It's gameday Ravens Nation and you know what that means, it's time for Ravens101's key matchups to watch for and today we examine what battles will decide the game when the Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills take the field.
There are always several matchups to watch for, but we feel we have narrowed it down the five key matchups to watch in today's game.
Michael Oher vs Mario Williams
It may have taken a while, but Mario Williams is finally beginning to show the Buffalo Bills that he is worth the money they gave him when he signed there as a free agent a couple years ago. Williams has already racked up 4.5 sacks this season and is the life blood of the Bills pass rush and Oher's ability to slow him down will be absolutely key to the Ravens passing attack today. If Williams gets to Flacco, it could be a long day in the passing game for the Ravens.
Joe Flacco vs Buffalo secondary
If there were a game for Flacco and the passing game to break out, today would be it as the Bills own the 20th ranked passing defense in the league and have allowed an average of two passing touchdowns per game so far this season. That could bode well for the Ravens passing attack that desperately needs a big game. Baltimore currently averages just one passing touchdown a game, which is tied for fourth worst in the NFL. Flacco's ability to pick apart the Buffalo secondary could go a long way from this being a close game or a blow out.
Ravens D-Line vs Bills O-Line Part 1
It has been no secret that Baltimore has been fantastic against the run this season, but had its struggles against the pass. Buffalo, who sports the 24th ranked passing offense in the NFL, better find a way to hold back the Ravens pass rush if they want to have any shot at taking advantage of the Ravens secondary. Baltimore's ability to get to EJ Manuel will not only force him to make decisions more quickly, which is never good for a rookie, but may also lead him to try and tuck and run the football more quickly, which would allow containment more of a chance of keeping Manuel inside the tackles.
Ravens D-Line vs Bills O-Line Part 2
On the flip side of this, both teams will also be putting strength against strength as the Ravens 74.7 rushing yards allowed per game is fourth best in the NFL, but they will be going up against an offense that averages 135 rushing yards per game, which is fifth best in all of football. The battle between Baltimore's defensive line and Buffalo's offensive line is going to be extremely entertaining as well as physical. Whichever side can impose its' will more than the other is going to be vital to the outcome of today's game.
Justin Tucker vs Dan Carpenter
This is a rarity here at Ravens101 where the kicker matchup is brought up, but we believe this could be a game where the kickers will ultimately decide the outcome. Baltimore has not allowed a touchdown in their last two games, while Buffalo has a decent defense and has been in close games in all three of their games thus far so the numbers make you believe it could be a one possession game. Tucker's who boasts a 71.4% field goal percentage is coming off of a bounce back game where he didn't miss a field goal as opposed to the week before when he missed both his attempts against the Cleveland Browns. Bills' kicker Dan Carpenter has a 87.5% field goal percentage and the kicker that misses a field goal chance may be the ultimate deciding factor in the game.
Those are our key matchups to watch for in today's game, what do you think? Did we miss one? Were we perfect? Let your voice be heard by posting a comment!
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