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Scouting The Baltimore Ravens


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Another week, another monkey off our backs. The Buffalo Bills won their first playoff game since 1995 in front of 6,700 screaming fans over a well-coached and talented Indianapolis Colts squad. I felt that the Bills played a bit tight throughout and it would be easy to have felt the pressure of that streak and the expectations of the town. It didn't help that Indy brought their A+ game without their usual second half slump as Phillip Rivers was nearly automatic and their defense made life really tough on the Bills. The refs even botched a pivotal call on the clear Zach Pascal fumble on the final drive. Old Bills teams from the drought era would have crumbled facing that type of adversity. Not this team. Josh Allen continued his MVP level play, the defense made some key stops when it had to, and Sean McDermott's decision-making/use of timeouts late in the latter stages was genius. On a day where this team didn't quite have their best stuff, we survived and advanced and that's more than what six other teams from this weekend's games can say right now. 

Next, we're at home facing the 11-5 Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Playoffs Divisional Round who are coming off a rugged, defensive-struggle-of-a-win against their hated logo-dancing rivals, the 11-5 Tennessee Titans. Same as the previous weeks, I wanted to do an amateur deep dive/scouting session into the Ravens' last three games based on their game highlights (granted it's not the All-22 film but still nearly an hour of tape) and then list some keys/X-factors for our matchup this week. Anyways, hope you enjoy/find this useful:

 

***Offensive, Defensive, and Special Teams Ranks are based on Football Outsiders' Defense-adjusted Value Over Average statistics.***

https://www.footballoutsiders.com/dvoa-ratings 

 

***Please note that the team records are strictly regular season and do not include playoff wins and losses.***

 

December 27th- Week 16 Win at Home vs New York (the Giants (final record: 6-10) had the 26th ranked offense, 19th ranked defense, and 12th ranked special teams) by a score of 27-13:

Lamar Jackson- 17/26 for 183 yards, 2 passing TDs, and 0 INTs with 80 rushing yards and 6.2 YPC. This whole Ravens offense run by Greg Roman is predicated on RPOs and Lamar's mobility. On the Ravens first drive, Jackson did a great job deciding when to hand off and when to keep the ball himself and ended the drive on an RPO in which he threw a TD to a wide open Hollywood Brown. In general, Jackson had all day to throw (0 sacks) and when he wanted to scramble, he was able to flee through large gaps in the Giants' D-line vacated by their DTs. Leonard Williams beat the LT cleanly on one play and had a shot at Jackson, but bit on a juke and missed diving for Jackson, losing contain and allowing Jackson to scramble left for a nice gain. Lamar got locked in on Andrews in the red zone at the end of the first half and threw a no doubt INT into TRIPLE coverage which Giants CB Logan Ryan dropped. 

Baltimore RBs- JK Dobbins (77 yards, 7.0 YPC, and 1 TD) proved to be an effective outside runner especially on the Ravens second drive, taking an RPO handoff up the right sideline for 20+ yards before scoring a goal line TD on his next carry. Gus Edwards (85 yards and 5.7 YPC) isn't as fast as Dobbins, but broke a long run off the right tackle in the third quarter. Both backs seemed to be most effective running right whereas Jackson's biggest runs seemed to be rolling left. The game was already out of reach, but Edwards fumbled twice on the same carry late in the game from the two yard line, allowing the Giants to take over. 

Hollywood Brown (4 receptions for 25 yards and 1 TD)- One of the fastest WRs in the NFL, but happens to play for the league's worst passing attack. Has already shown some signs of displeasure with his usage this season. 

Dez Bryant (1 reception for 8 yards and 1 TD) and Miles Boykin (1 reception for 13 yards)- Both are tall WRs who can win with size and strength rather than speed on their limited targets. Bryant is well past his prime  and spent some time out of the league, but he is still capable of using his physicality to his advantage and making plays. Bryant caught his second TD of the season in the fourth quarter on a quick slant where he was left uncovered on a busted assignment. Boykin is super athletic, but still a bit raw and under-used in a run-heavy Ravens offense. 

