This is one of the best games of the week. The Ravens are rolling and they are the best team in the league right now, but this will be a big proving game for the Bills. Can that defense slow Lamar Jackson? Will Josh Allen outplay him? I think this will be close with both quarterbacks playing well. Upset special.
Pick: Bills 21, Ravens 20
Teams change. The Ravens defense transformed from solid to stellar just as Lamar Jackson took off into the stratosphere. I was slow to identify Buffalo's defensive transformation in November after a mostly disappointing first two months. LB Matt Milano has gone from a liability to a star again. Top-10 pick Ed Oliver is now making a huge impact. Head man Sean McDermott is coaching with more aggression. And most importantly, Josh Allen is making far better decisions in the best stretch of his career while getting more help from rookie RB Devin Singletary. The Ravens are catching the Bills at the wrong time. The Bills are catching the Ravens at the wrong time. That makes it the right time to enjoy another Ravens slugfest win where Jackson is the difference.
Baltimore 24, Buffalo 17
Bills do what 'Hawks, Pats and Niners couldn't vs. Ravens
It feels like Lamar Jackson is untouchable right now. He has carved up defenses left and right heading into this weekend's contest with Sean McDermott's stingy, third-ranked defense. Even though this matchup involves two of the AFC's three teams with nine-plus wins, it feels like it could be over quickly, given how well Jackson has played of late. It may feel that way, but it won't happen. The Bills find a way to do what the Seahawks, Patriots and 49ers couldn't do this season: They defeat Jackson and the Ravens.
What to watch for: Baltimore's Lamar Jackson leads all quarterbacks in rushing yards (977 yards), while Bills QB Josh Allen leads all quarterbacks in rushing touchdowns (eight). Combined, the signal-callers' 1,405 rushing yards entering Sunday's game marks the most by opposing quarterbacks in NFL history. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques
Bold prediction:Mark Ingram II, not Jackson, will lead the Ravens in rushing. Since Week 8, Buffalo has allowed the NFL's fourth-most rushing yards in between the tackles (530), and Baltimore has gained the most (718). Ingram does most of his damage with physical running inside. -- Jamison Hensley
Hensley's pick: Ravens 24, Bills 16
Louis-Jacques' pick: Bills 21, Ravens 17
Bills (+5.5) vs. Ravens
The Bills have a lot going in their favor here. They're at home, they got extra rest from the Thanksgiving Day game, and the Ravens are coming off of a physical game Sunday against the 49ers. San Francisco's strategy on option runs was to crash the running back, make Lamar Jackson keep the ball and then punish him with big hits. It'll be interesting to see if the Bills employ a similar approach. It seems like we're seeing a market correction after the Ravens covered five weeks in a row prior to Week 13. This feels like a field goal game either way.
The pick: Bills (+5.5)
The Ravens are easily the hottest team in the NFL and the new No. 1 in Sporting News' power rankings. Yet there are the Bills, chilling just one game behind the new Super Bowl favorites in the win-loss column. Nobody will confuse Josh Allen for Lamar Jackson, but the Buffalo quarterback is coming off a performance in Dallas that was highlighted by a career-high 120.7 passer rating. He should have another solid game against the Ravens, but the problem for the Bills is on the other side of the ball. Their defense is great against the pass and good-but-not-great against the run. Against Jackson and Baltimore's league-best rushing attack, Buffalo needs to be great.
Pick: Ravens 27, Bills 20