The Baltimore Ravens are in prime position to secure their sixth straight postseason berth, but first they have to hit the road to Detroit to take on the Lions on Monday Night Football. Today we preview Monday Night’s matchup.
The Ravens are coming off of having to stop the league’s best running back in Adrian Peterson, but due to an injury, Baltimore dodged the bullet for part of the game as Peterson did not return. Johnson will present a mismatch with whoever is tasked with defending him and will likely draw double teams whenever the Ravens’ defense can do so. Baltimore ranks in the top half of the league in passing yards allowed per game, but will be going up against a Lions team that ranks third in the NFL in passing yards per game.
Monday’s game will be a battle of strengths as the Ravens rely on their defense, while the Lions rely heavy on their offense. Detroit boasts the sixth highest scoring offense in all of football averaging 26.6 points per game, but will be going up against a Ravens defense that allows just 20.1 points per game and ranks eighth in the league.
If the Ravens are going to keep up with the high scoring offense of the Lions, they are going to need to do it through the air. Detroit is one of seven teams in the NFL holding opponents to less than 100 yards rushing per game, but they are vulnerable through the air. The Lions have the eighth worst passing defense in the league allowing an average of 255.8 passing yards per game.
Baltimore’s passing game has had its ups and downs this season, but the return of TE Dennis Pitta last week seemed to reenergize the offense. Pitta caught a crucial touchdown in the closing minutes of the game and gives quarterback Joe Flacco a legitimate threat over the middle of the field.
Unlike some of the games the games Baltimore has played this season, including last week against the Minnesota Vikings, weather is not going to be an issue on Monday with the Lions playing in a dome. Field goals will not be an issue, at least weather wise, but if Baltimore is going to win the game, they are going to have to take advantage of their redzone opportunities like they did last week.
Monday Night will present the Ravens with a National stage to show that they are indeed a team to be reckoned with, and Baltimore will also now where they stand in the AFC Wildcard race with all other NFL games for week 15 already being completed.
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