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A Preview Of Week 12

The colossal Ravens are hosting the young, physical Bucs. The Ravens are not a lock to make the playoffs with games against the Saints and Steelers left and two other divisional games as well.

When Tampa is throwing: Baltimore is 10th in pass yards allowed. John Harbaugh worked on the Philadelphia secondary for 8 years. This team is 2nd in the NFL, allowing just 37% of red zone trips to end in 6. Edge: Baltimore, slightly.

When Tampa is running: Baltimore is susceptible to big runs as long as rookie Terrence Cody is playing and he is now a starter. That said, they collapse the middle for backs pretty well with him and Defensive Player of the Year candidate Haloti Ngata. If Blount gets to the next level, he could carry sound-tackling linebackers, but not consistently. Edge: Even.

When Baltimore is throwing: Joe Flacco has elite weapons like Houshmandzadeh, Mason, Boldin, Heap, but he is the most erratic quarterback in the AFC not named Carson Palmer or Mark Sanchez. That’s not to say those are the worst but they all get in stretches and Flacco has had difficulty this year – while he was pretty good at this in previous years – throwing on the run. Tampa’s secondary is primed to get a game-breaking interception. That said, I expect Flacco and Cameron to come up with ways to open up the passing game. Then again, I’ve expected that all year. Edge: Baltimore, slightly.

When Baltimore is running: They should have more success than San Francisco but it isn’t as important to them with all the passing weapons they have. Ray Rice is due for a breakout game. Edge: Baltimore, slightly.

Prediction: Tampa Bay is itching to win one of these games and these teams will definitely both have a sense of urgency. I actually think Morris and Olson have done about an equal job this year to that of Harbaugh, Cameron and Mattison but the talent gap is pretty strong and I expect a tight match-up until a late Baltimore takeaway. If Tampa pulls the upset (which only Marshall Faulk of all the NFL Network, “Inside The NFL” and ESPN experts has picked), I would not want to play against Josh Freeman the rest of the year. His confidence would be galactic at that point.  Baltimore 28, Tampa Bay 14.

The rest of the games (home team in bold):
Cardinals 23, 49ers 20
Colts 38, Chargers 28
Vikings 24, Redskins 21
Texans 30, Titans 28
Steelers 31, Buffalo 14
Broncos 21, Rams 14
Browns 31, Panthers 14
Packers 42, Falcons 20
Giants 21, Jaguars 20
Eagles 24, Bears 21
Dolphins 17, Raiders 14
Seahawks 31, Chiefs 28 – toughest game to pick

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. RavensBlogger

    November 28, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    My pre game prediction was Ravens 24 Bucs 17

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