Mark Andrews (6 receptions for 76 yards)- Very athletic (his acceleration and leaping ability both jump off the tape) and one of the better route runners at his position. He is Jackson's favorite target especially over the middle of the field and in the red zone. 

Ravens Run Defense- New York, led by Wayne Gallman, rushed for 54 yards and 4.3 YPC, but as the numbers show, they abandoned the run game pretty quickly as they trailed for almost the entire contest. 

Ravens Pass Defense- To be fair to him, Daniel Jones (24/41 for 252 yards, 1 TD, and 0 INTs) was dealing with hamstring and ankle injuries heading into this game and he was able to limit big mistakes, but he wasn't accurate or effective enough against an aggressive Ravens unit to score points and win. Jones' decision-making was too slow to combat the blitz and he was sacked six times. Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, and Jimmy Smith are possibly the best CB trio in the league and are tall, physical man corners/ballhawks (Humphrey also has 8 FFs this season) who are very handsy and dare the refs to throw a flag on every play. The Ravens also blitz their DBs a lot to make up for the lack of speed in their front seven and so that it's difficult to tell where the pressure is coming from. The Giants couldn't get anything going until they got into their two minute no huddle offense at the end of the first half. All of a sudden, Jones kept finding Evan Engram and the RBs on crossing routes for first downs and in the second half, the Giants continued to adjust and were able to move the ball this way. Anthony Averett (their apparent #4 CB) missed a tackle and gave up a big play in the third quarter and later was beaten for a TD by Sterling Shepard in single coverage, he seems like a guy we could target with Davis or McKenzie based on what I saw. 

Miscellaneous- Baltimore averaged 6.5 yards per play and led 20-3 at halftime. Baltimore committed 10 penalties for 65 yards. 

 

 

January 3rd- Week 17 Win Away vs Cincinnati (the Bengals (final record: 4-11-1) have the 29th ranked offense, 27th ranked defense, and 9th ranked special teams) by a score of 38-3:

Lamar Jackson- 10/18 for 113 yards, 3 passing TDs, and 1 INT with 97 rushing yards and 8.8 YPC in a laugher. Jackson again had all day to throw (not sacked for the second consecutive week) and threw a nice deep ball to Miles Boykin who had 2-3 steps on his man for the first TD. Threw a pick on their next possession though after his pass was tipped at the LoS. Cincinnati did a poor job of playing contain throughout and when he did escape the pocket, Lamar was able to force a number of missed tackles. Jackson threw a second TD this time to Brown on a quick slant where the middle of the field had been vacated by the LBs blitzing and found Brown again for his third TD pass unmarked in the back of the end zone as he was running a bootleg to his right. Cincy appeared to use a spy in certain packages.

Baltimore RBs- Baltimore consistently won the LoS and opened large holes for JK Dobbins (160 yards, 12.3 YPC, and 2 TDs) and Gus Edwards (60 yards and 5.0 YPC). Dobbins broke a weak tackle attempt on his third quarter TD from the four yard line and provided the game's final score on a 72 yard run where he broke several arm tackles and then outran the defense up the left sideline. Lamar gets all the attention, but Dobbins has been a excellent draft pick and a perfect complement to Lamar and what the Ravens want to do on offense. 

Hollywood Brown (5 receptions for 41 yards and 2 TDs)- Got separation on both his TDs although the Bengals coverage looked awful. 

Dez Bryant (0 receptions) and Miles Boykin (1 reception for 43 yards and 1 TD)- Not many balls to go around in this passing attack. Boykin made his one catch count, showing off his speed to beat single coverage on a skinny post for the Ravens' first TD.

Mark Andrews (4 receptions for 27 yards)- Relatively quiet game by his standards. 

