Baltimore – The Ravens are locked and loaded for their final three game push for a spot in the AFC Playoffs and all week long the talk has about not letting down against a 2-11 Jacksonville team. Right now the Baltimore Ravens (8-5), Houston Texans (7-6), Miami Dolphins (7-6), Kansas City Chiefs (7-6), Buffalo Bills (7-6) and Cleveland Browns (7-6) are all battling for the final slot in the AFC Playoffs. Presently that spot is shared by the to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the No. 5 spot and the San Diego Chargers holding down the sixth and final with both teams owning a 8-5 record.
The game will be played at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore and that is a place where over the past five years the Ravens have won 95 percent of their games. Game time is 1 p.m. ET with the broadcast on CBS with Tom McCarthy and Adam Archuleta handling the call. Those in the Orlando area can hear the game on Sports Talk Florida 1080 AM Jags Radio Network.
The weather at kickoff will be cool with temperatures in the low to mid 40’s and a wind out of the west around 1o miles per hour. This game really breaks down very simple when you look at the two teams coming into Sunday’s game.
Jacksonville with rookie quarterback Blake Bortles has been under a huge amount of pressure for most of the season. Sunday that becomes the Jags primary problem because Ravens linebackers Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs love to rush the passer. Last week in a win on the road in Miami they sacked Dolphins signal caller Ryan Tannehill six times and made life very tough on him all day.
So, if you are Bortles what can you do to keep the rush off you? Well that means Jags running back Denard Robinson has to have a strong performance grinding out some yards on the ground and setting up some play action passing. Baltimore will keep seven or eight guys in the box all day long daring Bortles to throw the ball. Now mind you the Ravens secondary is the weak point on the team and they can be burned.
However, Bortles will need time to get the ball deep to his wide outs and that can only happen if he is not forced into poor throws. The Jacksonville offense will have to step up because the Ravens are scoring points in bunches.
Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco has so many weapons that it is hard to shut them down. Last week in Miami he completed passes to seven different receivers. Their running game behind Justin Forsett has been strong and they have been able to score at will, so this could be a very long day for the Jags. Bottom-line the offense must play ball control, keep the Ravens offense off the field and play four solid quarters of mistake free football. If they play like they play the way they have most of the season then this will be a long day and the Ravens will walk out of M&T Bank Stadium with their 9th win of the season