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We knew it was only a matter of time before the offense experienced some hiccups, failing to cross the 20-point plateau. While the Buffalo Bills may have lost their first game of the season, we can all see that if they just had a bit more time, the outcome could have been different.
Now heading on the road for a game against a former MVP in Lamar Jackson, he’s right back where he was in 2019 when he did win the award. Only now, he’s more motivated than ever, looking to prove, not only to the Baltimore Ravens ownership but also to the rest of the world, that he deserves to be considered one of, if not the best, quarterback in football. It’s a wild statement, but through three weeks, he actually has a case. More on that down below.
Obviously, the Ravens are a well-coached football team led by John Harbaugh. He won a Super Bowl back in 2012 and has a career win percentage of 61%. This mark is strong enough to be ranked 34th in win percentage among all the coaches in NFL history. But what many may not realize is coach Sean McDermott is right behind him, with a 60.7% win rate, ranking 38th.
Both coaches know the exact strengths and weaknesses of their roster, as well as their opponents, and will use this information to their advantage on game day. Just like in Week 1, when we had a potential Super Bowl matchup, this figures to be what could be a playoff preview once again.
Buffalo Bills vs. Ravens game details, where to watch
- Sunday, October 2, 2022
- Start time: 1:00 PM ET
- TV channel - CBS
- Location - M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland
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Matchups to watch
- MVP hopeful (Josh Allen) vs. 2019 NFL MVP (Lamar Jackson)
We all know how far Josh Allen has come from his days as a rookie, frequently overfiring, whether it was by distance or simply by velocity. Now that he’s learned the art of putting the right amount of touch behind his throws, he’s a fricken wizard.
Lamar Jackson came into the NFL a bit differently. Believe it or not, some respected NFL analysts and one former general manager actually believed Jackson had no future at quarterback and felt he should be playing wide receiver instead. It’s one of the worst takes in recent time.
So how’s this non-QB performing in his fifth season in the NFL? He’s only leading the league in passing touchdowns and QB rating. There really aren’t any questions about his arm anymore, and maybe there never should have been. Amazingly, he’s doing this without Marquise Brown, who was valuable enough to be dealt for a first-round pick. But that doesn’t mean the Ravens don’t have weapons.
Mark Andrews is one of the best tight ends in football, and former first-round pick Rashod Bateman has looked more like the No. 1 receiver he was drafted to be. Andrews ranks 13th, and Bateman ranks 17th in the NFL in receiving yards.
Yet, Stefon Diggs still leads the league with 344 receiving yards, and Allen is the NFL’s passing leader with 1,014 yards. Those numbers have a chance to grow in a big way on Sunday.
With what may be the top two current quarterbacks in the NFL dueling on the gridiron, fans are in for a treat on Sunday.
- Buffalo Bills defense vs. Baltimore Ravens defense
It never used to be this way. Ever since they became the Ravens, it seems they’ve perpetually had a top defensive unit. We haven’t seen that in recent times. In fact, it’s Buffalo’s D that is the far better group in 2022.
Baltimore’s pass defense has been so bad in Mike Macdonald’s first year as coordinator that they rank dead-last in passing yards allowed per game (353.3). It’s 55.6 more yards per game than the next-worst defense in football.
As Bills Mafia may know, Buffalo’s defense ranks second in passing yards allowed and second in rush yards allowed. Their scoring defense also ranks fourth in the NFL, whereas Baltimore comes in at 24th.
Even with all the injuries Bills Fans have witnessed, this is still the far better all-around unit.
- Biggest key to Bills’ victory is getting healthy
It’s not talked about often, but perhaps the biggest impediment to what should otherwise be a fantastic season is being bit by the injury bug. It’s the same factor that held the Ravens out of the playoffs a year ago, and we saw a similar impact on full display last Sunday in Miami with exhausting heat and humidity forcing a few more Bills players to the sideline.
Whatever it takes, whether that means taking it a bit easier in practice or just getting more rest in general, it’s absolutely imperative that the Bills return to health as soon as possible. Once a player is injured, there’s not much one can do other than rehab and recovery. In the NFL, it’s not about one game, even if the upcoming opponent is tough. The biggest focus should be on getting healthy in the long run.
With a roster that’s so top-heavy, thanks to having stars at nearly every position group, the depth just isn’t as strong as some other rosters Buffalo has had in the past. We saw evidence of the backups being tested in Miami, and they weren’t up to the task.
With all these extra injuries causing players to miss valuable time, maybe it helps the backups get more up to speed. That’s all we can hope until players like Tre’Davious White are able to return.
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Buffalo Bills vs. Ravens game prediction
- Last season’s record: Buffalo Bills 11-6, AFC East champions
- Baltimore Ravens: 8-9, fourth place in AFC North
While the toughest game of the season so far may have been the Rams in Week 1, there’s a strong argument to be made that this is actually Buffalo’s toughest matchup. It all has to do with it being Week 4 and the Ravens being on a roll instead of Los Angeles coming off a Super Bowl hangover.
It being a road game doesn’t help matters, either. Their all-time record at M&T Bank Stadium is 136-58. When their team is as strong as it is, fans show up in droves. Given a chance to see Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson, wouldn’t you show up too?
Millions will be watching, and we can only hope it will be the high-scoring, back-and-forth affair that keeps us all on the edge of our seats; we won’t know until Sunday.
While the betting line will fluctuate all week, especially with the various injuries on both sides, Vegas has the Bills favored by 3.5 points by oddsmakers.
In what should be a close game, we’re picking the Bills to overcome Jackson’s magic in what will be a showdown for the ages. Allen, Diggs, and Gabriel can go off, and maybe we see Dawson Knox get more involved, too, against a porous pass D. Either way, the Bills will leave Baltimore with a win to move to 3-1.
Game prediction: Bills 40, Ravens 31 - Bills victory