Ravens Run Defense- Cincinnati actually had a really strong running game going as they rushed for 147 yards and a healthy 7.3 YPC especially considering what a disaster the passing game was. Baltimore gave up a 55 yard carry by Trayveon Williams in the third quarter on which Humphrey made a TD-saving tackle.

Ravens Pass Defense- Third-string QB Brandon Allen (6/21 for 48 yards, 0 TDs, and 2 INTs) was severely outmatched in this game and never gave Cincy a chance, has to be one of the worst performances by a QB of the season. On their best scoring chance of the day from the Ravens one yard line, Allen threw off his back foot and underthrew his receiver, allowing Marcus Peters to make the easy pick. On the Bengals final drive, Chuck Clark read Allen's eyes and made a great break on the ball to haul in another INT. Baltimore was able to pressure and harass Allen into some difficult throws, but surprisingly didn't record a sack. 

Miscellaneous- Baltimore averaged 7.2 yards per play and led 17-3 at halftime. Baltimore took a penalty on their opening drive when they looked to be driving for a TD and couldn't recover which forced a FG attempt. Their offense just isn't built to convert those third-and-long situations. Baltimore committed 6 penalties for 49 yards. 

 

 

January 10th- AFC Playoffs Wildcard Round Win Away vs Tennessee (the Titans (final record: 11-5) have the 4th ranked offense, 29th ranked defense, and 28th ranked special teams) by a score of 20-13:

Lamar Jackson- 17/24 for 179 yards, 0 passing TDs, and 1 INT with 136 rushing yards, 8.5 YPC, and 1 rushing TD. Developed a better rapport with Hollywood Brown in this game, targeting him more frequently. Threw one of the weirder INTs that you'll see, drastically undershooting Boykin on a confidently-thrown lofted deep ball under no pressure which was picked by Malcolm Butler. On the last play of the first quarter, Tennessee blitzed Adoree Jackson (likely their fastest player) and Lamar was able to evade and then outrun him to the corner which was super impressive. Butler should have brought in a second INT while covering Mark Andrews in the end zone, but dropped the ball. After a slow start, Jackson ripped off a 48 yard TD run through a hole in the middle of the defensive line and then wove through all three levels of the Titans defense to tie the game. Unlike past weeks where he wasn't pressured often or sacked at all, Lamar was sacked five times in this game by a previously anemic Titans pass rush. A couple of these sacks seemed to be a result of 6-7 man blitzes where Tennessee left no room up the middle for Lamar to escape and he never really looked downfield to pass. 

Baltimore RBs- JK Dobbins (43 yards, 4.8 YPC, and 1 TD) followed FB Patrick Ricard through the left side of the line on a goal line carry for a third quarter TD.  Gus Edwards (38 yards and 4.8 YPC) had a sneaky big game with some tough carries to pick up key third downs and didn't go down on first contact. 

Hollywood Brown (7 receptions for 109 yards)- Had one of his biggest games of the season and was able to use his speed really effectively against the mostly slow Tennessee CBs. Did a good job tracking a deep pass over his shoulder against Butler in the second quarter which set up a Ravens FG. Didn't look to be on the same page as Jackson on a deep shot to the end zone late in the game as he never got his head around. 

Mark Andrews (4 receptions for 41 yards)- Was able to make a couple grabs over the middle and pick up some YAC. 

Ravens Run Defense- Rebounded from a poor performance the prior week and did an excellent job limiting Derrick Henry to 40 yards and 2.2 YPC. Henry's longest carry of the day was for only 8 yards. Baltimore sold out to stop the run, often lining up 5 or 6 players on the LoS. 

Ravens Pass Defense- Ryan Tannehill (18/26 for 165 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT) has had an excellent year, but he didn't bring his A game in this contest and his lack of elite arm strength was a factor as he struggled to hit throws outside the hashmarks. Tannehill came out throwing early which might have surprised the Ravens and AJ Brown (83 yards and 1 TD) really got the best of Humphrey in the first half. Baltimore also struggled in coverage against the tight ends (Jonnu Smith is a star and the Ravens kept him mostly quiet, but Anthony Firkser was getting open and making defenders look silly as well). Marcus Peters won a hand-fighting battle with Khalif Raymond who wound up falling down and Peters snagged a game-clinching INT with under two minutes left, this play and a number of others could have been flagged for DPI. Baltimore only sacked Tannehill once, but it's likely they were more focused on stopping the run and this played a factor. 

