Mark Zinno: Ravens Reactive – Week 4 Prediction
KEY MATCHUP: It’s an exercise in futility as the Ravens 2.6 yards per carry, 31st in the league, faces the Bills run defense that is giving up 155 yards per game, tied for 30th in the NFL. Will the Ravens run game become reinvigorated against a porous defense? Will the Bills front-seven slow down Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce, as well prevent the big home run that the Ravens run game has been missing? By 4pm on Sunday, we should have an answer.
THE RAVENS WIN IF: Joe Flacco has a breakout game. He has been very limited so far in three games. And if the Bills run defense is bad, their pass defense is equally ripe for the picking. They give up over 415 yards per game through the air. Flacco’s big time arm could take advantage if his wide receiving corps and tight ends could actually catch the football with some regularity.
THE BILLS WIN IF: The Ravens lose the turnover battle. Baltimore is the better team. Buffalo has some good players, but they don’t have the talent of the defending champs. If the Ravens make mistakes, allow the Bills to stay in the game and give them extra chances, they could gift a win away.
FANTASY TIP: Torrey Smith is a must start. The Ravens new number one wide receiver should be able to take advantage of a weak Bills secondary. You know that Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell will certainly give Joe Flacco opportunities to take shots down the field – something they both love to do. It really is just a matter of the two linking up make hitting pay dirt.
WHAT’S AT STAKE: The Ravens will be in a dogfight all year long with the Bengals for the AFC North crown. While the Bengals are coming off a huge win over the Packers and face the Browns, the Ravens play their fourth consecutive AFC opponent. Tie-breakers will be huge at the end of the year for both teams. Also, they are both tied with 2-1 records right now atop the division.
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