Buffalo Bills vs Ravens: Divisional Round playoff preview, predictions

Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills shakes hands with Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills shakes hands with Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /
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Buffalo Bills
Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills drops back to pass against the Baltimore Ravens. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

After downing the Indianapolis Colts, the Buffalo Bills will take on the Baltimore Ravens in the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs next Saturday.

At times it was downright ugly, but the playoffs are rarely pretty. The Bills needed every ounce of their collective energy to advance past the Colts this weekend, as a stellar effort from Josh Allen and some questionable calls from both Indy head coach Frank Reich and the refs led to a 27-24 victory.

If you asked Bills Mafia who they wanted to see opposite them in the next round, you’d likely have a lot of votes for the Pittsburgh Steelers. But, due to the Cleveland Browns ending their own streak of playoff futility, Lamar Jackson and the Ravens are coming to Orchard Park. So, what can we expect from a Baltimore team that’s riding high? Let’s get into it.

Can Josh Allen outshine Lamar Jackson in high-level quarterback matchup?

Baltimore makes no attempt to hide their intentions. They’re interested in winning the line of scrimmage and running the ball down the opposition’s throat, game in, game out. They’re the owners of the league’s worst passing game, one that averages just over 171 yards per game, but this hasn’t stopped them from being one of the most feared offences in the league.

The reason why the Ravens can get away with such a feeble aerial attack is the dynamism of QB Lamar Jackson. His ability to scramble and break off long runs is why the team can get away with using a run-based system in a time where air raid offenses and spread formations rule the roost.

It’s probable that Jackson will be motivated on a personal level. The Bills drafted their own franchise QB in Josh Allen over Jackson in 2018, making the future league MVP wait until the very last pick of the first round to hear his name called. Throughout the draft process, it was suggested that Jackson forgo the quarterback position altogether and enter as a receiver or running back. He’s long dispelled these notions, but his downfield passing accuracy and pocket presence still leave something to be desired.

As for the Bills, their passing attack is in better form than ever, as Allen threw for 324 yards and two touchdowns against the Colts. With RB Zack Moss on injured reserve, the Bills will need to keep emphasizing their prowess through the air.

Fortunately, Allen is clicking on all cylinders with his receiving corps. His connection with Stefon Diggs was further fortified when they combined for their first playoff touchdown, and Gabriel Davis made a plethora of splendid sideline snags. When it comes to moving the ball through the air, there’s no competition. Advantage Bills.