This Monday night matchup features two teams who were involved in very memorable games last weekend. The Ravens were involved in one of the biggest comebacks this season and the Lions played in an incredible amount of snow throughout their game vs. The Eagles. The snow continued to pile up and there was no room for players to plant their feet. Field Goal kicking became impossible with the kickers lack of ability to use their plant leg. The Ravens game ended with a flurry as there were 5 touchdowns scored in the last 125 seconds. First Dennis Pita caught a touchdown pass from Joe Flacco with 2:05 remaining to give the Ravens a 15-12 lead. Then Toby Gerhart, who was subbing for an injured Adrian Peterson, scored on a 41 yard touchdown run that gave his team a 19-15 lead. Jacoby Jones proceeded to take the kickoff back to the house for a touchdown and a 22-19 lead with 1:16 left. On the Vikings next possession Matt Cassel threw a 79 yard touchdown pass to Cordarrelle Patterson with 45 seconds left. The Ravens needed a win to maintain their playoff positionin and somehow managed to cap off an incredible ending with a 5 play, 8- yard drive that lasted only 41 seconds. Joe Flacco found rookie Marlon Brown with a 9 yard touchdown pass for the winning score. Both teams are coming off memorable games for a wide variety of reasons and head into this game with their playoff chances at stake.
As the defending Superbowl champions the Ravens are aware of how difficult it is to win games in the NFL, especially playoff games. If they want to return to the playoffs then this game is crucial. Running the ball has also been a key in the Ravens offensive attack and they will need to get the ball into the hands of running back Ray Rice more often if they want to win this game and get a chance to defend their title. He had 17 carries for 67 yards against the Vikings and there will need to be an increase in those carries to give the offense better balance. The Lions run a fast paced offense and the best way to slow the m down will be to keep them off the field.
The Lions are a “finesse” team so the conditions last weekend were certainly not ideal for a team that averages over 50 pass plays a game. The defense was awful against the run and that is impossible to overcome in a game with that much snow on the ground. Eagles running back Lesean McCoy had 217 yards on the ground and that proved to be too much for the Lions to overcome in their 34-20 loss. The remains to be seen whether the Ravens attempt to increase the carries for Ray Rice against a bad Lions run defense.
Sportsbooks offering NFL Betting for US Players:
Sportsbooks offering NFL Betting for Canadians: