The Baltimore Ravens come into week four with their much-anticipated matchup between the Buffalo Bills. With both teams having championship aspirations, this could be a preview of a future playoff matchup.
Week Four is here ladies and gentlemen. Baltimore Ravens fans should be excited and looking forward to this week’s matchup against the Buffalo Bills.
The Baltimore Ravens’ gameplay through the first three weeks has been a refreshing start to a promising season. Led by the electric play style of Lamar Jackson, the Ravens look poised to be contenders for a Super Bowl this season.
But coming into M&T bank stadium on Sunday is another big contender in the AFC. Josh Allen and the high-powered Buffalo Bills are 2-1 coming off a tough loss to a division foe, the Miami Dolphins.
Ironically, a week prior the Dolphins gave the Ravens their first loss of the season with an epic 4th quarter comeback. That said, this looks like a good early-season test to see where the Ravens stack While watching the Ravens this week here are some key things, I think we should take a look at going into the game.
Will Lamar Jackson continue to showcase his dominance?
When I say dominance, you should know exactly what that means. Jackson has been on a mission these first three weeks of the season putting up ridiculous stats.
Since being drafted by the Baltimore Ravens they have assembled a very unique offense around Jackson. Now in his fifth season, Jackson seems to be poised to return to his MVP form.
Von Miller and the Buffalo Bills defense will be ready to play. It will be interesting how Lamar handles the challenge of playing one of the top defenses in the league.
Will the Ravens receiving core continue to step up?
So far this season, Lamar Jackson has 56 completions for 749 passing yards and 10 touchdowns. We can all credit that great start to the emergence of the Ravens’ receivers and tight ends.
Mark Andrews has been a consistent target monster with his connection with Jackson. Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay have made steps forward in their development. As Ravens fans, we have been waiting for an explosive air attack. We may not throw the ball 50 times. But maybe we can be more effective by giving Jackson options for once.
Being known as a running-based offense now with a more consistent passing game can be deadly. I will look for the core to show and prove with the opportunity on this big stage.
Will this be the week Ronnie Stanley returns?
What a big emotional and inspiring lift it would be if former All-Pro Left tackle Ronnie Stanley returns this week. I recently wrote an article for Flockthenorth.com explaining the impact of Ronnie Stanley returning to this offense.
The Ravens have been having offensive line struggles in years past along with monitoring Stanley’s rehab. After missing close to two seasons, it will be great to see Stanley healthy again.
Early in this season, the line has played inspired and has kept Lamar with clean pockets. With two injuries to offensive lineman Juwan Johnson and Patrick Mekari, it feels primed for Stanley’s return to action. With the recent reports that Ronnie Stanley has looked good in practice this week hopefully, we may see his debut.
The Good, Bad, and Ugly Ravens Defense.
This is not your Ravens’ defense of the past. Well, at least not early on in this season. The defensive struggles have been on full display for all to see. When you take a deeper look, you have to also credit the lack of preparation in the preseason. There have been good things and bad things showcased. Sadly, ugly things as well.
Good – The defensive line has been the talk of the off-season and has looked good so far. Justin Madubuike looks like a force in the middle with rookie Travis Jones.
We recently lost Michael Pierce for the season which hurts the depth but vets like Calais Campbell should be able to fill the void.
Another good thing s that we are causing turnovers. Those are key to changing the outcomes in games like this. Causing turnovers on this high-powered offense could be game-changing.
Bad – It seems like every season we are looking for more pass rush. Odafe Oweh and Justice Houston have yet to make an impact. The pass rush is needed and imperative to slow down Josh Allen. Eric Decosta added Jason Pierre Paul to help add some pass rush to this defense.
Ugly – Defensive mistakes. The young secondary has been exposed in the first couple of games. It’s understandable with development but can’t keep happening.
The secondary has to be on the same page, or they will be torched again. The Buffalo bills are one of the most pass-happy teams in the league. As stated, this secondary has been able to cause turnovers so there is hope and optimism about their growth as a unit.
Honestly, this game will be hard-fought on both sides. The weather may be a factor with Hurricane Ian making its presence. Both teams come to play but the Ravens pull out a tough one with a game-winner from the GOAT Justin Tucker 31-28.