The 2021 Divisional Round sees the Buffalo Bills hosting the Baltimore Ravens up in Orchard Park on Saturday night. The Bills and the Ravens both had to scrap and claw to victories in the Wild Card round. Lamar Jackson vs. Josh Allen is going to be one hell of a battle in what will be a great nightcap on Saturday.
These teams from a game plan and philosophy standpoint couldn’t be any more different. However, we’ll dive into the matchup and see just who has the edge.
BUF -2.5, Saturday, January 16th, 2021 – 8:15 pm ET (NBC)
How The Bills Win The 2021 Divisional Round
The Front Seven
The Bills front seven is going to need to play much better in this game. In the Wild Card matchup against the Indianapolis Colts, the Bills defense let Johnathan Taylor run all over them. The Colts came roaring back in that game and almost pulled off a comeback victory. This time around there will need to be better play up-front. Also, contain Jackson do not overplay the pass rush and allow him to step out of the pocket and take off.
The Ravens like to run the ball right down your throat. They are a run-first team and do not want to throw unless they have to. Lamar Jackson and Ravens running backs ran for 236 yards and two touchdowns. Nevertheless, against a Titans defense that plays the run fairly well and was expecting a run almost every play. Stop the Ravens rush attack and the game is yours.
Expose the Ravens Secondary
The Ravens have a good defense and the Bills just played the best defense in the league and put up 27 props to them. However, The Bills must attack this Ravens team through the air. Buffalo isn’t a running team, to begin with, and against the front seven of the Ravens, it will be non-existent again. Therefore, go after the secondary and the linebackers, Allen will have to do a superb job in finding his mismatches and trying his best to stay away from Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters. However, with the way Allen has played this year throwing may not be an issue.
Take The Points
In what I expect to be a low-scoring game a big key is to take your points. Get to fourth-down take the field goal. Points are going to be hard to come by in this game. It is best for the Bills on anything longer than 4th and short to take the points and kick a field goal. Because the Ravens won’t light it up on you so do yourselves a favor and take the three.
How The Ravens Will Win
The Bills do not have a great defense this season and a pretty porous run defense as seen in the Wild Card round. The Ravens need to attack this defense on the ground and stuff it down the Bills throat. The longer you keep the ball and do not allow the Bills to have possession the better chance you have at winning. Also, if the Ravens start averaging five or six yards per carry it will be a long day for the Bills.
Get After Josh Allen
The Ravens need to force pressure on Allen and not allow him to get comfortable in the pocket. Make Allen scramble with into the pass-rush. Allen likes to run and once he’s in open space he’s very hard to bring down. Therefore, wrap up when the rush gets there and swipe at the ball.
Turn The Bills Into a Run Team
The Bills have little to no run-game making them run the ball would be beneficial to the Ravens. When Allen and Stefon Diggs are connecting it could be a long day for the Ravens defense. Take away the Bills’ pass attack and your chances of winning are much better.
Prediction: Buffalo wins 17-13
The Bills are as hot as hot can get and so are the Ravens. However, nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills. I have the Bills picked to go all the way this year so I’m not backing down from that until I have to.