Sizing up the Ravens AFC playoff competition
2) New England Patriots
I almost picked the Buffalo Bills here but I cannot bring myself to trust Sean McDermott and Josh Allen over Brady in Belichick in the playoffs.
The main reason for almost picking the Bills is that I feel that the Patriots do not match up well with the Ravens. The Ravens want to play smash mouth beat you up football and the Patriots don’t have that kind of game at this point.
They have been out of sorts offensively all year, lack a scoring punch to hang with the Ravens offense, and feature a defense that the Ravens have already proven they can rack up 372 yards and 37 points against. Yes New England has the best defense in the NFL statistically but against top 10 offenses, they have surrendered 329 yards per game.
But it’s Brady and Belichick in January and until they stop being the NFL’s most historically successful duo, I cannot count them out in the playoffs. The two are 30-10 in the postseason together but are 3-4 on the road where they will figure to be if they run into the Ravens this postseason.
3) Buffalo Bills
This may come as a surprise to some of you but I want no part of the Bills in the playoffs.
They are exactly the kind of knock down drag out team that can match the Ravens physicality. They did so two weeks ago in Orchard Park, New York and had the Ravens on the ropes until Marcus Peters broke up a potential game tying touchdown pass with just over a minute to play.
The other thing about the Bills that I like is that they are just dumb and naive enough to not be afraid of the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium in the Divisional Playoff round which would be the most likely of scenarios where the meeting would occur. Let’s look at the last game between the Ravens and the Bills.
The Bills have had success running the ball with Devin Singletary but were forced into a passing offense after falling behind 15 early in the fourth quarter. From that moment on Singletary ran just six times. If the Bills are able to dictate the tempo of the game, Singletary could be an X Factor in that match up.
The Bills also held the Ravens to 257 total yards, their lowest total of the season.