CBS 11 Header TXA 21 Header MeTV Header KRLD Header The Fan Header
CBS DFW WEATHER APP: iPhone App Store | Android App Coming Soon | More Information

Tale of the tape

Tale Of The Tape: Baltimore Ravens At Buffalo Bills

ravenscredit2.jpg billscredit2.jpg

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Joe Flacco is the best player on the Ravens. Much more is expected of him this year because the Ravens’ defense is quite vulnerable. Flacco is one of the best deep throwers in the league, and he has an offensive line that will give him time to throw it. Flacco may be feeling quite a bit of pressure after signing a huge contract in the offseason. Quarterback The Bills are going with rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel this season and that means he is going to have a lot of learning experiences this year. The speed of opposing defenses may be neutralized by Manuel’s athletic ability and strong arm, but he is likely to be confused by changing defensive fronts.
Ray Rice (hip flexor) has not been at his best in the early season, but he should be at or near his best in this game. He gets the benefit of the Ravens’ offensive line, which is one of the best in the league. Torrey Smith has been a frequent target of Flacco’s downfield attempts and he has been good but not great. Wideout Brandon Stokley and tight end Dallas Clark will not drop any pass they can get their hands on. Offense The combination of C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson in the backfield should not be overlooked. Spiller (knee, check status) is a legitimate breakaway threat, while Jackson has some solid moves. The running game must produce with a rookie quarterback behind center. Stevie Johnson is a legitimate game-breaking wide receiver as long as he doesn’t drop a couple of passes early. The other Bills’ receivers are below average.
The Ravens have problems covering opposing receivers, an area that was once a tremendous strength. Haloti Ngata can blow up the interior run from his position in the middle of the defensive line. Strong safety James Ihedigbo is a solid hitter who has better than average range. The Ravens need excellent pressure from pass rusher Terrell Suggs. Defense The Bills have been weak against the run and average against the pass so far, but that has a chance to change because defensive end Mario Williams is a monster once again and he has a chance to take over every game. Linebacker Kiko Alonso is very active and aware, and he is a secure tackler. Cornerback Leodis McKelvin is an up-and-down performer.
The Ravens have often been among the best special teams in the league for years, but that’s not the case so far this season as their coverage teams have struggled. Placekicker Justin Tucker has not been as consistent this season, while punter Sam Koch is just average. Special Teams The Bills have been slightly above average in the punt and kickoff coverage, but that’s quite a bit better than the Ravens. Dan Carpenter appears to be a solid placekicker with excellent leg strength. McKelvin has been ordinary as a return man.

The winner is

billscredit2.jpg
Buffalo Bills
3 out of 4

The Ravens appear to have the advantage in this game because of Flacco’s arm strength and his ability to get the ball deep. However, the Bills could surprise at home, especially if Williams can have a dominant game and put consistent heat on the Baltimore quarterback.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

More Tales of the tape

  1. 2014 NFL Draft 2014 NBA Draft
    Tale Of The Tape: NFL Draft vs NBA Draft

    Which of the professional sports human cattle auctions do you prefer?  We break down our take of both the NFL and NBA Draft to see which is the best.

  2. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/Richard Heathcote) (Photo Credit: Getty Images/Warren Little)
    Tale Of The Tape: Winter Olympics In Sochi Vs. FIFA World Cup In Brazil

    With both sites having their share of issues in hosting major international sporting events, we went to the tape to decide who was the worst host of 2014.

  3. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) LeBron James (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: LeBron James Decision 1 Vs. Decision 2

    Let’s compare LeBron James’ first decision to leave the Cavs to his decision to opt out with the Heat.

See all Tales of the Tape