Miscellaneous- This game had the feel of a division game as these two teams HATE each other. Tucker uncharacteristically missed a 52 yard FG and a chance to take a 7 point lead with 12 minutes to go, but responded by hitting a 51 yarder on their next possession. Baltimore averaged 6.3 yards per play and committed 5 penalties for 60 yards. 

 

 

January 16th - AFC Playoffs Divisional Round: Baltimore Ravens (current record: 11-5, the Ravens have the 11th ranked offense, 9th ranked defense, and 2nd ranked special teams) Away vs Buffalo Bills (current record: 13-3, the Bills have the 5th ranked offense, 12th ranked defense, and 4th ranked special teams):

 

Bills On Offense- The Baltimore defense and the Indy unit we just played are both hugely talented, but nearly polar opposites in terms of scheme. Whereas the Colts usually rush with four/rarely blitz and play zone coverage, the Ravens blitz the most in the NFL at 44.1% with predominantly man coverage. Josh's numbers against man coverage and against the blitz have been great this year so the key to the game on offense in my mind is keeping Josh clean and giving him time to pick apart the Ravens back seven (for the record, Allen has 1,850 yards and 19 TDs against the blitz this season which both rank 1st in the NFL). Fortunately for us, the Bills O-line has been solid in pass protection and have passed some tests vs. some impressive defensive fronts already this season. I'd spread the Ravens out with 10 or 11 personnel, line up Josh in shotgun to better combat the blitz, and leave an RB in to help with blitz pick up and occasionally leak out for a screen pass (maybe we finally use Yeldon for this?!?!). As @One Buffalo astutely pointed out in the game week thread, the Ravens defense against 4+ WRs this season is ranked 21st in YPA, 23rd in explosive pass-play rate, and 26th in passer rating allowed. I also think this is a game to get McKenzie and the jet motion more involved. Through quick passes, screens, and jet motions, we can give the Ravens a lot to decipher and use their aggressiveness against them. Unlike the slow starts of the past two games, starting strong and building an early lead would be very significant given the type of offense the Ravens deploy (before last week, Baltimore had not come back to win a game down 10+ points since 2016!). Lastly, Baltimore has missed the second-most tackles in the league this season so hopefully there are some extra YAC opportunities for Diggs and Co. I am predicting that Allen is used less on designed QB runs, but that he still gets a few big chunk plays with his legs scrambling after our WRs have dragged the secondary deeper downfield (more space for him to roam vs man coverage). Lastly, Beasley's health is really important here as we'll need his agility and route running on third downs and hot routes vs the blitz. Going over the tape from last weekend, it was noticeable how much he ran the same out route repeatedly and how slow he was to make any cuts particularly to the right. Fortunately, the early reports seem to indicate he's closer to 100% this week and we'll need a healthier Beasley vs the Ravens man coverage. 

 

