Week 4: Bills vs. Ravens
The Bills head back home licking their wounds after a very poor showing in New Jersey against the Jets last week. The Bills are battling several injuries as they welcome the defending world champions to Orchard Park. The Ravens are coming off a big win against a quality opponent in the Houston Texans.
Sunday, Sept. 29th
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (1-2) vs. Baltimore (2-1)
||Ralph Wilson Stadium
||Network: CBS; DirecTV: 704; Sirius: 125
||Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts
||Ravens by 3½
||Ravens lead 3-2
||Ravens Won 1
||Ravens 37-34 OT in Baltimore (2010)
||Rush (25th); Pass (20th); overall (30th)
||Rush (4th); Pass (21st); overall (t-15th)
||Rush (5th); Pass (25th); overall (14th)
||Rush (t-30th); Pass (19th); overall (28th)
The Bills injury woes continue to grow. Leodis McKelvin is battling a hamstring injury and may not be ready this week, he is day to day. Jairus Byrd remains limited in practice and has yet to make his season debut with plantar fasciitis. Doug Legursky has a chance to make his debut this week as he is almost all the way back from a sprained MCL and is practicing fully. Marquise Goodman, Stephon Gilmore, Dustin Hopkins, and Ron Brooks remain sidelined. Mario Williams, C.J. Spiller, Kraig Urbik, Stevie Johnson, and Marcell Dareus are battling minor ailments suffered against the Jets but all should play this week.
The Ravens have injury concerns as well the biggest being star RB Ray Rice. He missed last week's game with a hip flexor and is back practicing this week and is expected to play but he may be limited. They lost backup DT Terrence Cody last week to a knee injury and WR Jacoby Jones has been ruled out with a knee injury. Fellow WR Marlon Brown has a neck issue and has missed practice time. RB Shaun Draughn (ankle), C Ryan Jensen (foot), DE Pernell McPhee (knee) have also missed practice time this week. DL Chris Canty is slowed by a thigh injury.
Check out our Bills Daily Injury Page throughout the week for the latest updates on the injured players.
WR Stevie Johnson vs. CB Lardarius Webb
Johnson has been the one bright spot on offense and should be able to hold his own against Webb.
C Eric Wood vs. NT Haloti Ngata:
The Bills got dominated on the line of scrimmage last week. Wood goes against Ngata in a big battle to see who wins the battle of the line. Wood has struggled this year and Ngata is a solid veteran.
CB Justin Rogers vs. WR Torrey Smith:
Rogers is coming off what could be the worst game a Bills cornerback has ever had. He now faces the speedster Smith. This is a very tough matchup for the Bills.
LB Manny Lawson vs. RBs Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce:
Lawson is the lone player on defense playing consistently against the run. Rice is banged up but will likely play. He will likely work in tandem with Pierce which will bring more issues for the Bills defense.
KEYS TO THE GAME
1. Third Down Efficiency: The Bills are 28th in the league in converting third downs and 27th in stopping opponents on third downs. This has caused them to be 31st in time of possession. They need to stay on the field offensively and get off the field on defense.
2. Launch The Ground Game: They need to find a way to get the running game going. It will be tough against the 4th ranked run defense in the league but they have to find a way to get yards on the ground to take the pressure off of EJ Manuel.
3. Protect The Corners: The Bills are decimated in the defensive backfield missing their top three corners and their best safety. Mike Pettine's defense likes to play man to man and it killed them against the Jets. They need to give them help down the field by either going into a zone or getting so much pressure on Joe Flacco that he is has little time to throw.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
This is a tough spot for the Bills. The defending champions have come all the way back from an opening night beating at the hands of Denver and they are playing defense like the Ravens normally do. This could be another tough day for Manuel. I think the Bills will keep it close like they have in their other two losses but Baltimore has far too much talent for Buffalo to pull it out:
Ravens 20, Bills 16
Season Prediction Record: (2-1)
Season Record Against The Spread: (1-2)
Bills Blitz - Coming Sunday Night!
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