Just as the Jaguars began to prepare to take on the Ravens for the fourth consecutive season, we found out that the Ravens would be without their best offensive lineman against the Jaguars and for the rest of 2017. The Ravens announced Tuesday that they were placing offensive guard Marshall Yanda on injured reserve after he sustained a broken ankle during the Ravens week two contest with the Browns. An injury is never a reason to celebrate, but for the Jaguars it could greatly increase their chances of having a dominant defensive performance.
This means that for the second time in three weeks the Jaguars opponents will be without their best offensive lineman. In week one the Texans were without their left tackle Duane Brown -- the Jaguars were able to rack up a franchise record ten sacks in the contest. In week two the Jaguars only got home to the QB once, but that was against one of the best offensive lines in football. While the Jaguars edge rushers are the ones that had the decided advantage in week one, this week it looks as if the Jaguars interior pass rushers may be able to take advantage due to a star missing on the inside.
Is the Ravens offensive line going to wilt like the Texans did in week one?
Mostly likely not. However, the Ravens offensive line situation is looking much more similar to the one in Houston than the one in Tennessee. So, while the Ravens might not be on the verge of giving up a Jaguars franchise record for sacks, the do look like an offensive line that could be ripe for the taking against an extremely talented defense that will be highly motivated after allowing 31 points in the second half against the Titans in week two.
This injury news certainly makes it easy to predict the Jaguars will continue to lead the league in sacks through week three, as they currently do. The Jaguars have 11 sacks on the year (10 in week 1, 1 in week 2) and face another offensive line down their best man. The Ravens offensive linemen, despite giving up only three sacks through the first two weeks of football, have graded out very poorly in pass protection according to Pro Football Focus. With an injury to their best player and lackluster performance in pass protection the Jaguars vengeful defense should find a way to pick up at least three sacks, if not more.
Yanda was also paving the way for the Ravens potent rushing attack in 2016. He'll be sorely missed in that department as well.
Some will point to to the lack of sacks given up by the Ravens and the strength of the running game and argue that the Ravens will hold their own against the Jaguars defensive line, even without Marshall Yanda.
I tend to lean the other way. I would be surprised if the Jaguars can't get after Joe Flacco in this one, but only time will tell.
Do you think the Jaguars defensive line will bounce back in week three? Let us know in the comments below.
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