Bills On Defense- It didn't necessarily feel like it, but outside a couple of frustrating fourth quarter runs by Nyheim Hines where we forgot how to tackle, the Bills sold out to stop the Colts' running attack and it worked. We held the red-hot Jonathan Taylor to 3.7 YPC (his career low in games with more than 12 touches) on 21 carries. The Bills brought eight defenders into the box on 10 of those carries and held Taylor to 2.4 YPC on those plays. Baltimore presents you with a different style of run game, but some elements of the Indy game plan could still be effective against the Ravens. The three main differences are heavy use of RPOs, Lamar's elite quickness and elusiveness as a running threat, and their behemoth 6'3" 311 lb FB Patrick Ricard, one of the better lead blockers in football. This is another throwback team that is built to win with running (albeit with a modern-day twist) and defense. Using a lot of eight man boxes and clogging the LoS while playing with sound contain technique (glaring at you Mario Addison!) seems like a way to mitigate the run game and force Lamar to beat us with his arm down the field. Capitalizing on a mistake or two and taking the ball away will be key as well. In the passing game, we often struggle against QBs who get the ball out quickly, but Lamar holds onto the ball for a long time so there may be opportunities to get sacks/pressure as long as we are intelligent about it and don't lose contain. You wouldn't know it based on the media coverage this week, but Baltimore had the NFL's worst passing offense this season (Jackson is particularly limited throwing deep and outside the hashmarks) and if we can build a lead, limit the run somehow, and force Baltimore to rely on a vertical passing game, that should be a recipe for victory. Baltimore is well-coached by John Harbaugh who has a ton of battle-tested experience in big games and is aggressive on fourth downs.

 

On Special Teams- The Ravens boast an excellent special teams unit. Justin Tucker is the premier kicker in the league with excellent accuracy and leg power  while Sam Koch is one of the better punters out there. Rookie Devin Duvernay provides a spark as a kick and punt returner. However, this looks like a fairly even match on paper as Bass has been automatic lately, Bojo led the league in a few punting metrics, and I'd put my money on Andre Roberts bouncing back from a fairly poor game last week as we know he's capable of being an excellent weapon in the return game and field position battle. 

 

***For the second week in a row, the Saturday game slot should be an advantage for the Bills. We have an extra day of rest and *IF* we can win this game, we'll have another extra day of rest heading into the AFC Championship Game. The Bills are also the home team and don't have to travel.*** 

 

Alright thanks for reading! I enjoyed putting this together and will hopefully get the chance to do more of these in the coming weeks. The Ravens are a talented, veteran-laden team. They are well-coached, have a strong defense, and a dynamic run game between Lamar and the RBs. They also have significant flaws we can expose though like their league-worst and limited passing game and heavy use of man coverage on defense. While many fans were hoping to play the Steelers this weekend (and after that no show vs Cleveland, that definitely would have been an easier match up), these Ravens aren't as dominant as previous seasons and have feasted on a weak schedule down the stretch. Some of the same vulnerabilities that the Bills have shown are shared by this Ravens team as they are second in the NFL in missed tackles (Buffalo is 6th) and 3rd in penalties yards against (Buffalo is 5th). With a lot of attention and experts picking the Ravens this week, we'll be able to adopt that underdog mentality again which we know motivates the guys in that locker room. I expect a close, hard-fought contest, but give me a Bills win and a ticket to the AFC Championship Game.

 

All the best, stay healthy, and Go Bills! 

 

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I too have noticed by reading and listening that there are a lot of Bills raft jumpers this week. I believe it is a serious case of recency bias and not identifying adequately that the Ravens have some serious matchup problems themselves. Nice Job!

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The Ravens are setting themselves up for disaster by blitzing Allen. They blitz the most in the NFL but are 11th in pressures and 20th in QB hurries and 14th in sacks. 

 

They blitz a lot but don't get there much. On top of that they don't effect the QB a lot of times. Bills are exceptional at picking up blitzes and giving Allen time.

 

If they think they got 3 good CBs and it's going to hold up, well, good luck. I'd invite them to watch both Miami games. They have good corners too. Deep overs are incredibly difficult to cover when the QB puts the ball out in front of the WR and deep comebacks are as well because Allen can get the ball there so fast as soon as the defender turns to run the WR stops and the ball is there before the defender turns around.

 

They tried this against Mahomes and he put up 395 yards and 4 TDs and the game was over at halftime.

 

They will get smoked and we could put a lot of pressure on their offense to keep pace which could force them out of their running game early.

 

I really hope their DC isn't bluffing when he says they are blitzing because Allen has destroyed teams that blitzed him all year long. They might fool him a few series here and there but once he figures it out they are done for.

