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Bold Predictions: Can the Ravens Take Down Buffalo?

Bills at Ravens
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The Baltimore Ravens (2-1) host the Buffalo Bills (2-1) at M&T Bank Stadium – the Ravens’ fourth-straight game against an AFC East foe. This showdown features two of the NFL’s most electrifying players in the forms of Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen. It is the third road game of the season for Canada’s favorite NFL team, having played the league’s opener in Los Angeles and last week in Miami where they dropped a tight game during the contest’s waning seconds, 21-19.

Buffalo is currently a 3 1/2 point favorite in this game.

That said, the Ravens are 5-1 (.833) all time in Ravens-Bills clashes at “The Bank.” Lamar and Allen made their NFL debuts the last time Buffalo traveled to Baltimore (9/9/18). In the contest, Jackson appeared in multiple two-QB sets, completing a 24-yard pass and rushing for 39 yards on 7 carries. Allen entered the game in relief of Nathan Peterman who struggled mightily during the Ravens dominant 47-3 win. The rookie signal caller was 6 of 15 for 74 yards and rushed 4 times for 26 yards in a driving rain throughout.

Tony Lombardi

Save a couple of offensive series during which the Ravens were forced to adjust given the loss of left tackle Patrick Mekari, Lamar was nearly perfect against the Patriots. He feathered the ball when needed and also stuck it in tight places when windows closed rapidly. His ball skills were top-notch and his sleight of hand left defenders momentarily frozen, opening up opportunities. He’ll need to match that performance against the NFL’s No. 1 ranked defense. And it won’t be easy.

Head coach Sean McDermott’s defenses have had answers for Lamar in the past and given the expected inclement weather, it would be naïve to think that his string of outstanding games can extend to four to start the 2022 campaign. Moreover, if Daniel Faalele is forced to start at left tackle, the Ravens will have to alter their offensive approach and give the rookie lineman some help in the form of a tight end or Pat Ricard to try and neutralize Von Miller. Unfortunately, this limits Greg Roman’s vault, heightening the Buffalo defense’s read and recognition. A fast defense gets to play faster. And any online casino will tell you that the Bills’ travel shouldn’t matter and won’t slow them down.

• In two games against the Bills, Lamar has a passer rating of 82.6. He’ll struggle to get there on Sunday finishing with less than 200 yards passing with another 50 on the ground.

• All of the chatter about how Lamar is currently the game’s best will shift for the talking heads leading into Week 5. The new darling will be the old darling after Allen has a field day against the Ravens secondary, posting 350 yards by air while outpacing Lamar’s rushing totals, 62 to 50.

Stefon Diggs will regularly remind Ozzie Newsome of the mistake he made passing on the 2015 5th-round pick not once, not twice, but three times in the fourth round when WR was a need. The former Terp will enjoy a homecoming of sorts posting 150 yards and 2 scores.

In the end, Lamar just won’t be able to match Allen due to the conditions and given that the Ravens QB has to take on the league’s best defense while Allen goes up against the game’s worst. This one is just a bad matchup for the home team.

Bills 34 Ravens 20

[Related Article: Battle Plans Ravens v. Bills]

Adam Bonaccorsi

The Bills are getting healthier at the same time the Ravens continue to lose key contributors. That’s a scary thought, and while I think it’ll make Sunday’s matchup tougher for Baltimore? I have confidence that they’ll prevail in a very classic Ravens manner.

Lamar Jackson will throw another trio of touchdown passes (Duv, Duv, Mandrews), and we’ll finally see the first non-LJ touchdown of the season, courtesy of JK Dobbins. Despite all the offensive fireworks by Baltimore, the Ravens will have their hands full on defense and this game stays close from start to finish.

The Ravens will have just one sack on the day (on a Chuck Clark blitz) and Josh Allen torches the secondary for 350 yards and a trio of TDs of his own.

The one flaw-  the ONLY flaw – will be a Marcus Williams pick late in Q4, that gives Lamar the ability to get into FG range, where Justin Tucker wins it as time expires.

Ravens 31 Bills 28

Darin McCann

Before this season started, I suggested a few times that I felt the Ravens would be a better team — health allowing — at the end of the season than the start. A lot of that conjecture was based on having a new defensive coordinator, working some rookies into prominent roles, some players returning from injuries at different paces and the quarterback adjusting to an offense that didn’t feature his buddy, Marquise Brown. Obviously, that last part hasn’t played a major role as the offense, and quarterback, have been producing at an electric pace.

However, this is one of those games that I looked at early that could be a problem for this growing team. And, despite a rash of injuries up and down the Bills’ roster, I still think this one could be a problem. Here are a few predictions:

• The Bills will prove to be a difficult chore for the offense, even with a banged-up defensive backfield. Von Miller, Gregory Rousseau, AJ Epenesa, Jordan Phillips and Boogie Basham will be able to hit home for four sacks against the Ravens line, as they will be able to attack the left side of the line by shifting players around and attacking with waves of defenders.

