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Banks Breakdown: Ravens Welcome Buffalo For A MASSIVE AFC Throwdown

Brett Carlsen. Getty Images.

MONSTER showdown in Baltimore on Sundee. Two of the top QB's in football and the two current early favorites for MVP, with Josh Allen at +300 and Lamar Jackson at +550. Both absolute studs that are leading the way at the ever-evolving position of QB in today's NFL.

These two have faced off twice before, both in Buffalo. In Lamar's 2019 MVP campaign, the Bills actually held him in check more than most have, while Josh Allen played absolutely MISERABLY. Boys were in his kitchen all night. Of course he's massively improved and came out ahead in a wild and windy 2020 playoff game where Lamar made the fatal error early in the 2nd half with a red zone pick 6 and was knocked out with a concussion on the next drive. Season over, advantage Bills.


Tomorrow looks to be another weird one with the remnants of Hurricane Ian hitting Baltimore. Rain and wind are sure to play a factor and has moved the over/under down a couple points to 51. Here's 3 keys for the Ravens to win a big statement game at home:

1. Execute On Passes To The Outside To Open Up The Rest Of The Offense

The first thing the Bills are sure to do is stack the middle of the field and challenge Lamar to throw outside the numbers in windy conditions. It's a challenge for any QB in those types of conditions and admittedly Josh Allen has the upper hand here, but Lamar is fully capable of spinning it out to the edge. Here's a play just last week where the safety in coverage underneath challenged Lamar to throw a bullet to Rashod Bateman outside and Lamar delivers a great ball just outside of the safety's reach.

Like I said, this will be a more challenging type of throw under adverse conditions, and the Bills are going to challenge Lamar to make it. There's tons of tape of Lamar tearing up defenses in the middle and deep down the field, and his threat on the ground speaks for itself. Complete a couple of these outside throws early and the Bills will have no choice but to respect it and make an adjustment. If we can make that happen, this offense will hum.

2. Pressure Josh Allen And Actually Get His Ass On The Ground

Easier said than done. Josh Allen is one of the toughest QB's in the league to get on the ground. Maybe the hardest. He's like Big Ben except with actual athleticism that can destroy you with his feet once he slips the sack. 

On the other hand, the Ravens' defense has had issues on numerous fronts and the pass rush is very much a part of that. There's been flashes of brilliance but nothing close to consistency. This is a big opportunity for Odafe Oweh to break out. I expected a big year 2 out of him and he's been pretty quiet. Justin Houston is likely out with a groin injury, but we signed Jason Pierre-Paul early this week and by all indications he's going to play. Might be ambitious to expect, but maybe he makes an impact play in his debut. The Bills have struggled running the football with their backs and if we can be disruptive in the pass game, slowing Josh Allen is gonna be a heckuva lot easier.

3. Put Everyone And Their Mother On Stefon Diggs

Diggs is sick. We all know it. Took a while for everybody to know it but I knew it way back before the 2015 draft:


We've got the personnel to do it on paper. Marlon Humphrey and a revitalized Marcus Peters (he was dominant last week) should be up to the task, and an experienced guy like Marcus Williams should provide plenty of help over top. Hell, he knows plenty what Diggs is capable of, he was the guy who whiffed on the Minnesota Miracle early in his career. He's become a helluva safety since then and I think you can consider that one a lesson learned.

Of course, the Ravens have to do all the little things that go into any football game, especially in the rain. The Bills are a great team, so the margin of error is thin. Gotta protect the rock, gotta play clean special teams, gotta be physical in the trenches.

Should be a doozy. Here we go.