The Ravens and Buccaneers are both 7-3 fighting for a division title to get a home playoff game. They both came off victories and neither team can afford a loss this late in the season.
Offense: Edge Ravens
Josh Freeman is having a great sophomore year leading the Buccaneers back in many late fourth quarter victories. It seems the Buccaneers found a hidden gem with LeGarrette Blount. He’s averaging 4.4 yards per carry. Every young quarterback needs a consistent running game. However, this offense doesn’t have the experience that the Baltimore Ravens have. Joe Flacco has more weapons at his disposal to pick apart a defense from any part of the field. There is one mismatch in the passing game that many teams can’t defend against, Ray Rice. In recent weeks he seems to get more and more involved in the passing game similar to what he did in his rookie year.
Defense: Edge Ravens
Tampa Bay has one big flaw in their defense, the running game. They’re ranked 29th overall in rushing defense. That doesn’t bode well against a team which likes to run the ball close to or over 25 times a game. The Ravens are ranked ninth and 10th overall in passing and rushing yards allowed. The Buccaneers are a young team with young talent on defense. They drafted defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and have a great young corner in Aqib Talib. He already has five interceptions on the year. The Ravens have a better defense but the Buccaneers are on the rise.
Special Teams: Edge Ravens
Neither team has glaring flaws on special teams but the Ravens are a little more consistent. The Ravens are a little better in covering returns then the Buccaneers. Last week, Billy Cundiff went 3 for 3 including a huge 49 yard field goal to make it a two possession game late in the fourth quarter.
Prediction: Buccaneers 13, Ravens 20
When it comes down to it, both of these teams are 7-3. However, the Buccaneers are one year away to make a late playoff push. This team is young and talented but need the experience of meaningful games in late November and December. The Ravens are undefeated at home and look to be 5-0 after Sunday’s game. The Ravens are in a different class then the Buccaneers and I think they will prove that on Sunday.
About the Author
Written by Frisco Fahs