Weather is again a factor as the Bills meet up with remnants of Hurricane Ian in their Sunday matchup with the Ravens in Baltimore.
No big deal for either one of these quarterbacks. Josh Allen has already proven he can throw the ball through 50 mph gusts, and Lamar Jackson has played well in bad weather too. The forecast is for light to heavy rain throughout the game, with winds gusting up to 20 mph or so. The Bills, still banged up, will certainly take these conditions with mid 60’s temperatures over the 100 degrees on the field in South Florida last week.
All eyes are on Allen and Jackson in this one, and their history of proving people wrong in the 2018 NFL Draft. Jackson has already won one MVP crown and is being challenged by Allen this season even though its early. Both these guys can and will run it and throw it, and although they’re different the results are eye popping. Allen and Jackson are the only two players with at least 80 passing touchdowns and 20 rushing TD’s since 2018.
Injuries are still an issue for the Bills, although it looks like defensive tackle Ed Oliver will be back, and his disruption will be needed to help linebackers Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano make some plays on Jackson when he either runs a scripted play or bails out of the pocket. One or both of them will spy on him at times, and the Bills have been one of the few teams to contain Jackson to some degree over the past couple seasons.
The oddsmakers have installed the Bills as 4 point favorites even though both teams are 2-1 and both teams are among the top four in total offense and points scored. The Ravens average 33.0 and the Bills 30.3 ppg offensively. Oddly enough, the ESPN Power Football Index gives the Ravens a 58.1% chance of winning vs the Bills 41.4%. Somebody’s gonna be wrong!
The Ravens can certainly score points, especially in the Red Zone, where the Bills struggled at Miami. But defense is where the Bills have, on paper anyway, a large advantage at least based on 3 games.
The Bills defense is #1 in the NFL, allowing only 240.7 yards per game. The Bills are AVERAGING more than 200 yards per game more than their opponent. The Ravens defense? Dead last #32 at 471.0 yards per game, and 366 of that yardage is through the air.
The wind and rain probably won’t change OC Ken Dorsey’s approach, other than being a bit more restrained in the press box of course, as the Bills and Allen will still throw it a lot. They might not have Gabe Davis, who didn’t practice Thursday, but they still have plenty of options.
Bad weather and rain can result in more turnovers, and the Bills have to take care of the football. They also must be better in short yardage situations and in their red zone opportunities.
Bills fans don’t want to hear or read this, but it’s probably going to be a close game. Oh no! By now everybody knows the Bills have lost 7 straight close games, after being 5-1 two years ago.
This time it changes.
Bills 34, Ravens 27
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