Baltimore Ravens (2-1) at Buffalo Bills (1-2)
Week 4 - Presented by PrimeSportSunday, 9/29/13, 1:00 PM - Ralph Wilson Stadium (72,498)
TV Crew: Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Dan Fouts (analyst)
Radio: 98 Rock | Sports USA | Sirius: 134 | XM: 230
Local Radio Crew: Gerry Sandusky (play-by-play), Stan White (analyst), Qadry Ismail (analyst)
National Radio Crew: Chris Carrino (play-by-play), Brian Baldinger (analyst)
Ravens Jersey Color: White
Referee Crew: Jerome Boger
TV Coverage: View Map
The Ravens (2-1) head on the road this week for the first time since their season-opening loss to the Denver Broncos.
They will take on a Buffalo Bills team that has a rookie quarterback and new head coach. It is a new era in Buffalo, and the Bills (1-2) have shown potential in the early part of the season. The Ravens have won two straight games and are coming off a 30-9 victory over the Houston Texans.
The Ravens are looking to stay atop the AFC North, while the Bills want to keep themselves from falling too far behind the Patriots in the AFC East race. The Ravens have not traveled to Buffalo since 2007, and they expect a tough atmosphere for a relatively unfamiliar opponent.
Matchups To Watch
S Matt Elam vs. QB EJ Manuel
The two first-round picks will face off again in a reunion of their college rivalry. When Elam and Manuel faced each other last season, Elam got the best of the Florida State quarterback by coming up with an interception. The rookies trained together leading up to the draft, and both have quickly moved into starting roles with their respective teams. Elam is looking for a bit of redemption, while Manuel hopes to return to favor from last season.
WR Torrey Smith vs. CB Justin Rogers
The Bills are banged up in the secondary and they may be without their three top cornerbacks. That could leave Smith matched up against Rogers, a reserve cornerback. Smith is off to a strong start to the season with 269 receiving yards on 16 catches, and he will look for that trend to continue Sunday.
RT Michael Oher vs. DE Mario Williams
Williams is one of the premier pass rushers in the NFL and the Ravens right tackle will have a tough matchup to keep him off of quarterback Joe Flacco. The Bills signed Williams to a $100 million contract last offseason, and he's off to a strong start this year after notching 4.5 sacks against the Panthers in Week 2.
Keys To The Game
Get the running game going
The Bills have given up an average of 155 rushing yards a game, which ranks 30th in the NFL. The Ravens have averaged only 77.3 rushing yards a game, 25th best in the league. Something has to give this week, and the Ravens hope they are able to establish their ground attack. Despite the early-season struggles, the Ravens have not abandoned their running game and they will look to get into a rhythm against Buffalo. The running game could get a boost this week as Ray Rice hopes to return to the lineup after missing last Sunday.
Force rookie quarterback into mistakes
Manuel has drawn positive reviews in his first three NFL starts, but he's still an inexperienced quarterback that the Ravens will try to force into mistakes. The Ravens worked throughout the offseason at defending the read option, which Manuel and the Bills have the ability to run. If the Ravens take away Buffalo's ability to move the ball on the ground, they will force Manuel to throw and will try to pounce on any of his mistakes.
Take advantage of beat up secondary
In addition to missing three of their top cornerbacks, the Bills may also be without starting free safety Jairus Byrd. The Bills may have to play backups at every position in the secondary other than strong safety. Flacco will look to take advantage of the Bills' inexperience in the secondary. Also, if the Ravens can establish the run, that would open opportunities for big gains through play-action.