This Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens head up to the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field to face the Green Bay Packers. The Ravens are only one game out of the Wild Card, but are in must win territory, even though the Buffalo Bills benched Tyrod Taylor while in control of the second wild card spot. Here are my three predictions on what I think will happen Sunday afternoon.
Alex Collins Will Have A Career Day
The Packers currently have the 17th ranked run defense, allowing 111 yards per game, while Alex Collins ranks third in the NFL in yards per carry with 5.6. Collins has only ran for over 100 yards once this season, (Week Eight vs. Miami Dolphins) but has yet to reach the endzone. Although there is a 50/50 chance Danny Woodhead plays this week, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg came out and said that Collins will continue to be the feature back. As long as the Ravens decide not to abandon the run, I believe Collins will rush for over 120 yards and will finally get to do his Irish jig after scoring his first touchdown of the season.
The Ravens’ Defense Will Have Another Dominant Game
The Packers are going to be without starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers and both starting running backs Ty Montgomery and Aaron Jones. Current starter, Brett Hundley is also questionable to play with a hamstring injury he suffered last week. Meanwhile, the Ravens’ defense is as healthy as it’s been all season and is ready to attack coming off the bye week. I predict the Ravens’ defense will force at least three turnovers and at least four sacks. They will also allow less than 200 yards of total offense.
Breshad Perriman Will Be Benched
The Ravens want Breshad Perriman to break out more than anything. The 2015 first round pick is in the midst of cementing his status as a bust, but the Ravens are still giving him a majority of snaps. For weeks, fans have called for the offense to bench Perriman, but the offense has gone towards him more than usual in response. The Ravens are in a tricky situation with Perriman; on one hand, benching him could be beneficial in letting Perriman clear his mind, but it also could be detrimental to Perriman and destroy what confidence he has left.
Many offensive players have come out and acknowledged that Perriman has a monkey on his back. They believe once Perriman makes a big play, he can have that sigh of relief and be the receiver we all want him to be. Sadly I do not think that happens this week. Perriman is what baseball fans and players call a “Five O’Clock Hitter” which means he’s lights out in practice, but is nowhere to be seen come game time. I believe Perriman will drop a couple passes early that will make the offense settle for field goals. The coaches will finally get tired of the consistent dropping and decide to go in on the benching experiment.
All in all, this is a game that the Ravens should win easily; which means they will somehow screw this up and make it closer than it should be. Although left tackle Ronnie Stanley is listed as doubtful with a concussion, which means the offense will struggle, I believe the Ravens’ defense will just simply be too much for an injury plagued Packers’ offense. The Ravens will win this game and eventually take over the second wild card spot en route to their first playoff birth since 2014.
Final Score: Ravens 24, Packers 17