The Ravens suffered a hard loss to the Atlanta Falcons last Thursday night. Now they travel to Carolina to play the 1-8 Panthers. This week will show if the mini bye week helped the Ravens propel them to the playoffs or are they going to dwell over the tough loss.
Offense: Edge Ravens
The Panthers lost running back DeAngelo Williams for the season. The Panthers’ other outstanding running back Jonathan Stewart isn’t practicing due to a concussion. He might not be available for Sunday’s game. Also, quarterback Jimmy Clausen didn’t practice on Wednesday, due to a concussion, and is unlikely to play against the Ravens. The Panthers are depleted in a lot of places. It’s not going to be easy to stay point for point with the Ravens offense. Ray Rice is starting to get rolling and when that happens its not going to be easy to stop him.
Defense: Edge Ravens
The Carolina Panthers are ranked fifth in the league against the pass. The statistic is a little misleading because they’re ranked 27th in the league against the run. There is no reason to throw the ball over 30 times a game when you can run the ball so successfully against a bad defense. There are many more risks in throwing the ball then there is running the ball. There is no reason to take those chances unless you need to. The Ravens defense is improving every game with the return of Ed Reed. You start to see more turnovers and different coverage styles when you have a safety of he’s caliber.
Special Teams: Edge Panthers
The Panthers are good on special teams. They cover kicks better then most football teams and they have a great return game. John Casey is having a good year making three out of four field goals from 50 yards or more. I don’t think Panthers’ special team is going to be able to keep them in this game.
Prediction: Ravens 23, Panther 10
The Panthers are at home but they have only won one game on the season. The Ravens are coming off a mini bye looking for revenge. The Panthers are loaded with injuries to key offense players. They’re likely going to have to start third string quarterback Tony Pike. That isn’t the greatest situation going in to play one of the best teams in the NFL. This will be a long day for the Carolina Panthers.
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Written by Frisco Fahs