this Raiders offense will look very different on Monday night.

The Raiders wide receiver room took a hit this offseason with veterans Tyrell Williams and Nelson Agholor in free agency. The Raiders will now lean on second-year receivers Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards to bring production on the outside.

Las Vegas did make moves to bolster the run game and protection in the summer. The Raiders brought in running back Kenyan Drake from Arizona and drafted offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood with the 17th pick.

Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said Leatherwood and the other young players on the roster are ready to perform under the lights on Monday Night Football.

Gruden gave respect to Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson but said his players are ready to try and stop the former MVP.

 

About Christopher Will

Chris Will is a second-year journalism student with a focus on sports and media. Originally from the Fort Lauderdale area, Will now covers all things sports in Gainesville.

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