While we're still recovering and trying to figure out exactly what happened on Sunday, the NFL awards us with another game on Monday night. The Baltimore Ravens travel to Las Vegas where they find themselves 4-point favorites over the Raiders.
A lot of preseason talk has centered around the Baltimore offense. At the start of the offseason, it seemed like they were dedicated to improving their aerial passing attack. Now, that might be a necessity after losing standout running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards to season-ending injuries during training camp.
If Baltimore leans more on Lamar Jackson's arm, who's most likely to benefit? Rookie first-round pick Rashod Bateman finds himself on injured reserve. Depth offensive pieces like Nick Boyle and Miles Boykin are also injured.
Mark Andrews has been the focal point of Baltimore's passing attack for the last two seasons, catching 122 balls over that time for 1,553 yards and 17 touchdowns. Last season, the Las Vegas Raiders ranked 30th in points allowed per game and 26th in passing yards permitted. This is a potential smash spot for the Ravens tight end. Here are two props that I'd look towards with Andrews.
Mark Andrews to score a touchdown at anytime
Mark Andrews has 17 touchdowns in his last two seasons in just 29 games. In 2019, Andrews led the Ravens in receiving touchdowns. In 2020, he finished second on the team. Since 2019, Andrews leads all tight ends in touchdowns.
In 2020, Andrews received 20 red zone targets, which ranked him inside the league's top 15. When the Ravens offense gets in the scoring zone, they look toward their big tight end. I like him to score a touchdown tonight at +120.
Mark Andrews reception total
Andrews went over this total just seven times in 14 games last season, but the trend was positive. In the last six games of the regular season, Andrews received 44 targets. He turned those 44 targets into 32 receptions, an average of 5.3 receptions per game.
We already discussed that the Ravens wanted to expand their passing attack this season, so any slight boost there is good news for Andrews. Additionally, the running game in Baltimore is a huge question mark. How much can we honestly expect from TySon Williams? Is Baltimore willing to run Lamar Jackson with extreme frequency in their season opener?
When you couple the opportunity and question marks in Baltimore's offense along with the Raiders' defensive struggles and Andrews' talents, I think he's in for a big game. I'd go over 4.5 receptions.
Stats from Pro-Football-Reference