Baltimore Ravens vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Preview, Prediction, Where To Watch


Aug 8, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) throws the ball during the first quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Game 6: Baltimore Ravens vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

When: Sunday, 10/12/2014 at 1:00 p.m.

Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida

Live Stream:

Radio: 98 Rock, Sirius XM

Local Radio Crew: Gerry Sandusky, Stan White, Qadry Ismail

TV: CBS (coverage map)

TV Crew: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon

Preview:  Following a tough road loss to the Colts, the Ravens have what appears to be a much easier matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week six.  But appearances can be very deceiving, and in this case they are.  The Ravens are still above water with a 3-2 record, while the Bucs appear to be reeling at 1-4.

The Ravens have been a tale of two offenses this season.  One is a top ten unit that can pick up yards through the air or on the ground with ease, such as we saw against the Steelers and the Panthers.  The other is a group that goes 1 for 11 on third down and employs wide receivers who commit drop after drop, such as we saw against the Bengals and Colts.

The Bucs, on the other hand, started out the season with promise which quickly crumbled.  The defense hasn’t lived up to their preseason expectations, reaching rock bottom in a 56-17 loss to the Falcons in week three.  The offense was supposed to be Chicago South after the team signed quarterback Josh McCown and surrounded him with tall pass catchers.  Instead, McCown turned into the pre-2013 version of himself that looks more like a career backup and journeyman than a capable starter.

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Since Mike Glennon has replaced McCown under center, the Bucs have been a different team.  The team pulled off an improbable comeback against the Steelers in week four for their first win of the season, and then almost beat the Saints last week in New Orleans.  The Ravens obviously can’t take this game lightly, even though the Bucs make for a much different opponent than the Colts.

The biggest challenge facing the Ravens is keeping their defense patched together.  They didn’t just lose to the Colts, but they also lost starting defensive tackle Chris Canty and nickel corner Asa Jackson to injury.  The Bucs feature a number of big, physical pass catchers that can win by grabbing jump balls on contested passes.  The Ravens desperately need Lardarius Webb, who returned to action last week, to get up to game speed this week.

Regardless, we feel confident that the Ravens can travel to Tampa Bay and come home with a victory this week.  The team likely realizes the errs of its ways last week, when they ran the ball a season low 15 times against the Colts.  Look for the Ravens to reestablish the run game while shutting down the ground game of the Bucs, forcing Mike Glennon to beat them through the air. Which we doubt he will.

Betting Line: Ravens -3 -10, 43u

Prediction: Ravens 21, Bucs 13