Rex Ryan, Ed Reed, and the Buffalo Bills come to town for a Week 1 clash. Who will come out on top? RSR staff offer up our predictions on the Ravens v. Bills:
I’m sure that when casual observers across the country give consideration to the Ravens v. Bills, they will expect a defensive struggle. And why not? That’s the legacy of the Ravens and the Bills’ head coach Rex Ryan.
Sunday such thoughts will prove to be WAY off the mark.
The Ravens secondary struggled in 2015 and so far, until they prove otherwise, there’s no substantive reason to conclude Leslie Frazier‘s unit WILL be better. Consequently the Ravens will not be able to resist the temptation to get after Tyrod Taylor with blitz packages — and they’ll get burned by the former Raven’s mobility.
On the other hand, a Rex Ryan-led team is expected to play great defense and get after the quarterback with Organized Chaos. Instead, it’ll just be chaos for the visitors. Last year the Bills defense was ranked 19th and finished 31st in sacks. Without Marcell Dareus, Manny Lawson, Shaq Lawson and Reggie Ragland, that’s not likely to improve anytime soon.
Look for a big offensive afternoon from both teams as the two combine for over 800 yards in offense. When the fireworks are over and the smoke settles, the Ravens, on the heels of a 300+ yard, 3-TD effort from Joe Flacco, emerge with a thrilling 34-27 “W.”
The Ravens start fast and furious out of the gate with Joe Flacco and the passing game. Smith Sr. and Breshad Perriman each get first half touchdowns with running back Terrance West adding two late goal line TD’s.
The Ravens cruise to their first victory of the season, 28-14.
Before we go into score predictions, I want to hit on some ‘firsts’ that I predict will happen against the Bills this Sunday:
As for the game itself, I see Flacco with a 250/2/1 performance, Perriman catches a few, but Mike Wallace does the most damage, while Forsett and West split carries. The defense will be a bit overwhelmed with Tyrod initially, but by the 2nd quarter they begin to contain him and apply pressure, while not allowing time for Sammy Watkins to get open downfield.
Ultimately, the Ravens eek one out on the scoreboard, but it’s only close due to our Pees-ian ‘bend don’t break’ 4th quarter defense.
Free coffee Mondays, hooray!
Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills are the perfect team for the Ravens to kick off the season against. When healthy the Bills are a 9-7 squad. However, they’ve had so many suspensions and injuries that any team with realistic playoff aspirations should beat them with relative ease. It’s a good test to find out if last year was an aberration or a sign of things to come.
The Ravens lean heavy on the run in the first game of the year with Justin Forsett and Terrance West both getting 15+ carries. At halftime Baltimore grinds out a 9-3 lead. But the run heavy approach sets up the offense for some second half bombs. Breshad Perriman gets his first NFL score when Flacco hits him in stride for a 60 yard touchdown. Dennis Pitta comes back with a vengeance and hauls in two second half touchdowns. Ravens cruise to a 30-17 victory.
Joe Flacco sails a pass out of bounds that Ed Reed corrals. Everyone laughs.
That’s pretty much the only thing for the Bills sideline to smile about all afternoon. In a game reminiscent of opening week beatdowns past (remember 2011? 2012? Good times.), Baltimore announces to the NFL that they are back – at least for one week. Nobody is missing Tyrod at 4:30 on Sunday.
Ravens 30 Bills 6
Ravens 17 Bills 14
The Ravens open the season with a 27-17 win in which the defense plays better than expected.
Some key highlights will be:
-Joe Flacco starts the year with 225+ yards, a TD and a pick.
-Justin Forsett leads the running backs in total yards, but Terrance West steals a goal line TD.
-The secondary plays better than expected, but the Ravens will allow a passing TD of 40+ yards.
-An eager Ravens pass rush sacks Tyrod Taylor twice, but also allows him to run for 35+ yards.
–Steve Smith comes out firing, leading the team in catches and receiving yards.
-An inexperienced left side of has some growing pains, and Flacco will be sacked 3 times.
After a nervy first half, the Ravens come out firing in the second and run away with a 34-17 victory. Breshad Perriman gets into the end zone for his first career touchdown on the first play after the intermission. Flacco throws for 2 TDs and rushes for a third. Forsett reminds us all of his worth, as Trestman rides the “hot hand” and the 5’8″ back gains 100 yards on the ground and an additional 30 through the air.
LeSean McCoy does some damage in the passing game, but overall Tyrod has a rough return to Baltimore throwing a pick to Eric Weddle in the first half and coughing up a fumble for a touchback after a 30 yard scramble towards the end zone in the fourth quarter, icing the game for the home team.
Flacco looks rusty in the first half, so the offense relies on Terrance West who makes some plays. But in the second half, Flacco connects with Wallace on a few long balls as the Ravens pull out a 24-13 win.
– Ravens start out hot scoring 2 TD’s on their first 3 drives before cooling down a bit.
– The first touchdown of the game will be a 40+ yard TD pass from Joe Flacco to Breshad Perriman
– Terrance West will have 2 rushing touchdowns
– Michael Pierce gets his first sack of the season.
– Unfortunately, Tyrod Taylor throws for 300+ yards and 2 TD’s
– Ravens squeak out a 31-28 game
The game will start just how you would expect one that features a Rex Ryan and a Ravens defense to. There will be a turnover from each team in the 1st quarter, but the opposing offenses will do nothing with it.
Then, in the second quarter, both offenses will get into gear and score 3 times a piece. By the end of the game, it will be a shootout. Both Tyrod and Flacco will throw for over 400 yards, but Flacco will have the last laugh after leading the Ravens to a game-winning drive on a 34 yard Justin Tucker field goal.
Final score: Ravens 33 Bills 31
The Ravens get this one done at home and validate their return to contention with a 2-score win.
Offensive MVP: Crockett Gilmore who is a mismatch for the Bills LBs in addition to some much-needed blocking.
Defensive MVP: Anthony Levine effectively spies Taylor on many passing downs and makes 2 plays to deny
3rd down conversions. The pass rush is more effective getting to Taylor and less concerned about rush lanes with a full-time spy.