Baltimore Ravens: 5 Keys To Victory vs. Buffalo Bills
Baltimore Ravens: 5 Keys To Victory Vs. Buffalo Bills
The Baltimore Ravens, after two straight home victories over the Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans, will now go on the road for back-to-back games starting this Sunday with the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Following a huge win at home against an AFC contender like the Texans and now traveling on the road to play a lesser team like the Bills, just say it with me people -- this game has trap game potential for the Ravens.
The Ravens need to take care of business though, because the road isn’t going to get easier as the next three games are at the Miami Dolphins, vs. the Green Bay Packers, and at the Pittsburgh Steelers all before the bye week. If the Ravens can take care of the Bills like they’re favored to do, (-3.5) then they’ll be 3-1 going into the three-game stretch I mentioned. Take two out of three there, and the Ravens will be sitting pretty at 5-2, with two weeks to prepare for a road game against the Browns. They’ll be 4-3 in the worst case -- that is of course if they beat the Bills like they should.
The Ravens are almost unbeatable at home, with a 14-2 record at M&T Bank Stadium over the past two years. It's a different story on the road, though, as the Ravens are only 8-8 in the past two years. If the Ravens hope to get back to the playoffs for a sixth year in a row and defend their Super Bowl Championship, then they must beat the teams they should beat. The following are the five things the Ravens need to do to win this game.
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5. Run The Ball Already
Run the ball better -- simple concept right? The Ravens' run game has struggled recently, but will have a major opportunity to get things going this Sunday against the 30th-ranked Bills rush defense. Ray Rice will probably return as well, so yeah, that helps too.
4. Stop The Run
Run the ball and stop the other guys from running. Another simple concept, right? The Bills are the fifth-ranked team in rushing. Fred Jackson has been the more efficient back and could be again, seeing as C.J. Spiller is a little banged up. It might be a good idea to keep tabs on E.J. Manuel as well -- apparently, he runs too. The more you know.
3. Crush E.J. Manuel (not literally)
Eight times. Manuel was sacked eight times last week by the New York Jets. The Ravens have 11 sacks through their first three games. Do the math, people.
2. Throw Bombs All Day, Son
If Geno Smith can throw bombs all day against these guys, just think what Joe Flacco can do. Get the running game going and get more one-on-one opportunities -- so simple, right?
1. Give And Take, except for the giving thing
This is another one of those keys that you could essentially use for any game, but when you’re playing a team on the road that you should beat, you can’t just hand the game away. The Ravens' defense only has two takeaways after three games. We need more cowbell; and by cowbell, I mean turnovers.