BUFFALO (2-1) at BALTIMORE (2-1)
Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT, CBS
OPENING LINE: Buffalo by 4, according to FanDuel SportsBook
AGAINST THE SPREAD: Bills 2-1; Ravens 2-1
SERIES RECORD: Ravens lead 6-4
LAST MEETING: Bills beat Ravens 17-3 on Jan. 16, 2021, in Orchard Park, N.Y.
LAST WEEK: Bills lost at Miami 21-19, Ravens won at New England 37-26.
BILLS OFFENSE: OVERALL (2), RUSH (15), PASS (1), SCORING (3)
BILLS DEFENSE: OVERALL (1), RUSH (2), PASS (2), SCORING (T-4)
RAVENS OFFENSE: OVERALL (4), RUSH (8), PASS (13), SCORING (1)
RAVENS DEFENSE: OVERALL (32), RUSH (13), PASS (32), SCORING (T-24)
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Bills plus-2; Ravens plus-5.
BILLS PLAYER TO WATCH: Potentially two in starting LBs Matt Milano and Tremaine Edmunds. Both are dual threats in being adept in pass coverage, particularly against the NFL’s elite tight ends such as Baltimore’s Mark Andrews, and also capable of playing a “spy” role in keeping mobile quarterbacks, such as Lamar Jackson, in check.
RAVENS PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Devin Duvernay. The Ravens haven’t missed WR Marquise Brown much after trading him this offseason. Rashod Bateman is a big reason why, but he was expected to step up. Duvernay’s performance (three TD receptions, plus another touchdown on a kick return) has been a more surprising boost.
KEY MATCHUP: Jackson vs. Buffalo QB Josh Allen. There’s no sense in overthinking this. These are two of the game’s biggest stars, both are off to stellar starts, and after being drafted the same year (2018), they’ll probably always be linked to some degree. The difference this week is that Jackson faces the league’s top-ranked defense and Allen is up against the No. 32-ranked group. Still, it should be a treat for neutral fans watching this game no matter which team has the ball.
KEY INJURIES: Bills rookie CB Christian Benford (broken hand) has been ruled out by coach Sean McDermott. … DT Jordan Phillips (hamstring) is expected to miss a second straight game. … DT Ed Oliver (ankle) expects to play after missing one game. … S Jordan Poyer’s status is uncertain after missing one game with a foot injury. … RG Ryan Bates has been in the NFL’s concussion protocol. … CB Dane Jackson’s status is uncertain after missing one game with a neck injury. … WR Gabe Davis (ankle) returned to the injury report after missing Buffalo’s game two weeks ago. … WR Jake Kumerow (high ankle sprain) is not expected to play. … C Mitch Morse’s status is uncertain after missing one game with an elbow injury. … For the Ravens, T Ronnie Stanley (ankle) hasn’t played since last season’s opener, but he seemed to take a step forward this week when he was a full participant at practice Wednesday. … NT Michael Pierce (biceps) could miss the rest of the season if he decides to have surgery now. … Baltimore was down to its fourth choice at LT during last week’s game because of injuries to Stanley, Ja’Wuan James (Achilles tendon) and Patrick Mekari (ankle).
SERIES NOTES: The most recent meeting between the teams was also their only postseason matchup. Jackson left that game with a concussion. … The Bills won their first road meeting with the Ravens, back in 1999, but have lost the next five at Baltimore.
STATS AND STUFF: Allen and Jackson are the NFL’s only two players with at least 80 passing TDs and 20 rushing TDs since 2018. The two have combined for 6,354 yards rushing, which is the second most in a meeting of two opposing QBs. Russell Wilson, then with Seattle, and Arizona’s Kyler Murray had a combined 6,435 yards rushing when they met to close last season. … The Bills are 0-7 in regular-season games decided by seven points or fewer following their loss to Miami. By comparison, Buffalo’s past 20 wins have been decided by 10 points or more. … Allen made his career debut at Baltimore, where he replaced Nathan Peterman in the second half of Buffalo’s season-opening 47-3 loss in 2018. … With 400 yards passing against Miami, Allen enjoyed his third career game with 400 yards or more to break the franchise record held by Drew Bledsoe. … Allen is 2-1 with 400 or more yards passing, and 13-3 when topping 300. … Allen also set team records with 63 attempts and 42 completions against Miami. … WR Stefon Diggs’ 27 catches are the most in team history through the first three games of the season, breaking the mark shared by Thurman Thomas (1991), and Eric Moulds and Peerless Price (2002). … Diggs leads the NFL with 344 yards receiving and four TD catches. … New Bills pass rusher Von Miller had 2 1/2 sacks in two meetings against the Ravens last year. He was credited with half a sack of Jackson while playing with Denver in the Broncos’ 23-7 loss to Baltimore on Oct. 3. Miller was then traded to the Rams, and he sacked Tyler Huntley twice in LA’s 20-19 win on Jan. 2. … The Bills have yet to allow an opponent to gain 250 yards or top 80 yards rushing this season. … Jackson has at least 100 yards rushing and at least three TD passes in back-to-back games, the first player in NFL history to do that. … Baltimore scored touchdowns on all five red zone trips last weekend. … Mark Andrews of the Ravens has 12 straight games with at least 50 yards receiving, the NFL’s longest active streak. He’s one short of Rob Gronkowski’s record for a TE since the merger. … Baltimore K Justin Tucker has made 59 consecutive FG attempts in the fourth quarter and overtime, the longest streak in NFL history. … Bateman has just eight catches on the season, but is averaging 28.3 yards per reception.
FANTASY TIP: Baltimore’s secondary had all sorts of trouble with Miami’s Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle two weeks ago, so it might be a particularly good week to own Diggs.
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