Kickoff: 8:15 p.m., Bills Stadium
TV: WBAL Channel 11 (Baltimore), WRC Channel 4 (Washington, D.C.), WRDE Channel 31 (Salisbury), WGAL Channel 8 (York/Harrisburg/Lancaster), NBC crew (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya)
Radio: WBAL (1090 AM/101.5 FM) and 98 Rock (97.9 FM), Ravens crew (Gerry Sandusky, Dennis Pitta); Westwood One Sports (Tom McCarthy, Ross Tucker); WDCN La Nueva 87.7 on the Ravens app: (David Andrade, Gustavo Salazar, Ximena Lugo Latorre)
The Ravens hope to reach the AFC Championship Game for the first time since their 2012 Super Bowl season. The Bills have not reached the conference championship game since 1993.
Baltimore leads the all-time series, 6-3, and this is the first playoff meeting between the Ravens and Bills. They last faced each other Week 14 in 2019, when the Ravens prevailed, 24-17, in New York. Lamar Jackson threw three touchdown passes, completing 16 of 25 for 145 yards on a windy day. Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters secured the victory by breaking up a pass on fourth down near the goal line with 63 seconds to play. Devin Singletary rushed for 89 yards for Buffalo, while Josh Allen completed 17 of 39 passes for 146 yards and a touchdown.
Which quarterback taken in the 2018 draft will have the better night?
Both young quarterbacks use their athleticism to keep the defense under constant pressure. Jackson has been electrifying during Baltimore’s current six-game winning streak. Allen is a powerful runner with a huge arm, and his completion percentage jumped from 58.8 percent in 2019 to 69.2 percent in 2020. Coming off the first playoff victories of their careers, Jackson and Allen enter this game with supreme confidence. One of them will lead his team into the conference championship.
Can the Ravens follow up their big win?
Jackson and the Ravens’ younger players got the monkey off their back with their first playoff win last week – Baltimore’s first since 2014. It was an emotional victory over a Titans squad that knocked the Ravens out of the playoffs last year and beat them again in 2020. The Ravens don’t have the same « revenge » feelings in this game, but have to play with the same intensity.
Can the Ravens’ front seven make the Bills one-dimensional?
Baltimore was superb against the run last week, limiting Derrick Henry to just 40 yards on 18 carries. If the Ravens shut down Bills lead running back Devin Singletary, it would put even more burden on Allen and Diggs to carry Buffalo’s offense, and that may not be enough.
Ravens’ cornerbacks vs. BillsWRStefon Diggs
Last weekend, the Ravens faced a physical, 1,000-yard receiver in A.J. Brown. In this game, they’ll deal with Diggs, who led the league in both receptions (127) and receiving yards (1,535). Marlon Humphrey had a rough start against Brown last week, but he shut him down when it mattered most. Marcus Peters had the game-clinching interception against Tennessee, and he’s known for making big plays in clutch moments. The Bills are 7-1 when Diggs goes over 100 yards in receiving. The Ravens’ elite corners will be determined to shut him down.
Ravens running game vs. Bills defense
Baltimore has rushed for at least 230 yards in five of its last six games, all of them victories. Buffalo ranked 17thagainst the run this season and had troubles containing running quarterbacks, so this will be a major test for the Bills. The Ravens have the potential to dominate on the ground, led by the running of J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, and Jackson.
Ravens pass rush vs. Josh Allen
Allen is tough to catch and tough to bring down. But the Ravens hope to create constant pressure on Buffalo’s quarterback, whether it means blitzing often or not. Ravens Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale loves the challenge of strategizing against a top quarterback, and Baltimore’s defense is healthier than it has been all season. Martindale blitzed Allen over and over again with great success last year, but he’s proven to be better at handling it this year.