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Ravens/Bills Post Game Recap 12-8/-9

Congratulations to the Ravens who have clinched another trip to the playoffs. The Ravens add another big road victory to their resume and I understand a little better today just how tough the Buffalo Bills are. The Ravens defense played a spectacular game and they pressured Allen all day long. This was not an easy win to be sure, and today they had to beat both the Bills and the officiating crew. I doubt many on the sports shows will point this out but I thought this game was poorly officiated. And to continue my rant I something needs to change in the NFL because this officiating crew gave the Bills a million yards in personal foul penalties some of which were bogus penalties. At least two of the PFs were so bogus even the announcers couldn’t explain why they were called. Other thoughts on the game are detailed below:

• Even though the Buffalo defense is stout against the pass down field I loved how the Ravens went deep on their first series to show the Bills they are not afraid of their secondary
• On 4th and 16 Allen throws the ball up in the air and when Humphries touches the back of Cole Beasley, he violently arches his back and falls to the ground for the most impressive flop I have ever seen. And no surprise to me the commentators are silent to point it out
• Mark Andrews had two passes that were just off his fingertips which if caught would have been game changing plays. Unfortunately, Andrews received a knee injury in the game that kept him from returning to the game
• Lamar never looked a little uncomfortable today and he had a lot of trouble in the run game and he seemed to lose his footing several times. That said, he did gain 40 yards and cracked 1000 yards for the season and is now only the 2nd quarterback to eclipse that number.
• Early in the game the Bills were pretty liberal in throwing down field but Allen was over throwing by a big margin which had to be frustrating for the Bills coaches as in almost all the cases the receiver had a step or two on the Ravens corner
• Marcus Peters had a mediocre day but when the game was on the line at the very end, he made a brilliant play on ball thrown to John Brown which sealed the victory for the Ravens
• Bills defense is legitimate and they held the Ravens to just 257 yards. Some of that was due to our play calling but the Bills were stout on 3rd down. They held the Ravens offense to just 95 total yards in the first half.
• Ravens defense played like the 2000 Ravens in the first quarter and they ended the quarter with Judon sack on Allen that caused a fumble
• The Ravens had first and goal on the 6-yard line and were unable to impose their will on the Bills front seven – that was until Lamar shot putted the ball to Nick Boyle off the sweep option – and absolutely brilliant call by Coach Roman
• Judon is putting together an impressive season and is amped up play has given our pass rush some much needed life
• Bills were a little slow to adjust to the Ravens defense early in the game but when they started to run the ball with more regularity, they got their offense going and moving down field
• The Ravens pass rush was impressive today and they kept Allen on the run most of the afternoon. Allen proved to me that he is one tough ombre because he took a lot of hits
• I kind of feel bad for Gus Edwards because this season I think he has at least 3 or 4 running plays of 20+ yards where offensive holding is called and the play is called back
• Lamar throwing high today really cost him in the second quarter when he threw high to Sneed the ball coming off his hand goes right the Bills LB for pick. The good news is the Bills were unable to capitalized on the turnover and in fact on 3rd and 9 Allen was sacked moving the Bills out of FG range – I am certain much to the delight of Lamar Jackson
• The Bills did an excellent job containing Lamar today and they were clearly ready to deal with his running game
• At times the Ravens corners play so far off the line of scrimmage it makes me wonder why they don’t get burned more underneath. Personally, I think it is a bad practice on 3rd down because it invites the offense to dink for 1st down yardage. For all my criticism I should point out that the Ravens gave up just 105 yards in the air today
• The 61-yard pass from Lamar to Hurst was perfectly thrown and the pass hit Hurst in stride and he had the speed to get it all the way to the end zone. What I really love about the call is that the Bills were stuffing the box to stop the run up the middle and they left the middle of the field wide open to be exploited
• The PF on Thomas was about as bogus of a call as you can see and often gives the offense the spark that they need. Refs need to do better in these games because these PF calls are really costly
• Stephen Hauschka was brilliant today and his leg kept the Bills in this game
• Special teams’ coverage was solid today and pinned the Bills back on kick offs and punts alike
• The Ravens offense had some drives that got stymied because they got a little too cute on some misdirection plays that lost some yardage and gave them some long 3rd downs. I felt like the running game was there all day but for some reason they didn’t want to pound it down their throats
• For the record, I can’t stand Dan Fouts – I don’t know why CBS’s is so committed to him. I am so tired of hearing him rail on during games often to point out something that the Ravens did wrong
• Ravens secondary was outstanding in coverage today and they had tight coverage all afternoon. I will say however that the Bills helped us out a few times with some drops on easy catches
• Marcus Peters was held on the play where Beasley got the 4-yard pass for a TD – I know that Fouts said it was a legal block, but the receiver had his hands gripped on the outside of the jersey which by rule is holding
• I expected Cole Beasley to have a bigger impact on the game, but the coverage on him was excellent
• I am not sure if DeAnthony is allergic to leather but he looked like he wanted nothing to do with the football today and didn’t attempt to return anything
• Ingram had a nice game today and he played hard all the way to the whistle. His 15 carries for 50 yards were hard fought and key to our success today
• With 6 minutes left in the game the Ravens went three and out giving the ball right back to the Bills right after they had scored to get within a TD. It really felt like the game momentum was all Bills at that point but this Ravens defense got the job done in spite of the officiating crew’s best efforts
• There is no other team in the NFL that has a more impressing game winning resume and today they took on anther top team on their home turf
• How great is it that the Ravens have the depth of talent to lose their season leading TE receiver early in the game and to have Hurst who steps in with 3 catches for 73 yards and a TD
• It is not often that you see an interior lineman get seven tackles and three assist – congratulations Brandon Williams
• Don’t look now but the Ravens are a top ten defense now and they have clawed their way back to this ranking since giving up back to back 500 yard plus games. The emergence of this group with all the new faces they have added is absolutely brilliant and credit goes to the GM and all the coaches that have made it work

Game Predictions

Score      Ravens    26      Bills     20       Ravens   24      Bills   17
Turnovers           Plus 1                Even
Net Rushing Yardage       Ravens    195       Bills    112       Ravens   118       Bills   104
Net Passing Yardage       Ravens    135       Bills    167       Ravens   139      Bills   105

Miscellaneous Predictions
• DeAnthony has a return of 30 yards plus        Nope, he didn’t want to touch the ball
• Smith gets an interception       Nope – but he defended a few
• Andrews leads receivers with 6 catches for 63 yds       Nope, the injury to his knee put that on hold
• Refs make terrible calls       Correct – called more PF penalties than I think I have ever seen

Keys to the Game
• Force turnovers and limit drives        Correct, forced fumble and tough on 3rd down
• Harass Allen, force mistakes and don’t let him run        Correct, all day long
• Score TDs in the red zone        Correct, this was the difference in the game

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