Joe Flacco and the 8-4 Baltimore Ravens will go for their seventh win in eight games against the 7-5 Washington Redskins in prime time on Sunday night.
After a 4-1 start that included victories in Dallas and Philadelphia, many ‘Skins fans were talking Super Bowl. Jason Campbell had a great start, but has thrown as many touchdowns as interceptions (4) in the in the past seven games. He has also been sacked a whopping nineteen times in the past five games behind an injured offensive line.
While the Redskins have been struggling, the Ravens have been making waves in the AFC because of their offense. That’s right, I said it. The Ravens offense has been the reason why they’re winning most of these games by scoring points and controlling time of possession with the running game. Over the past eight games, Joe Flacco has thrown eleven touchdowns against just two interceptions. He is learning to take care of the football and has made some excellent plays in the process.
It looks like Redskins RB Clinton Portis will push through a slew of injuries (including a knee problem) and play against the Ravens hard-hitting defense behind a banged up offensive line. Don’t look for Portis to do much on Sunday night. If he were healthy, it might be a different story.
My prediction: Look for the Ravens to pin their ears back and attack Jason Campbell and a banged-up Redskins offensive line. When Washington played Pittsburgh, the Steelers registered seven sacks. Pressure on the quarterback causes Campbell to turn the ball over. The Ravens win wearing their black uniforms in a playoff atmosphere at M&T Bank Stadium.
Redskins – 17
Pivotal match-up: Ravens offensive line vs. Anthony Montgomery and Jason Taylor. Taylor registered two sacks in his last game against Baltimore and is finally starting to look healthy this season. If Flacco remains up-right, the Ravens win this game.
Where it could all go wrong: Pressure on Flacco forces turnovers; Ravens secondary can’t contain Santana Moss/Chris Cooley; Ravens have a hard time establishing the run against a top-ten defense.
Surprising statistic: Since 2002, Ed Reed leads the NFL in interceptions (37).
Last Week’s winner: Ravenator predicted a Ravens blowout, picking a 34-0 route of the Bengals. My pick: 32-13 Ravens. Actual score: 34-3 Ravens.
Week 12 winner: Polostat was one of the few fans out there who predicted an easy Ravens win, predicting a 28-17 Ravens victory. My pick: 23-16 Ravens. Actual score: 36-7 Ravens.
Week 11 winner: would have been Ravenator if he would have picked the Giants to win, but the check mark goes to Johnny Rocket, who predicted a 31-11 Ravens loss. My pick: 23-20 Giants. Actual score: 30-10 Giants.
Week 10 Winner: My man Franchise gets the check mark, predicting a 31-10 Ravens victory. Remember when Ozzie Newsome was getting verbally crucified on the airwaves? I guess all of us should trust the Franchise. My pick: 29-12 Ravens. Actual Score: 41-13 Ravens.
Week 9 Winner: Johnny Rocket picked the closest score, predicting a 22-16 Ravens win. I don’t think anyone could have predicted the Ravens to put up 37 points on the road. My pick: 23-17 Browns. Actual score: 37-27 Ravens.
Week 8 winner: Nestminder is our first back-to-back winner, picking the Ravens to win 24-6. We had a record-low in the number of predictions received, but we can rebound this week. We’ll chalk that one up to the new website. My pick: 27-6 Ravens. Actual score: 29-10 Ravens
Week 7 winner: Nestminder picked a 20-13 Ravens victory and Polostat was a close second. My pick: 24-16 Ravens. Actual score: 27-13 Ravens.
Week 6 winner: Johnny Rocket correctly picked against the Ravens, per usual, predicting a 32-8 Colts victory. My pick: 28-23 Colts. Actual score: 31-3 Colts.
Week 5 winner: Columbia Ken picked the closest score, predicting a 17-13 Titans victory. My pick: 17-9 Ravens. Actual score: 13-10 Titans
Week 4 winner: Jon R. reluctantly picked a 24-20 win for the Steelers. My pick: 13-10 Ravens. Actual score: 23-20 Steelers (OT)
Week 3 winner: EazyE picked a 23-13 win for the Ravens vs. Cleveland. My pick: 23-13 Ravens. Actual score: 24-10 Ravens.
What are your predictions this week?