The Baltimore Ravens are going to test the Buffalo Bills, but the home team has the kind of roster that can give the MVP candidate and his team some trouble
The Baltimore Ravens haven’t lost a game since Week 4 when they fell to the Cleveland Browns 40-25. Since then, they’ve reeled off 8-straight wins and are now 10-2. They’re good, but not unbeatable — and the Buffalo Bills have the roster to upset the high-flying Ravens.
Yes, this Baltimore offense which is led by former Buffalo offensive coordinator Greg Roman is incredibly talented. According to NFL.com, they’re first in the league in scoring (33.8 points per game) and second in total yards (420.8).
Much of that success is due to the way Roman allows Lamar Jackson to use his legs as well as his arm. Jackson is the most exciting dual-threat quarterback since Mike Vick, but he’s not unstoppable.
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Last week, for example, the MVP candidate led his team to just 20 points while throwing for only 105 yards. Yes, he added 101 more on the ground and had a touchdown but those are numbers that you would take any day against Jackson.
For their opponent that day, the San Francisco 49ers, it wasn’t enough as they were defeated 20-17. However, the 49ers and Bills have something in common — they’re great on defense.
Heading into this weekend, the 49ers are second in the NFL in points surrendered whereas the Bills are third. San Francisco is first in the league in stopping the pass and Buffalo is third there as well. And if either team has a weakness, it’s against the run.
While that seems counterproductive, it could play into their favor. San Francisco took the passing game away from Baltimore and while they still won, they weren’t the same explosive team we have seen all season.
Buffalo would be wise to focus on forcing the Ravens to keep the ball on the ground and allowing their strong front seven to try and keep them bottled up as much as possible.
On top of their defensive talent, Buffalo is fifth in the league in rushing — again similar to San Francisco who is second. The Bills need to use this to their advantage and keep Jackson on the sideline. Sometimes, the best defense is a good offense.
This is clearly an oversimplified explanation but the point is the Bills have a team that can make plays on defense and an offense that can control the clock which keeps their defenders from getting worn out chasing Jackson.
It should be an exciting game, and if Buffalo wins, they cannot be ignored any longer.