• JK Dobbins will have an impact, despite the Bills having a stout run defense. Dobbins scores his first touchdown of the year on the ground, and generates more than 90 yards from scrimmage.

• The Patriots decided to focus on Rashod Bateman. The Bills will center things on Mark Andrews. Bateman goes off for more than 100 yards and a touchdown.

Odafe Oweh gets his first sack of the season. Then his second. Then part of another. A breakout game with 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble against a beat-up Bills’ line.

Kyle Hamilton grabs a pick on a deep ball.

Bills 33 Ravens 24

Rob Shields

In what could be the game of the week, the Ravens face the team that most believe is the best team in football, led by one of the top QBs.

Buffalo is a team that has a lot of weapons on both sides of the ball. Offensively, they have an explosive passing game and a QB that runs the ball well. Overall, their running game isn’t much but Josh Allen can hurt you with his legs.

The Bills have a very good Dline, led by Von Miller. This will be a key matchup in this game. How does the Ravens Oline handle their Dline? Who will be blocking Miller? Will it be Mekari, who Miller reaped praise upon last year? Will it be Faalele, who really played well in the second half of last week’s game? Or, will we finally see Ronnie Stanley on the field? He practiced in full for the second straight day Thursday and is trending towards playing. Of course, you expect him to be rusty and you wonder how that will look against Miller?

Both teams are suffering from a lot of injuries and the Bills are particularly beat up in the secondary.

I am expecting this to be a high scoring game. The Ravens defense continues to give up a lot of big plays and the Bills excel at that. On the other hand, the Ravens have a lot of big plays too and with the injuries that the Bills are dealing with, that should lead to those chances as well.

Both of these QBs are eating up the blitz, so that could also lead to more big plays if either (or both) defenses try to blitz too much.

Overall, I’m going with Buffalo in this game. I think the Ravens defense is going to get better but not sure I believe it’s there yet and even though the Bills are coming off a loss and have injuries, I think they make more big plays and find a way to win a close game.

Bills 35 Ravens 31

Derek Arnold

I’m putting some faith in the remnants of Hurricane Ian here, as I think this one will feature a few less fireworks than many expect due to sloppy conditions. I also think the chip on Lamar’s shoulder is a little larger than that on Allen’s. Yes, Josh is angry the Bills lost last week. But Lamar hears all the talk about how he “isn’t Josh Allen or Justin Herbert.” He’ll put the team on his back, again, and pull off the upset.

Both teams’ receivers have trouble with footing all day, slowing down Buffalo’s precision attack noticeably. Allen finishes with 270 yards and two TDs, but the Bills have to settle for FGs in the red zone three times.

• Dobbins scores from 20+ yards out.

• JPP, Oweh, & Queen each have a sack. The Bills get to Lamar twice, but he wriggles out and turns two other almost-sacks into positive plays.

• Kyle Hamilton notches his first pick on a ball off Devin Singletary’s wet fingers, which leads to a Justin Tucker game-winner from 38.

Ravens 24 Bills 23

Chris Schisler

My first bold prediction is that the NFL will regret not making this the Sunday Night Football game of the week. There’s no disrespect to the Buccaneers or the Chiefs but the two MVP front runners will be in Baltimore. This should be a good game. But how will it unfold?

I have an itching feeling that the Ravens can pull this one out. Lamar Jackson gives the Ravens a chance. The fact that the Bills are going through some tough problems on the injury front could benefit the Ravens. All of that being said, I’m going to go with the Bills.

If the Ravens were 3-0 right now I might be singing a different tune. At the end of the day, that collapse against the Dolphins makes this team hard to trust. These Ravens have displayed a pattern of making things harder than they have to be. That could come back to bite them. They have to be more polished than they’ve been to win this game. I believe the Ravens can grow into the better of the two teams by playoff time. For now, the Bills are the more complete team.

The Bills have the number one defense in the NFL, giving up an average of 214 yards per game. The Bills have 11 sacks and are by far the biggest test so far for the offensive line of the Ravens. It just feels like a lot has to break the Ravens’ way for this one to go right. Can the Ravens beat the Bills? Sure. Will they? That’s a completely different story. I’ll be there on Sunday. I’ll be going nuts in the crowd and I’ll bring all the hope I can fit in my heart and my rain jacket. I have to be objective here though, and I think the Bills are the safest bet.

Bills 34 Ravens 28

Kevin McNelis

Looking at the slate before the start of the season, I had this game marked as probably the most challenging contest for the Ravens outside of the road trip to Tampa. With the injury-maligned secondary for the Bills, the matchup is still tough, but they don’t look quite so invincible. To that end:

• The pressure off the edge from the Bills opens up a running lane for Lamar on a draw play, and he rushes for another long TD.

