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Monday Night Football this week features the Detroit Lions welcoming the defending Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens. Both teams come into Monday with 7-6 records looking to secure a playoff spot.
Baltimore has underachieved this season and Joe Flacco hasn’t played like the NFL’s highest paid player. But they come into Detroit on Monday night in position to make
the playoffs again this season. Flacco, (6’6”, 245lbs) has the height to see and throw over tall defensive lineman, to go along with one of the strongest arms in the NFL.
Flacco has thrown for 3,238 yards, 18 td and 17 int, while posting a Quarterback Rating of 77 so far this season, the worst of his career.
Unfortunately, that’s just the start for the Ravens. Ray Rice is having a career worst season as well, averaging just 3 yards per carry coming off of 4 straight 1,000-yard
seasons. He’s played 12 out of 13 games and has rushed for only 549 yards. The problem has been their offensive line. They have given up 41 sacks, and are a
big reason the Ravens rush for only 74.3 yards per game, the worst in the league. This should feed right into the strength of the Lions defense, their defensive line.
They should be able to have a big night and hopefully get the crowd into a huge game early and often at Ford Field on Monday night.
The Lions have some injuries they will need to overcome. Darius Slay and Chris Houston are both listed as doubtful, while Reggie Bush is listed as questionable.
Detroit’s offense will need to be on top of their game as they face a very good Baltimore Ravens defense. Stafford will need to protect the football and his offensive
line needs to continue to play well, as they have done for most of the year. Offensively if Detroit can protect the football they should win the game. Their
offense has been able to move up and down the field, but turnovers have constantly hurt them. Look for the offense to come alive Monday behind a huge day from
Matthew Stafford on national T.V. The key for the Lions offense is to keep Terrell Suggs away from Stafford. Suggs is the heart and sole of this Ravens team and is one
of the best at getting to the quarterback.
Defensively they will need to get pressure. Detroit is probably going to play very conservative without two of their top corners. Meaning their front four needs to
dominate a struggling Ravens offensive line, and not allow Flacco to get comfortable against a vulnerable secondary. The Ravens weapons are Torrey Smith and Ray
Rice. Smith is a big play receiver who will challenge the Lion’s beat up secondary, while Rice is a do everything back that will have 15 to 25 touches on Monday.
This will be a hard-hitting showdown with a playoff atmosphere, as both teams cannot afford to lose and give up any ground in the playoff race.
Kickoff is at 8:30et Monday night at Ford Field.