After a disappointing loss in week six against the New England Patriots, the Baltimore Ravens come home for their first of two Bye weeks (at least according to Ray Lewis). Their first Bye week is against the 0-5 Buffalo Bills and their second…well that’s their actual Bye week.
The Ravens are 13 point favorites according to Las Vegas and after allowing Tom Brady and the Pats offense to score 16 points in the second half and overtime to defeat Baltimore 23-20, the Ravens defense feels they have a lot to prove as the Bills come to Baltimore.
As you would expect, the Ravens have the statistical advantage in just about every category of this game. The Bills average 251 total yards per game, 144.6 passing yards and 106.4 rushing yards per game. The Ravens defense has allowed an average of 280.5 yards per game, 175 pass yards and 105.5 rushing yards. Baltimore’s defense has only allowed an average of 15.8 points per game, while scoring 18.7.
A few match ups to watch this week would be the Ravens defensive line against Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who took over as Buffalo’s QB in week 3 after they released Trent Edwards. Fitzpatrick has had some success with the Bills, throwing seven TDs and just two interceptions. He’s also thrown for a 99.9 rating in the fourth quarter. But the Ravens defensive line has had a lot of success against the Bills. Terrell Suggs has a sack in his last three games against Buffalo and safety Ed Reed is expected to return to the Ravens defense.
Bills rookie running back C.J. Spiller has yet to provide a spark for in the running game in Buffalo. Spiller has a total of just 80 yards this season and has yet to see the end zone. Fred Jackson is the only Bills running back to score a touchdown this season, that likely will remain the same against Baltimore’s 15th ranked rushing defense in yards per game.
As a side note, Buffalo’s defense, the worst in the NFL in rushing with 182.4 yards allowed per game is switching form the 3-4 to a 4-3 according to Coach Chan Gailey. “So, to be honest with you, it’s not a shift of philosophy. It’s a shift in necessity,” Gailey said.
Despite Ray Lewis comments about a two straight Bye weeks, the Ravens match up beautifully against the Bills offense. Though few teams don’t. It should be a blow out at M&T Bank Stadium this week, I like for Ed Reed to return as the ball hawk after the Ravens shut down Buffalo’s run game.