• Baltimore’s receivers find gaps in the depleted Bills secondary, scoring two receiving touchdowns over 25 yards each.

• With the help of newly minted Raven Jason Pierre-Paul on the other side of the line, Odafe Oweh finally breaks through his streak of ho-hum performances and logs a multi-sack game.

Devin Duvernay records another long kick return that begins a Baltimore drive in Buffalo territory.

It’ll be a high-scoring affair, with the game coming down to the final possession. As much as I’d like to say the Ravens take this one, Stefon Diggs has hit an absurd stride, and I think the Ravens struggle to contain him.

Buffalo 31 Ravens 27

Ben Dackiw

If I ever pick against the Ravens at home, someone call the Norman police department, because it’s likely an imposter.

The Bills appear to be the early winners of the injury bowl with devastating injuries on the defensive side of the ball. It’s just awful to see. The Bills run a good show and had the best roster in the AFC.

That being said, the Ravens had to play under worse circumstances all of last season, so we still have to play football on Sunday. The Ravens need to drop the hammer and prove a point. The defense needs to stop allowing all these yards and points and the offense needs to… keep doing what it’s been doing…. Wow that’s weird to type out.

For this offense to get going, Von Miller needs to be held in check. Whether it’s Daniel Faalele or Ronnie Stanley, there’s going to be a Nick Boyle (hopefully) or a Patrick Ricard helping them out in pass protection quite a lot. Keep. Lamar. Clean. I was encouraged by what I saw from the big fellas last week and they will hopefully only improve against the Bills.

The D-Line let Mac Jones run wild on them. That’s unacceptable. Allen poses a much bigger threat, both with his arms and legs. While I don’t think Odafe Oweh will get mugged quite as much against Buffalo’s O-Line, he needs to have a better game. Speaking of the front seven, it’s Travis Jones time. Is he for real? Time to find out. He and Oweh will get to Allen, both getting at least half a sack. Marcus Williams will continue his hot start, picking up a few pass break ups and a pick.

While I would like to rattle off a few bold predictions for the offense, I don’t think any prediction could be considered “bold” when Lamar Jackson is under center. He’s that brilliant of a player.

The Ravens will roll to the bank and come out 3-1. Hopefully they will get some much needed reinforcements after this game.

Ravens 38 Bills 30

Brennan Stewart

Week 4 places the Ravens against their toughest opponent yet. This game will likely develop into a high scoring shoot-out between two very talented offenses. On that note:

• Mark Andrews will finish as the lowest-targeted receiver after being double-covered for a majority of the snaps.

• The Bills’ talented pass-rush scheme will force Lamar Jackson to be incredibly mobile. Jackson will rake up at least 120 rushing yards, his most of the season.

• The Ravens secondary will hold Stefon Diggs to his least productive game of the season. He will be held to a single touchdown and will be out-targeted by Isaiah McKenzie.

• Josh Allen will throw at least two interceptions.

While the game might go back-and-forth for three quarters, the Ravens will lose their edge in the fourth and trail by more than a touchdown before time expires. The Bills will ultimately pull away with the win in Baltimore.

Bills 34 Ravens 24

Jared Pinder

This is a game that will have plenty of the kind of explosive offense the modern NFL is looking for. The Bills looked human for the first time last week and Josh Allen made a ton of turnover-worthy plays that should have killed them, but he managed to keep his team in the game until the last minute.

The Bills defense has a ferocious front seven that has put quarterbacks under constant pressure all year. They are hurting in the secondary right now, so if the Ravens can find any kind of way to limit the Bills front, they should have a good day.

The Ravens defense has got to get it together this week if they want any kind of chance. The Bills have the most explosive offense in the game right now and they need their pieces in the secondary to step up. Baltimore is already looking thin on the defensive front with the loss of Michael Pierce, so the pass rushers have got to handle their business.

• Lamar Jackson puts up another huge day scoring three+ touchdowns.

• The Ravens defense does force two turnovers but is unable to truly finish off the Bills as their pass rush continues to have issues.

• This game will be all about the offense and whoever has the ball last will win the game.

• Despite Lamar’s good game, Allen will actually outproduce him due to the Bills’ pass rush destroying the Ravens line and forcing Lamar into mistakes.

Bills win 35 – 31

2 Responses

  1. Ravens may lose on Sunday bc they are going up against the SB Favorites and in fact I mightve put a few sheckles on Bills ML.

    However this Bills defense is coming in pretty banged up aswell, they lost Hyde for the season and may not have Poyer due to a foot issue. Also Jordan Phillips already ruled out. Those 2 stud safeties are really the reason in previous years Bills were able to contain Lamar. On top the fact he didn’t develop his passing game to where it is right now. So if bills inactives list shows half their defense Sunday.. Lamar is going to score 25-30pts. It’ll be whether Ravens D stop Allen enough times.

Comments are closed.

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