Who Has the Edge? Previewing Ravens vs. Bills

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Aug 7, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) stands in the huddle in the first quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 7, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) stands in the huddle in the first quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports /

Ravens Offense vs. Bills Defense

Edge: Ravens

Joe Flacco’s return means all the world to the Baltimore Ravens. He’s the best quarterback in franchise history and is a proven winner. The stadium will be amped up and will finally feel like M&T Bank again.

Flacco’s weapons are better than ever. Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman has the players to run every package in his playbook. They have speed on the outside and strength on the inside. The running back rotation is three players deep and looks dangerous.

The key player to watch for is tight end Dennis Pitta, who is playing in his first game in two years. He can create mismatches as a receiver against safeties and linebackers. Pitta is a fantastic route runner and has great chemistry with Joe Flacco. Just seeing him out on the field is incredible in and of itself, with his two hip dislocation fractures.

Buffalo is missing key pieces in perennial Pro-Bowl defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, first-round pick defensive end Shaq Lawson, second-round pick linebacker Reggie Ragland, and veteran linebacker Manny Lawson.

The Bills front seven is decimated. The combination of Justin Forsett and Terrance West should be able to churn out big yardage and ease the pressure off of Joe Flacco.

However, even with all of the injuries, a Rex Ryan defense is always extremely aggressive. He employs exotic blitzes and unique coverage schemes.

The Bills secondary will challenge the Ravens’ receivers, as they have two excellent starting corners in Stephon Gilmore and Ronald Darby. They can lock down the short to intermediate routes, but without adequate safety help, will be vulnerable over the top.

Former Raven Corey Graham is now the Bills’ starting safety, along with Aaron Williams who is coming off a serious neck injury. They’re somewhat of an unknown and the Ravens would be wise to test them deep throughout the game.

Next: Ravens Defense Vs. Bills Offense

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