Edited by Big Turk
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39 minutes ago, D. L. Hot-Flamethrower said:

I too have noticed by reading and listening that there are a lot of Bills raft jumpers this week. I believe it is a serious case of recency bias and not identifying adequately that the Ravens have some serious matchup problems themselves. Nice Job!


I agree. Football analysis is all recency bias. Less than a week ago, all we heard was how the Bills were going to easily beat the Colts based on how they smoked the Dolphins. It was a tight game instead and the Bills D didn’t look as good as it has recently. Now the narrative is the Bills are going to lose and their defense is terrible. After one game! 

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12 minutes ago, Miyagi-Do Karate said:


I agree. Football analysis is all recency bias. Less than a week ago, all we heard was how the Bills were going to easily beat the Colts based on how they smoked the Dolphins. It was a tight game instead and the Bills D didn’t look as good as it has recently. Now the narrative is the Bills are going to lose and their defense is terrible. After one game! 

This fanbase usually bases their opinion on, literally, the last Bills game played.

 

Regardless, this game is going to be a war and is in no way going to be easy.

 

It's certainly winnable, however.

 

For those looking for something to be encouraged by, consider the game last year was a tough, close affair, and yet our offense and Josh Allen is much improved this year.  Totally different offense.

 

Both teams are not exactly as they were last year, of course, but the change in our offense alone could easily tip the balance in our favor.

 

I'm looking forward to re-watching last year's game tomorrow. 

 

 

 

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Thank you DBS!  I always enjoy your write ups before a game like I do with Shaw and Virgil's post-game analysis.  Usually better than the official talking heads in sports land (setting the bar low I know).

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TL,DR

 

Basically, if the Ravens stay true to form (blitz and play man), Josh will take off and make them pay, as he has with all others.   If they blitz and play zone, Beasley cuts his route off and he catches 10 balls.   Bills pretty much have the antedote to whatever the Ravens D chooses.   Should be fun to watch.  

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Excellent post.  I didn't follow the Ravens too closely this season, but now I feel like I know what to expect.

 

Gotta get that early lead. I had no idea they were last in pass offense.

 

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Thanks again. This is a must read each week. Please continue this throughout the playoffs and 2021.

 

I can see this going many ways. More than a few of which end up in our favor. Keep Allen clean and upright, sell out to stop the run. Hope it snows a bit as it will be new to Jackson.

 

Saturday Night can't get here soon enough!

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DSB, excellent analysis.

 

I desire every talking head to pick the Ravens. 

 

Let it snow, more ways then one.

 

Throw the damn ball and stop with the multiple Josh Allen called runs.

 

Edited by dlonce
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4 hours ago, D. L. Hot-Flamethrower said:

I too have noticed by reading and listening that there are a lot of Bills raft jumpers this week. I believe it is a serious case of recency bias and not identifying adequately that the Ravens have some serious matchup problems themselves. Nice Job!

 

Even PFT who have been pretty consistent Bills fans this season.

 

Most feel that Baltimore does not have to worry about the Bills run game - at all seeing how they handled Henry and can crowd the LOS and then drop just about everyone into coverage leaving a 3 or 4 man rush, or blitz randomly.

 

This makes getting the right protections called and finding the open man more tough.

 

The flip side of this is the Bills have been gashed on defense by balanced teams with good runners and the Ravens are more balanced than last year by still running the ball well yet strategically using their TEs and Brown more.

 

So no surprises that the two areas where we have struggled this year - effectively running the ball and stopping the run are considered reasons we could end up on the wrong side of this contest.

 

The recent showing against Indy where they shredded our defense late did not instill a lot of confidence.

 

A lot riding on how Allen plays. It's not like he has not faced a ton of all-out blitzing this year and Diggs is a baller, if Smoke steps up, and Beasley is healthy, I don't see the Ravens able to cover all of them.

