The Baltimore Ravens will be hosting the Detroit Lions on Sunday at 1pm at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens are currently the sixth spot in the AFC playoffs with a 6-5 record along with the Buffalo Bills also with a 6-5 record. They were bumped due to the Ravens overall record. They must continue to win to stay in front.
The Ravens will be facing Matthew Stafford, a starting quarterback with a overall career 87.7 QB rating. The Lions are coming off a 30-23 loss against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 12. The Ravens will be facing their former offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, now as the Lions’ head coach. Former Ravens nose tackle Haloti Ngata will not be playing after being placed on injured reserve due to a torn bicep he suffered in Week 5.
The Ravens defense will be tested. The secondary will have to continue to engage with force against their opponents. Linebackers need to put pressure on Stafford to cause hurried, incomplete passes and tipped balls. Cornerbacks Jimmy Smith, Brandon Carr and safeties Eric Weddle and Tony Jefferson should thrive in their defensive schemes with interceptions and pass blocks. The offense needs to step it up to the max, ranking 31 in the NFL. All turnovers by the defense should equate to a score, no exceptions. Flacco needs to make more down field throws. He needs to get his offense moving. Wide receiver Mike Wallace has been making the few difficult catches Flacco has thrown his way. Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and tight end Benjamin Watson needs to catch more passes. Wide receiver Michael Campanaro will be starting against the Lions while Breshad Perriman is a healthy yards per scratch. Campanaro is reported as being the AFC’s top punt returner, averaging 14.7 yards per return. Hopefully, he will bring this offensive alive. Tight ends Nick Boyle and Maxx Williams need to be more involved in the passing game. Both are capable of crashing through defensive backs for yardage.
What will win this game is the defense continuing their reign of terror by blocking passes, tipping passes and straight-up interceptions. The offense needs to run their routes with break-away speed, capitalize on all turnovers and catch all passes to get their team to the red zone and beyond.