The Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens will face-off in the matchup of the weekend on Saturday night with the winner advancing to the AFC Championship game.
Buffalo and Baltimore have two of the brightest stars in the league in Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson, both first round picks in the 2018 NFL Draft. Allen has been a legitimate MVP candidate this season whereas Jackson actually won the award one year ago. Although it is a team sport, the quarterback that performs best on Saturday night may walk away with the victory.
The Bills will have their hands full with Jackson. Although he’s far from a polished passer, Jackson does a good job getting the ball to tight end Mark Andrews and wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown. Buffalo will need to account for both players in the passing game, but stopping the run game will be the key to victory.
Baltimore’s quarterback rushed for 1,005 yards and seven touchdowns in the regular season and he’s not their only weapon on the ground. Rookie J.K. Dobbins rushed for 805 yards and nine touchdowns on just 134 attempts while Gus Edwards added 723 yards and six scores on the ground. Staying disciplined and making tackles on their first attempt will be key for the Bills defense.
Buffalo’s offense has been pass happy all season long with great success. That should be Buffalo’s game plan again tonight, but Don “Wink” Martindale will look to get after the passing attack with his blitz heavy defense. Baltimore’s aggressive defense blitzed Allen 31 times last season. Those blitzes resulted in 12 quarterback hits and six sacks. Allen certainly struggled one year ago against the blitz, but few quarterbacks have been better in 2020 when facing the blitz. Pro Football Focus noted that 1,850 yards 19 of Allen’s touchdowns have come against the blitz this season.
Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley and John Brown will be tested by the likes of Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters and Jimmy Smith on Saturday night. Those will be battles to watch and all three receivers should be involved in the offense, but Allen could have more success throwing to rookie Gabriel Davis, Dawson Knox and his backs. Baltimore has struggled in the past against four receiver sets and with Baltimore’s top corners on Diggs, Beasley and Brown, Davis could find himself in a favorable matchup. As for Knox, Devin Singletary and T.J. Yeldon, the Ravens have had their issues against backs and tight ends in the passing game.
This matchup has all the makings of an instant classic. To watch or listen to tonight’s game, here is everything you need to know.
Orchard Park, New York
NBC (Nationally televised)
Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya
Live stream options
fuboTV, Sling, Hulu + Live TV
Buffalo: WGR550 (550 AM)
Toronto: Fan 590 (590 AM)
Rochester: WCMF (96.5 FM) and WROC (950 AM)
Syracuse: WKRL (100.9 FM/106.5 FM)
Alfred/Hornell/Wellsville: WZKZ (101.9 FM)
Amsterdam: WKAJ (1120 AM)
Bath: WABH (1380 AM)
Bradford: WBRR (100.1 FM)
Corry: WWCB (1370 AM)
Dansville: WDNY (1400 AM)
Dunkirk: WDOE (94.9 FM/1410 AM)
Elmira: WELM (1410 AM)
Glens Falls: WMML (1230 AM)
Hamilton: CHML (900 AM)
Ithaca: WYXL (98.7 FM)
Jamestown: WWSE (93.3 FM) and WJTN (1240 AM)
Newark: WACK (1420 AM)
Ogdensburg: WQTK (92.7 FM)
Olean: WPIG (95.7 FM)
Springville: WSPQ (1330 AM)
Watertown: WOTT (94.1 FM)
Saturday, January 16 at 8:15 p.m.