When the Buffalo Bills take to the field against the Baltimore Ravens in Maryland this Sunday the only thing they will have in common is the first letter in their respective cities.
The main difference is that for Buffalo, the ‘B’ could stand for ‘bad’ but for Baltimore it could represent ‘better’ than the Bills.
Both teams are polar opposites in the standings.
Sitting at 0-5 and dead last in the AFC East, Buffalo will have its work cut out for it against linebacker Ray Lewis and the 4-2 Ravens, who sit a half game out of first place in the AFC North.
Buffalo is coming off a bye week and Baltimore is trying to rebound from a disheartening 23-20 overtime loss to the New England Patriots last Sunday, where it gave up a 10-point fourth quarter lead in the process.
“You’ve got to move on,” Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco told espn.com. “I think we will grow from [the loss]; we will get better each week.
“We have a big game against Buffalo before we go to our bye. We get that win, we go to 5-2 and we are feeling pretty good about where we are.”
Flacco should feel good about who his team’s opponent is this week too.
The offensively starved Bills’ attack will likely continue its famine as it ranks 31st in the league in passing yards at 144.6 per game.
On the flip side, Baltimore’s third-ranked passing defence should feast on quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and produce its share of turnovers in the air.
Baltimore’s offence isn’t anything to brag about, however, ranking in the middle of the pack, but the Bills’ defence has also been abysmal this season. Sitting as it does at 32nd in opponents’ rushing yards at 182.4 per game, running back Ray Rice’s 3.9 yards per carry should see a significant increase.
Bills’ coach Chan Gailey is attempting to halt the ground game this week by switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defence, putting four defensive linemen on the field as opposed to four linebackers.
“We felt like we need to get some bigger people on the field to help us in that respect,” Gailey said. “So, to be honest with you, it’s not a shift of philosophy. It’s a shift in necessity.”
Clearly Gailey is right as his squad is off to its worst start in 25 years and is primed to miss the playoffs for the 12th straight season.