Blast, Blaze and Baffle: How the Ravens take it to the Bills Saturday night
By Darin McCann
Josh Allen is really, really good. He’s good at buying time and creating plays off-script, he’s good at using his own legs to generate first downs and touchdowns and he’s developed into a dangerous pocket-passer, particularly with the dangerous weapons he has around him. Allen threw for 4,544-yards this season, with 37 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He is absurdly talented, and his intangibles might even be better.
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The Ravens built this defense to play against modern offenses, with stout defensive linemen, a talented stable of cornerbacks, and versatile safeties who don’t get out of position very often. Still, this is one of the tougher challenges out there, and don’t kid yourself — the Bills will make plays.
But Don “Wink” Martindale and this defense can be a challenging puzzle for offenses to figure out, particularly non-divisional foes who don’t go up against this very often. If Marlon Humphrey, Jimmy Smith, Marcus Peters, Chuck Clark, and DeShon Elliott can at least keep the Bills receivers in check, the hope is that the Ravens confusing fronts can get Allen off schedule a few times, while dropping linemen can get into passing lanes and deflect passes or cause incompletions.
We talk a lot about complementary football, and this is definitely one of those games. The Ravens will need to produce consistently in terms of scoring, and throw off the Bills enough on defense to come out on top. Baffling Allen into a turnover or errant third-down pass can make all the difference.
• Gus Edwards is the leading rusher for the Ravens, putting up 100-plus yards and two runs over 20-yards — both in the fourth quarter.
• Marquise Brown hits the century mark again and gets a touchdown longer than 35-yards.
• Marlon Humphrey gets a “fruit-punch fumble” off a Bills receiver to stop a Bills drive.
• Josh Allen throws from more than 400-yards and three touchdowns.
Baltimore 27 Bills 24