This is where things get real. The first weekend of the NFL playoffs weeds out the pretenders, but the second week is where thigs start getting good. Case in point, the 11-5 Baltimore Ravens versus the 13-3 Buffalo Bills. The Ravens have won the last three games against the Bills, with the last coming last season in a 24-17 win. But the Bills are a 1 point favorite here this week in Buffalo. This game features two of the most exciting young quarterbacks in the NFL -- it should be a good one.
Jackson, defense lead Ravens past TitansLamar Jackson had heard the criticisms that he hadnʻt won a playoff game yet in his brief career and he took them to heart. He badly wanted to prove them all wrong and thatʻs exactly what he did in the first round of the NFL playoffs, leading the Ravens to 20-13 win over the Tennessee Titans. Jackson was fantastic, helping to carry the team to victory with 179 passing yards and 136 rushing yards, including a touchdown. Marquise caught 7 passes for 109 yards.
But it wasnʻt just Jackson who led the team to the win over the Titans. The defense was incredible holding the mighty Titans offense to just 209 yards. Derrick Henry, he who rushed for more than 2,000 yards this year, only had 40 measly yards versus the Ravens. And Ryan Tannehill only threw for 165 yards. It was just hard-nosed, smashmouth , ground and pound football that carried the Ravens to the first round victory.
Bills outlast ColtsWhile Lamar Jackson got his first win in three playoff appearances, the drought had been much longer for the Buffalo Bills. the Bills hadnʻt been to the playoffs since Clinton was in the White House and Seinfeld was on NBC. The Bills ended that drought Sunday by eking out a 27-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts in he first round Saturday. Things got a little too close for comfort for the Bills as they blew a 24-10 fourth quarter lead, but they held on for dear life for the win.
Josh Allen had a huge game for the Bills going 26 for 35 for 324 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 54 yards and a touchdown. His favorite target was Stefan Diggs, who caught 6 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown. The defense was a little shaky, allowing 472 yards to the Colts. The Colts rushed for 163 yards and Phillip Rivers threw for 309 yards. Jonathan Taylor rushed for 78 yards while Naheim Hines rushed for 75 yards.
Stats & Trends
- Ravens are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games after accumulating more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Ravens are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Ravens are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS win.
- Ravens are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
- Ravens are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games as an underdog.
- Ravens are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 playoff games as an underdog.
- Ravens are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 playoff road games.
- Ravens are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games as a road underdog.
- Bills are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games in January.
- Bills are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 Saturday games.
Take the Ravens here getting the points. This game is basically a pick ʻem, as the Bills are favored by 1 point. I like the Ravens here not because of Allen or Jackson, but because of the defenses. That Bills defense is definitely a bit shaky. They got torched by Philip Rivers, who is a shell of his former self. I really donʻt see the Bills doing enough to contain Jackson and the Ravens running game. And if they try to overload against the run, Jackson can beat them with his arm. On the flip side, the Ravens defense shut down Derrick Henry and took Tannehill and his weapons out of the game. Allen has been great, but I think the fairy take season ends here.