Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursday Night Preview: Ravens at Falcons

The Baltimore Ravens head to Georgia to take on the Atlanta Falcons in NFL Network's first Thursday Night matchup. It's a battle of the birds!

First off, no longer having DirecTV (thank you NYC) reminds me of how crappy the situation with NFL Network is for people with strictly cable options. I think it's a shame that a marquee game like the one taking place tonight is only available in a percentage of homes in the U.S. (plus Time Warner sucks, I'm sure most of you would agree). Luckily, living in Manhattan, there always seems to be a bar down the street with every channel you could possibly need...and alcohol. *Ahem* I'll stop my rant there and focus on the game...

I think this is an excellent matchup that will provide illustration for how well these teams will fare down the stretch. These teams are almost the same statistically, and physically, both have strong running games, solid defense, and great quarterback play from two of the NFL's hottest young players.

Obviously, I'm a little biased being a Ravens fan, but they look better and better as the season progresses. Nevertheless, this is going to be another tough test for the boys in purple. The keys to their success tonight will be pressuring Matt Ryan and forcing him to make mistakes. If that doesn't work, then it will be up to Joe Flacco and that elite receiving unit to shoot it out with one of the best home teams in the league right now...who also seem to be having trouble in their secondary.

For the Falcons, their strength should reside in the running game. The Ravens of late haven't been as strong in their run stopping abilities and a power running back like Michael Turner is just what Atlanta needs to control the game. If they can run successfully, Matt Ryan's job will be a whole lot easier, especially to exploit the Ravens secondary.

It's going to be a battle, that much is certain, but the Ravens toughness and attitude gives them the edge to pull out the win tonight and deliver Matt Ryan his second home loss of his career...I hope. Whoever wins though, will be 7-2 and make a strong argument for best team in the NFL.

The safe bet here is to go with the bird. For the sake of taking a risk, I am going to take the Falcons. Although Michael Turner probably has a better chance of hitting a 100 as a body temperature than a yard total, look for Roddy White to have another big game with Tony Gonzales contributing on 3rd downs and in short field situations. Atlanta is undefeated at home and the Ravens only losses are on the road. It’s a home field thing. If the game was in Baltimore (or in Dallas), I’d take the Ravens. On this first Thursday game of 2010, go with the black and red.

Alex: Ravens 26 - Falcons 23
Chris: Falcons 23 - Ravens 17


  1. This is going to be a Good game! I think the Ravens are going to play hard and show that they are a tough squad that No One should sleep on. They have what it takes to be contenders in the playoffs and show up at every game they play.

    However, I do pick the Falcons to win. The home field advantage, the running skills of Turner, Matt Ryan being in sync with the offense and Tony Gonzalez make this a Good night for them to match up good against a team that is also not short of Pro Bowlers.

    Yeah, this is going to be a Good Game!

  2. Bird Bowl. Ravens have got this. ATL's offense is focused on the run and BAL has got a solid line and LBs. Baltimore needs to shut down the Falcons run game and take every opportunity to score.

  3. just tell Boldin to catch some passes. My fantasy team is dying here!!!


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