 

We will see. Weather may be a factor with possible snow, but I always thought bad weather favored the running teams....the Bills RB filling in for Moss could have a good game alongside motor too.

 

Hard to wait for this one.

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Big Turk said:

The Ravens are setting themselves up for disaster by blitzing Allen. They blitz the most in the NFL but are 11th in pressures and 20th in QB hurries and 14th in sacks. 

 

They blitz a lot but don't get there much. On top of that they don't effect the QB a lot of times. Bills are exceptional at picking up blitzes and giving Allen time.

 

If they think they got 3 good CBs and it's going to hold up, well, good luck. I'd invite them to watch both Miami games. They have good corners too. Deep overs are incredibly difficult to cover when the QB puts the ball out in front of the WR and deep comebacks are as well because Allen can get the ball there so fast as soon as the defender turns to run the WR stops and the ball is there before the defender turns around.

 

They tried this against Mahomes and he put up 395 yards and 4 TDs and the game was over at halftime.

 

They will get smoked and we could put a lot of pressure on their offense to keep pace which could force them out of their running game early.

 

I really hope their DC isn't bluffing when he says they are blitzing because Allen has destroyed teams that blitzed him all year long. They might fool him a few series here and there but once he figures it out they are done for.

Even though Allen is one of the best performers against the blitz, their DC doesn't intend to change anything because "that's who they are"

 

K

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DSB 

 

That's a nice and useful preview.  I like it a lot.   Good job.  Thanks.

7 hours ago, WideNine said:

 

Even PFT who have been pretty consistent Bills fans this season.

 

Most feel that Baltimore does not have to worry about the Bills run game - at all seeing how they handled Henry and can crowd the LOS and then drop just about everyone into coverage leaving a 3 or 4 man rush, or blitz randomly.

 

This makes getting the right protections called and finding the open man more tough.

 

The flip side of this is the Bills have been gashed on defense by balanced teams with good runners and the Ravens are more balanced than last year by still running the ball well yet strategically using their TEs and Brown more.

 

So no surprises that the two areas where we have struggled this year - effectively running the ball and stopping the run are considered reasons we could end up on the wrong side of this contest.

 

The recent showing against Indy where they shredded our defense late did not instill a lot of confidence.

 

A lot riding on how Allen plays. It's not like he has not faced a ton of all-out blitzing this year and Diggs is a baller, if Smoke steps up, and Beasley is healthy, I don't see the Ravens able to cover all of them.

 

We will see. Weather may be a factor with possible snow, but I always thought bad weather favored the running teams....the Bills RB filling in for Moss could have a good game alongside motor too.

 

Hard to wait for this one.

 

 

 

 

These are good points, especially that the game is on Allen's shoulders.  The fact is that one might say the Bills aren't as good as other teams with their top 21 on the field; it's just that Allen makes a huge difference. 

 

On the other hand, this is exactly the kind of game where the Bills running game surprises and puts up 150 yards.  We'll see.  

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Excellent write-up.

 

A part of me wishes I had no rooting interest in this game and could just enjoy it for what it is because to me, this is the most exciting matchup of the weekend. Obviously our defense will be defending Lamar and the Ravens differently than we do regular offenses and I expect Baltimore to break tendency with how they defend Allen, Diggs, Beasley, etc. as well. Going to be a really interesting chess match to watch unfold.

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8 hours ago, WideNine said:

 

 

"So no surprises that the two areas where we have struggled this year - effectively running the ball and stopping the run are considered reasons we could end up on the wrong side of this contest."

 

 

I believe the game has changed so much towards QB play, passing game, defending the pass and situational football that the Bills have some advantages beyond the run/ stop the run old school mentality. If I'm forced to pick winners this weekend I'm going with Allen, Mahomes, Rodgers vs. Mayfield, Jackson and Goff. The other game the QB play (Brady/Brees) is pretty much a wash. In that case, I'm going with New Orleans because I'll take Payton, Kamara, Thomas over Arians, Fournette and Evans.

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