One of the best matchups among the NFL games today this weekend includes the Detroit Lions vs. Baltimore Ravens, set to take place at 1 PM ET. The Lions have looked like one of the best teams in football, landing at the top of Sportsnaut’s NFL power rankings, but the Ravens are in a similar spot, sitting in first place of the AFC North.
As much hype as the 5-1 Lions have received, the 4-2 Ravens can’t be ignored either. Both teams have a legitimate chance of emerging as one of the best teams in their respective conferences. While it may be the regular season, it’s not impossible for these teams to face off again in February.
Let’s dive into our Detroit Lions vs Baltimore Ravens predictions for Week 7.
Jameson Williams has first 100-yard game of Detroit Lions career
When the Lions traded up to select Jameson Williams with the 12th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, they envisioned the former Alabama star becoming their eventual No. 1 receiver. They knew his ACL injury from college would cost the young speedster much of his rookie season, but no one expected a four-game suspension due to betting.
Related: NFL coverage map Week 7
The 22-year-old Williams has played in just 10 games so far, and he’s yet to start one in the NFL. In fact, Williams has seen just five targets in his young career thus far, totaling 96 yards and two touchdowns.
So far the Ravens have allowed just one 100-yard receiver this season, letting George Pickens rack up 130 yards and a touchdown on six receptions in Week 5. Baltimore’s defense ranks No. 1 in the NFL, allowing just four yards per pass attempt this season. But the Lions have the third-most explosive passing offense, gaining 7.3 yards per pass attempt. Something has to budge on Sunday, and we’re betting Williams uses his gamebreaking speed to post the best game of his career.
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens shred Lions D with 300 passing yards
While he’s best known for his ability to make electrifying plays in the open field with his legs, Lamar Jackson has also been one of the most efficient QBs in the NFL this season. But it hasn’t always led to big days on the stat sheet. Jackson ranks third in completion rate, fourth in PFF’s adjusted completion rate, and the fifth-highest rate of big-time throws.
Yet, despite his preseason goal of breaking the NFL’s single-season passing yardage record, Jackson has yet to top 237 passing yards this season. Even though he’s taking on a defense that allows just 5.4 yards per pass attempt, ranking fifth-best in the NFL, the Ravens might find themselves in a shootout that requires taking chances through the air.
The Lions have allowed the fewest rushing yards in the NFL through the first six weeks, which could lead the Ravens to taking a more aggressive approach with their aerial attack, looking to get playmakers like Zay Flowers, Mark Andrews, and Odell Beckham more involved. With that mindset, don’t be shocked if Jackson has his best passing performance of the season, topping 300 yards.
Jahmyr Gibbs tops 150 total yards in second career NFL start
Fans have gotten frustrated by the limited usage of the Lions’ top first-round pick so far this season. That’s understandable, considering Detroit made Gibbs the 12th overall pick back in April, yet he’s touched the ball just 53 times, or an average of 13 times per game.
With David Montgomery ruled out and Craig Reynolds in question too, Gibbs is finally in line to receive the bulk of the workload in the Lions’ backfield. This should automatically give Gibbs a strong chance at topping his career-high of 80 rushing yards, but we think he can do much more.
As one of the fastest players on the Lions roster, Gibbs doesn’t need much space to break off big chunks of yardage. While the longest two runs the Ravens have allowed this season belong to Pierre Strong (40 yards) and Derrick Henry (63 yards), we believe Gibbs can top those marks with the help of one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. Given the biggest opportunity of his young career, Gibbs could very well top 150 yards from scrimmage against the Ravens.
Baltimore Ravens win, remind NFL community they’re AFC contenders
The Ravens are playing at home at M&T Bank Stadium, which helps swing the betting line in their favor, where the Lions are viewed as three-point underdogs, but many still believe it will be Detroit who emerges victorious thanks to their stellar play as of late.
Related: NFL coaching hot seat
Yet, there’s also reason to believe Detroit could be in for a rude awakening, taking on arguably their most formidable opponent of the season thus far. The Lions have enjoyed convincing wins against some of the worst teams in football, including Atlanta, Green Bay, and Carolina. The Chiefs didn’t have two of their best three players and it was the NFL season opener, meaning Kansas City may not have been at their best. In other words, while what Detroit has accomplished has been impressive nonetheless, they haven’t done anything yet.
But the Ravens have been here before, they’ve seen the peaks and valleys over the past few seasons, sometimes looking like the class of the AFC, while other times struggling to move the chains or limit their opponent offensively. Coach John Harbaugh will have his players ready to go, knowing they’ll have to be at their best against coach Dan Campbell’s team who always brings intensity. We’re just banking on the Ravens being slightly more prepared for this highly-anticipated matchup.
- Detroit Lions vs Baltimore Ravens prediction: Ravens 28, Lions 24