Minnesota Vikings vs. Baltimore Ravens Predictions: Cousins, Jackson Put up Points in Baltimore
The Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens look to rebound from disappointing losses as favorites in their last game. The Vikings did not begin last week as favorites but ended up as such once Dak Prescott was ruled out for the Cowboys. The Ravens were blown out 41-17 at home by the Bengals in their last game, but the good news is that they are coming off a bye week. Since 2002, Baltimore has been an NFL-best 12-3 SU in games following a bye. Will the week off serve them well again, or will Minnesota win its second consecutive road game?
Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds
Date: Sunday, November 7, 2021
Game Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Where to Watch: FOX
Minnesota Vikings vs. Baltimore Ravens Injury Report
MINNESOTA: OUT: WR Bisi Johnson, DE Danielle Hunter, DE Patrick Jones II, WR Dede Westbrook, DT Michael Pierce, TE Ben Ellefson, CB Patrick Peterson
BALTIMORE: Questionable: WR Sammy Watkins, RB Latavius Murray, G Patrick Mekari
OUT: LB Malik Harrison (calf)
Minnesota Vikings vs. Baltimore Ravens Prediction
There is no shame in losing to the Cowboys, who are now one of four teams in the league with one loss. However, Minnesota knows they missed a golden opportunity when they faced Cooper Rush making his first career start instead of Dak Prescott. Minnesota turned in a disappointing effort on both sides of the ball. They entered last week allowing 414 yards per game, which ranked fifth in the NFL. However, they allowed Rush to throw for 325 yards and two touchdowns, and the 325 yards were the second-most by a Cowboys player in his first NFL start. In addition, Dallas’ defense allowed a season-low 16 points and 278 total yards, which were the second-fewest points and yards in a game by the Vikings this season.
Baltimore had issues of its own to fix over the bye week. The week prior to their last game, the Ravens had their best defensive effort, holding the Chargers to season lows in points and total yards. However, after forcing Cincinnati to punt on three of their first four possessions, the Bengals did not punt the rest of the way and scored four more touchdowns in the process. Cincinnati had 520 yards of total offense, 409 of which came through the air. In addition, the Ravens offensive line allowed five sacks and six more hits on quarterback Lamar Jackson. Their loss was the first in the last six meetings with Cincinnati.
While both teams are coming off poor offensive performances in their last games, each should get right offensively in what should be a shootout this week. The most concerning statistic about Minnesota’s defense heading into a matchup against Baltimore is their lack of ability to stop the run. Entering last week, Minnesota’s defense ranked 30th in yards per rush and 30th in yards before contact per rush. Though Latavius Murray is questionable for the Ravens, Baltimore’s running attack will start with Lamar Jackson, who still managed 88 yards rushing in what was considered a poor performance against Cincinnati. In addition, Minnesota’s defense received a huge blow as arguably their best player, defensive end Danielle Hunter, was ruled out for the rest of the season with a torn pectoral muscle. Hunter had six sacks through seven games (tied for tenth in the league), and his 54.5 sacks through his first five seasons made him the fastest player in NFL history to record 50 sacks. Thus, his absence will take a lot of the pressure off Jackson while he is in the pocket.
While Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins had a game to forget last week, he has excellent statistics against man coverage, which Baltimore primarily plays. Since 2020, Cousins’ 77 QBR against man coverage ranks sixth in the league. In addition, his 8.1 yards per attempt rank second, and he has the best TD:INT ratio in the league at 36:1.
In all, the Ravens will be able to get their running game going against the Vikings, while Kirk Cousins will be able to exploit Baltimore’s thin secondary. So instead of worrying about which team is on the right side of the five-point spread, look for this game to go well over the projected 50-point total.
PICK: OVER 50 (-110)