The Baltimore Ravens head to the friendly, indoor confines of Ford Field in Detroit for a Monday night showdown against the Lions.
With identical records of 7-6 and three games to go, both the Ravens and Lions need a win or risk missing out on the post season.
When you look at the big picture, both teams are pretty evenly matched statistically except in one area: Offense.
This season, the Ravens are averaging a respectable 310 yards per game behind Joe Flacco and crew. The running game is finally starting to show signs of life and a healthy Dennis Pitta is back on the field. Receivers Marlon Brown and Torrey Smith are playing great football and Jacoby Jones is hitting his mid-December form.
The Lions, on the other hand, are averaging 100 more yards of offense per game, thanks in large part to receiver, Calvin Johnson. Megatron, as he’s known around the world, has 1,351 receiving yards so far this season. The Ravens closest receiver in terms of production is Torrey Smith with 963 yards – a HUGE difference. Lions QB, Matthew Stafford is also leading Flacco in total yards by more than 700. Detroit averages a tad more than five more points per game than the Ravens.
The Baltimore Defense is having a solid year. So far, they’re only allowing an average of 20 points per game, ranked 8th in the NFL. Darryl Smith, James Ihedigbo, Haloti Ngata, Jimmy Smith and Terrell Suggs lead a stout Baltimore D that can make opposing QBs wish they had stayed home that day. Rookie Matt Elam is starting to show promise, but may have opened Pandora’s Box when he called Megatron “old” and “not physical.” Yikes. I’ll gave Smith credit for having cojones, but…Yikes.
Ndamukong Suh doesn’t concern me. He’s good, but has more bark than bite. Plus, he’s a kinder, gentler player now, so…meh.
The Ravens will face a tough challenge Monday night and this should be a very close game. In fact, I think it will be decided by one point…and Flacco.
- Lions win 23-22 if Flacco tosses at least one interception.
- Ravens win 22-21 if Flacco does not have any interceptions.