BALTIMORE (WJZ) — After clearing the hurdle that was the Tennessee Titans last week, the Ravens are now gearing up for a Saturday night prime-time battle in Buffalo against the second seeded Bills. The matchup provides plenty of intrigue with a variety of storylines, not the least of which are the winning streaks that each team has on the line entering the game.
The Bills, after dispatching the Indianapolis Colts in the Wild Card round last week, have won seven straight games. The Ravens have won six straight. Someone’s streak has to end this weekend. While oddsmakers and some analysts believe it will be the Bills who move on, NFL on CBS contributor Amy Trask isn’t quite sure saying that she believes some are underestimating John Harbaugh’s group.READ MORE: DC Michelin Star Restaurant Little Pearl Temporarily Closing In Part Due To Cicada Season
“They (the Ravens) found a way to shut down Derrick Henry in a manner other teams have not this season and that was something that I thought was tremendously impressive. Baltimore seems to be on a roll right now, progressing at the right time,” said Trask. “We don’t know if Baltimore has peaked or if it’s yet to peak, Baltimore seems to be gelling, more and more as time goes on. I think Baltimore is a scary team to watch. Scary in the sense that many people have underestimated Baltimore.”
While some from the outside may be underestimating the team, the Bills certainly aren’t. The last time the two teams met in Buffalo in December of 2019, Baltimore squeaked out a 24-17 win in a hard-fought defensive affair. This time around things will be a little bit different as there won’t be 69,000 screaming Bills fans, instead the crowd will be limited to about 6,700 people. But, just because it’s not a full house doesn’t mean the fans won’t be heard. Trask lists Buffalo as her number two toughest road environment from her days in the league with the Raiders behind only Kansas City.
“Number two was Buffalo. When that stadium was packed to the gills. It was cacophonous as well. Those were the two roughest road environments, from my perspective during my years in the league,” said Trask. “Buffalo won’t have a full stadium, but by all accounts listening to players, after the last game, even a partially full stadium, made a difference. So that’s something to keep an eye on as well.”READ MORE: Inside The Case: How Federal Agents Built Their Investigation Into Catherine Pugh's 'Healthy Holly' Book Scandal
The Buffalo faithful along with the rest of us will get our second look at the Josh Allen-Lamar Jackson matchup. The two quarterbacks, forever linked because of being drafted in the same year, have plenty of respect for each other with each praising the other’s game in press conferences this week.
Allen, among the league’s MVP candidates this year, has benefited from the addition of wide receiver Stefon Diggs whom the Ravens brass is plenty familiar with. Harbaugh said this week that the team had looked at drafting Diggs out of Maryland in 2015, calling him “one that got away.”
Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale will have the task of making sure that Diggs doesn’t get away from corners Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey this week. He’s been on a tear recently with over 100 yards receiving in four of the last five games.
Also a heavy topic of conversation is the weather for the game, which has snow possible in the forecast. How that affects the game, Trask points out, will be something to keep an eye on but it’s one she’s looking forward to because of the two quarterbacks she says are “capable of doing very very spectacular things on the field.”MORE NEWS: 3 Dead In Domestic-Related Laurel Shooting, Child Hospitalized
The anticipation for the matchup culminates Saturday night with kickoff slated for 8:15 p.m. EST as the Ravens look to get back to the AFC Championship game for the first time since 2012.