The Los Angeles Rams, who went to the Super Bowl representing the NFC last season, need a win against the Baltimore Ravens to keep their increasingly distant playoff hopes alive in 2019. For the Ravens, the Week 12 Monday Night Football matchup is important, mainly for playoff position. Entering the contest on a six-game winning streak, including a win over the AFC-best New England Patriots, the Ravens are playing for a shot at the top seed in the conference.
New England stands at 10-1 after defeating the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Coming into the Monday night game at 8-2, Baltimore needs a win to keep pace. But they hold the tiebreaker over the Patriots, meaning that one more New England loss could put the Ravens in the AFC's top spot.
The Monday night game will present a tale of two young quarterbacks who appear headed in opposite directions. After leading a Rams offense that tallied 527 points in 2018, second-best in the NFL, 25-year-old Jared Goff appears to have regressed. The 2016 first overall draft pick has thrown for just 11 touchdowns through 10 games. That's only one more touchdown than interception, of which Goff has allowed 10, according to Pro Football Reference.
Jackson, on the other hand, is in his second season. The Ravens made him their first-round pick in 2018, 32nd overall. Yet Jackson may be in line for league MVP this season, with 19 touchdowns and only five picks through 10 outings. The 19 touchdowns tie Jackson for fourth in the NFL, four off the league-leading pace set by Seattle's Russell Wilson.
Baltimore brings a six-game winning streak into Los Angeles. The Ravens have not won seven in a row since 2000, which is also the season the team won its first of two Super Bowls, as the Baltimore Ravens official team site noted.
Despite playing on the road, oddsmakers favor Baltimore by 3.5 points over Los Angeles in the Monday Night Football showdown, according to USA Today. In addition to winning their last six games, the Ravens have covered the spread in four consecutive games, though they are only 5-4-1 against the spread over the season so far.
The Rams, who lost three in a row after winning their first three games of the season, have showed signs of turning their season around. In their most recent four games, Los Angeles has gone 3-1, largely thanks to their defense, which leads the NFL over that span with only 44 points allowed.
The Ravens rank second with just 56 points allowed since Week 7.