All 4 of this weekend’s divisional spherical playoff video games are extremely anticipated, however none figures to be fairly as shut as Saturday’s prime-time contest between the Buffalo Payments and Baltimore Ravens.
Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson are two of the NFL’s most harmful younger quarterbacks. Sean McDermott and John Harbaugh are two of the league’s most revered veteran coaches.
However just one facet can advance to the AFC Championship for a shot at representing the convention within the Tremendous Bowl.
Can Allen construct on his MVP-caliber season with one other massive night time, this time in opposition to a feisty Ravens secondary?
Or is Jackson poised to showcase his All-Professional pace en path to his second straight playoff win? We’ll discover out quickly sufficient.
Within the meantime, in the event you’re questioning tips on how to tune in,
or which matchups may determine Saturday’s showdown, we have you coated with information under:
Learn how to watch
Date: Saturday, Jan. 16 | Time: 8:15 p.M. ETLocation: Payments Stadium (Orchard Park, New York)TV: NBC | Stream: fuboTV (Attempt totally free)Observe: CBS Sports activities App
This will likely sound apparent, however Buffalo’s recreation very a lot lies in Josh Allen’s arms. The Ravens are not any slouches on the defensive facet of the ball, regardless of just a few notable leaks throughout the common season (see: Dec. 14, after they allowed 42 to the Browns).
They rank No. 6 in opposition to the move and No. Eight in opposition to the run. They have feisty opponents within the secondary. And so they like to deliver the warmth up entrance.
It is as much as Allen, then, not solely to handle the ball in what might be a lower-scoring, weather-affected battle but in addition showcase his trademark aggressiveness when the chance presents itself.
When the Ravens blitz, for instance, Allen cannot afford to stumble into turnovers contemplating the best way Baltimore is able to retaining possession for lengthy stretches of time.
However it’s his arm, above all, that should shine if the Payments wish to greatest a run-heavy Ravens squad,
Baltimore has confirmed notably susceptible in opposition to operating backs and tight ends within the passing recreation, so if Buffalo needs to take advantage of these holes,
Devin Singletary and Dawson Knox may play larger roles than anticipated. That is assuming, after all, that Stefon Diggs nonetheless will get his fair proportion of targets on the skin.
This recreation plan, you might have observed, is not a lot completely different from the one the Payments run on the common;
it is only a matter of Allen executing it properly in opposition to a superb “D” in doubtlessly snowy circumstances.
They need to run, run and run some extra. All of us stare in awe when Lamar Jackson lofts a deep ball with the flick of a wrist, however two stats paint the entire image right here:
The Ravens are the very best dashing staff within the NFL, and the Payments are just under common (No. 17) defending the run. It would not get far more apparent than that. Clearly, if Jackson intends to greatest Josh Allen on the street, he’ll have make some key throws.
Couple this with the very fact Buffalo might be internet hosting some snow and wind on Saturday night time, and there is much more cause for the Ravens to lean on what they do greatest.
Greg Roman has loads of methods to feed his plethora of ball-carriers — Jackson included — and the Payments, for all their expertise on the again finish, have confirmed susceptible to massive opposing run video games at a number of factors this yr.
Sprinkle in some play-action, and take a shot right here or there, however this actually could not be a lot less complicated for Baltimore
Prediction That is actually such a tossup. The Payments have the firepower to hit on massive performs in opposition to Baltimore’s in any other case stout “D.” The Ravens have the dashing assault to gash Buffalo on the street. On the finish of the day,
it would come all the way down to the QBs, and actually, the safer guess is likely to be Allen, who’s more practical as a real downfield passer. The Payments additionally benefit from enjoying at dwelling on an additional day of relaxation.
However you realize what? Jackson’s legs, coupled with all of the Ravens’ different runners, ought to nonetheless give Baltimore a slight edge