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Three Keys To A Bills Victory Over The Ravens

Last week the Bills played their hearts out and still lost. Unfortunately, they had plenty of opportunities to win that game but still failed. The good news is that there’s another game this weekend and in the NFL it’s good to have a short memory. It’s also good to show how as a team you respond to a gut-wrenching loss. A drubbing of the Ravens is just what the doctor ordered to get the bad taste of that loss out of the mouths of Bills fans, and here’s how to do it.

Bills Need To Contain Lamar

Lamar Jackson is a quarterback with similar skill sets as Josh Allen. He’s capable of throwing the ball downfield but also tucking the ball and running as well. In his second year, Lamar was awarded the NFL MVP for his performance where he accrued over 3000 yards passing and 1000 yards rushing which was a first for a quarterback. People forget while his passing yards weren’t amazing, he had 36 touchdowns with only six interceptions that year.

That means you can’t just hope to win by just keeping him in the pocket, you must keep his receivers honest as well. This will be a difficult task this week as the Bills’ defense is heavily injured. Last week against the Dolphins, the weakened Bills were able to keep Tua Tagovailoa to under 200 yards with only one touchdown and it still wasn’t enough. Tua is not on the same level as Lamar, so it’ll be even more important this week to make sure Lamar doesn’t ball out. Not just on the ground but in the air as well.

Limit And Create Turnovers

The Bills need simultaneously more and fewer turnovers. They need to turn the ball over less forcing more turnovers while on defense. Last week’s Dolphins game showed the importance of takeaways. It only took one lost fumble to alter the course of the entire game. If Josh doesn’t lose the ball in the first quarter, it’s possible that either they score on that drive, or the Dolphins don’t score on the ensuing drive. Either way that fumble was a missed opportunity in a game where every little thing mattered.

Speaking of every little thing, later in the second half, Matt Milano had the chance to intercept and possibly even score on an errant throw by Tua. If Milano holds onto that ball, the outcome of the game is entirely different. I’m not going to put the whole game on Milano’s shoulders as that would be unfair. However, the inability to force turnovers will affect the team going down the stretch.

To be fair, up until the last game the Bills have been doing okay in the turnover differential. The problem comes from the fact that the players responsible for three of the five interceptions made this season were out of the game. If the Bills want to stay the dominant team in the NFL they need to secure the ball better and force the ball out of the hands of their opponent, especially while they play with a weakened defense. This week they’ll want to take the ball out of the Ravens’ hands whenever possible.

Score Score Score

If the Bills show up to Baltimore this weekend in a similar injured state, there’s only one way they are guaranteed a victory; and that’s by scoring. I know it’s not exactly blowing anyone’s minds to say that the team that scores more points at the end of regulation is the winner. But up until last week it appeared the Bills were going to score 30 plus points a game. Right now, the Bills lead the NFL in score differential with 17 points but expect that to change if the defense doesn’t get healthy.

The Ravens aren’t too far behind in point differential sitting in sixth place with seven. However, they lead the league in points scored at 99, that’s eight points more than the Bills currently have at 91. This means if the Bills want to win this Sunday they’ve got to score, a lot. The good news is Josh Allen is still the best quarterback in the league and if anyone can compete in a shootout, it’s him.

If the Bills can keep Lamar from balling out or if they can force a turnover or two and capitalize on every drive with a score, they should beat the Ravens-handedly. Josh and Lamar are the only two quarterbacks of the 2018 draft class to be with their original team but only one will emerge victorious. If the Bills can beat the Ravens and ‘right the ship’ they should be back on track and Super Bowl bound.

Check out this week’s Bills Beat Podcast here.

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