The NFL playoffs continue this weekend with the divisional slate of games, including the five-seed Baltimore Ravens (11-5, 6-2 away) in New York to take on the two-seed Buffalo Bills (13-3, 7-1 home). The matchup marks the first meeting between the two squads this season, with their last matchup coming in Week 14 of last season in Buffalo (24-17 win by Baltimore).
Saturday night’s kickoff is at 8:15 pm ET inside Bills Stadium in Buffalo, N.Y. Buffalo is a 2-point favorite, according to oddsmakers.
What to Know – Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore rode into last weekend’s wild card matchup against the Tennessee Titans, playing some of their best ball of the season. The Ravens closed out the regular season, winning their last five games after dropping three in a row by a total of 17 points.
Lamar Jackson notched his first NFL playoff win against the Titans last week after going 0-2 in his first two tries under center. Jackson completed 17-of-24 passes for 179 and an interception but used his legs to rush for 136 yards and a touchdown.
Rookie running back J.K. Dobbins carried the ball nine times for 43 yards and the go-ahead touchdown to put the Ravens ahead 17-10 in the third quarter. The Ravens ran wild against the Titans, tallying 236 yards on the ground.
Wide receiver Marquis Brown caught seven of nine targets for a season-high 109 yards. Brown topped the 100-yard for just the second time this season, his last coming in Week 1 against the Cleveland Brown.
What to Know – Buffalo Bills
Like the Ravens, the Bills rolled over their final games of the regular season, winning six-straight to capture the AFC East title for the first time since 1995. Buffalo’s playoff victory over the Indianapolis Colts last Saturday was their first playoff win in 25 years.
Quarterback Josh Allen continued to shine under center, throwing for 342 yards and two touchdowns. Allen added 54 yards and a touchdown on the ground, accounting for all three touchdowns by the Bills.
Buffalo rushed for only 96 yards against a stout Colts defense, with over half those yards from Allen. Outside of Allen’s rushing attempts, the Bills only ran the ball ten times, with Zack Moss (seven carries, 21 yards) and Devin Singletary (three carries, 21 yards) getting the shares.
Stefon Diggs hauled in six receptions for a game-high 128 yards and a touchdown. Diggs was signed in the offseason after five seasons in Minnesota and led the league with 127 receptions during the regular season. Allen targeted wideouts Gabriel Davis (four catches, 85 yards) and Cole Beasley (seven catches, 57 yards) when he wasn’t connecting with Diggs.
The Pick is In
This should be a fun and entertaining game between two teams peaking at the right time. The forecast is calling for snow in Buffalo, and it would be Jackson’s first game playing in the snow.
Baltimore’s defense has held opponents to just over ten points per game over the last four games, which will be the difference in the game.
The Pick: Baltimore Ravens +3