Baltimore Ravens vs Buffalo Bills kicks off the AFC Divisional round and headlines this Saturday night's playoff games. It'll be a fierce battle between two of the hottest teams in the NFL who have lacked success in the playoffs in recent years.
The Baltimore Ravens finally got their first playoff win with Lamar Jackson at the helm when they defeated the Tennessee Titans 20-13 in the Wild Card round. Meanwhile, Josh Allen finally gave Bills fans something to cheer about with their first playoff win since 1995 when they took down the Indianapolis Colts 27-24.
Who will come out on top and move on to the AFC Conference championship? Let's break it down.
Baltimore Ravens vs Buffalo Bills Head-To-Head
Their most recent matchup came in 2019 in a 24-17 win for the Baltimore Ravens.
Ravens' season results: W W L W W W L W L L L W W W W W
Bills' season results: W W W W L L W W W L W W W W W W
Baltimore Ravens vs BUffalo Bills Team News
The Ravens injury report is small but notably includes star pass-rusher Matthew Judon and lockdown cornerback Marcus Peters. Peters has a lingering back issue but he played every snap against the Titans. He will have the luxury of not having to contain Stefon Diggs and will focus more on Gabriel Davis who had 4 catches for 85 yards against the Colts.
Judon is dealing with an illness but barring anything unforeseen he should be a full-go on Saturday. Offensive lineman DJ Fluker was limited in practice with a lingering knee issue but will make another start on Saturday for Ravens vs Bills.
WRs Stefon Diggs (knee) and Cole Beasley (oblique), LB Tremaine Edmunds (hamstring), and DTs Ed Oliver (knee) and Justin Zimmer (groin) were all limited again this week but are all slated to play this Saturday in Ravens vs Bills. The only addition to the injury report is backup QB Jake Fromm who is currently in quarantine as apart of COVID-19 protocols. His status for Ravens vs Bills is undetermined.
The Buffalo Bills have also added former Falcons and Giants RB Devonta Freeman. He will likely fill Zack Moss' role as backup RB after his season came to an end due an ankle injury. Freeman also provides veteran playoff experience, even playing in the Super Bowl with the Falcons. Baltimore Ravens vs Buffalo Bills will be his first playoff game in 3-4 years.
Baltimore Ravens vs Buffalo Bills Projected Starters
QB: Lamar Jackson
RB: J.K. Dobbins
WR: Marquise Brown, Willie Snead IV
TE: Mark Andrews
QB: Josh Allen
RB: Devin Singletary
WR: Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley
TE: Dawson Knoc
Baltimore Ravens vs Buffalo Bills Preview
The Bills and Ravens are both on a hot streak as of late, and both teams are going to need that fire this weekend to advance to the AFC Conference Championship.
The Bills are currently on a 7-game winning streak, which includes their first playoff victory in 25 years. Josh Allen has been a big reason for that, as he's thrown for 300+ yards in 4/7 of those games and has thrown 2+ touchdowns in all but one game during the stretch.
He's also coming off a decent rushing performance against the Colts where he had 11 rushes for 54 yards and a touchdown. While he's no Lamar Jackson on the ground, Allen's arm is superior by a mile. Better yet, Allen's weapons are significantly better.
Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, John Brown and Gabriel Davis have been successful pieces and play-makers in their own right. The Bills also boast an impressive defense that is more than capable of shutting down Jackson's mediocre weapons. They currently rank 13th in total yards, passing yards and 3rd down %.
Lastly, the Bills homefield advantage may significantly effect the course of this game as it's shaping up to be a snowy night in Orchard Park which would significantly effect Lamar Jackson's ability to scramble.
Overall, on paper, the Buffalo Bills clearly possess the superior team and have the advantage in nearly every statistical and non-statistical category in Ravens vs Bills. So, what does Baltimore offer?
While the Bills offer great consistency, the Ravens are able to take over a game with big plays, often with Lamar's legs or Marquise Brown's deep threat ability. They also possess a knack for getting turnovers and turning them into scores.
Unlike the Bills, they also possess a reliable TE in Mark Andrews, which can allows the Ravens to move past some of the smaller Bills defenders. Add in a rapidly developing J.K. Dobbins and an above average Gus Edwards and the Ravens have a formidable and possibly unstoppable offense.
Ravens vs Bills will be a tight showdown, as both teams possess a gritty defense and the ability to move the ball in various ways.
Baltimore Ravens vs Buffalo Bills Prediction
Despite the big play-ability possessed by Lamar Jackson and the rest of the Baltimore Ravens offense, a snowy night and a gritty Bills defense will either greatly limit or outright stop the Ravens from blowing this game up. While the Ravens also possess a skilled defense, they will be overwhelmed by the excessive amount of weapons Josh Allen possesses and falter late into Ravens vs Bills.
Baltimore Ravens vs Buffalo Bills Prediction: The Buffalo Bills win 34-21.Published 15 Jan 2021, 00:24 IST