Buffalo Bills vs. Baltimore Ravens Preview
Where: M&T Bank Stadium – Baltimore, MD
When: Saturday, August 26, 2017 – 7:00 PM ET
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Betting on the Buffalo Bills
Despite looking off on paper with an 0-2 record, the Bills have a lot to be positive about. Their guys are producing nicely, and they are positioned well to get better in the coming weeks.
It all starts with rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman. The 2017 fifth-round pick is a serviceable 23-for-45 for 279 yards and one touchdown in two preseason games, and has also shown his ability to scramble when needed, as seen in his 43 rushing yards in six carries, two of which were for 10 or more yards. Him gaining confidence and experience at this stage should be huge, especially since he’s one of the few rookie QBs that has a chance of seeing the field in the regular season.
The ground attack, meanwhile, has 283 yards in 50 rushes (5.6 YPC and 141.5 YPG). The rushing opportunities is distributed fairly, although it’s Jonathan Williams that’s rising the most – 11 carries for 69 yards (6.1 YPC). We should see the second-year running back have a tight battle for the RB2 slot in the rotation, along with Mike Tolbert (which will act as a reliever for LeSean McCoy).
Though failing to help the team get a win, the defense is also showcasing a lot of potential. The unit has been active all throughout the field, and it has them posting a combined five sacks, three interceptions, 14 tackles for loss, 11 pass deflections, and 10 QB hits in the preseason.
Betting on the Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens are simply rolling the preseason. They routed Washington Redskins in Week 1, and did the same the following week against Miami Dolphins – on the road no less. Combining the scores of those pair of games, Baltimore has outscored its opponents, 54-10.
Ryan Mallett, though most certainly on his way of replacing the injured Joe Flacco (back) due to his edge in experience, is appearing to have a sudden stiff competition with undrafted second-year QB, Josh Woodrum. Mallett was decent in his two previous outings (22-for-40, 171 yards, 1-2 TD-INT ratio), but Woodrum is currently playing well beyond expectations – 75 percent completion rate, 195 yards, and three TDs (one passing and two rushing).
Playing a good part in the QBs’ quality play is the aggressive running game. With the Ravens ranking 28th in ground yardage last season, it appears that the coaching staff is quite focused in helping the backs have confidence this year. They have now rushed the ball 81 times in the preseason (40.5 per game), and although it has only resulted in 3.4 YPC (136.5 YPG), it’s still proving to be effective overall since it’s helping the team control the pace and set up the pass.
The defense, of course, remains as the number one strength of the squad. Over their past two outings, the D has limited opposing QBs to a 45.6 completion rate and RBs to a 2.2 YPC average. The group’s nine QB hits and six tackles for loss per game are also causing much disruption to the opponents’ flow.
The Ravens (-3.5) continue their preseason dominance, 28-14.
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