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QB Josh Allen is almost as effective on the run as quarterback Lamar Jackson, but Allen has a stronger throwing arm, which could be the difference in this game.
Bills -2.5 (-110)
|Ravens vs Bills Information|
|What||Baltimore Ravens vs Buffalo Bills|
|Where||Bills Stadium in Orchard Park, NY|
|When||Saturday, January 16, 2021; 8:15 PM ET|
|How to watch||NBC|
Ravens QB Lamar Jackson proved his doubters wrong and finally won a game in the postseason with a 20-13 Wild Card win over the Titans, mostly because somehow Baltimore’s defense figured out a way to neutralize RB Derek Henry, something they will also need to do to Bills RBs Devin Singletary and rookie Zack Moss.
The Buffalo Bills young QB Josh Allen continues to prove that he is their franchise answer under center, throwing two TD passes in the team’s Wild Card win over the Colts, final score 27-24, and now this hungry and talented team must figure out an answer to Jackson and the Ravens powerful rushing attack if they expect to move on in the postseason.
These two AFC cross-divisional rivals have played each other 9 prior times, with the Buffalo Bills winning 3 of those games and the Baltimore Ravens winning 6 of the games.
Only the Chiefs are more productive on the offensive side of the ball than the Buffalo Bills are with Josh Allen under center, the squad posting an average of almost 400 total yards every game and scoring over 31 points per game.
The Ravens’ top-10 defense should be able to handle their business, except on Saturday there are two key players on that side of the ball who are listed as questionable.
Star cornerback Marcus Peters is dealing with a back issue, and talented linebacker Matt Judon is recovering from an undisclosed illness, so they will both most likely be game-time decisions for head coach John Harbaugh on the day of the game.
When healthy, there are arguably few better trios of wide receivers in the NFL than the Bills John Brown, Stefon Diggs, and Cole Beasley, the first two being speedy deep threats and the third being one of the premier slot receivers in the game.
The key to the continual development of young QB Josh Allen in Buffalo has been the team’s willingness to surround him with talented targets that he could build connections with overtime, which he has done with this set, a passing attack ranked 3rd after averaging almost 290 yards through the air per game.
The Ravens have a solid pass defense when healthy (which they are not fully, see above), so this could prove to be a key battle in the game worth keeping an eye on since the winners could help their team find a postseason victory while the losers will simply have to go home.
Former Ohio State Buckeye J.K. Dobbins may be just a rookie, but he is producing like a seasoned pro, this season having rushed 134 times for 805 yards and 9 touchdowns while also catching 18 balls for another 120 yards.
The Ravens have the best rushing attack in the league right now, and though QB Jackson is a huge reason for that, so is Dobbins from out of the backfield, since his presence forces defenders to choose between he and the QB and both can prove deadly on the ground.
Dobbins must have a huge game against the Bill’s 17th ranked run defense to give his underdog Ravens a chance on Saturday, something OC Greg Roman is no doubt on top of with his upcoming game plan.
One of the key reasons QB Josh Allen has seen so much success this season is because the Bills front office figured out a way the last offseason to trade for star receiver Stefon Diggs, who had spent his first five seasons in Minnesota.
Diggs has just posted his third 1,000+ season in a row, this time leading the league in both total receptions (127) and in total receiving yards (1,535), now a critical piece of OC Brian Daboll’s highly effective offense.
The Ravens are solid against the pass, so Diggs will have to run sharp routes and figure out how to get loose after the catch for extra yards, but the postseason was made for players like him, so keep your eyes locked on Stephon for this one.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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