NFL Divisional Round: Bills-Ravens preview, live stream, playoff schedule

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Arun Srinivasan
·Writer
·5 min read
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Note: NFL playoff games on DAZN are available to stream only in Canada.

The NFL's decision to expand its playoff format for the 2020 season is already paying dividends for the league. Super Wild Card Weekend provided fans with six competitive games, a few upsets, and eight teams now remain with hopes of lifting the Lombardi Trophy on Feb. 7 in Tampa Bay.

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The defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs will begin their title defense against the Cleveland Browns, while MVP favourite Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers play host to Aaron Donald and the Los Angeles Rams. After winning their first playoff game since 1995, the Buffalo Bills host the Baltimore Ravens, while Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints square off against Tom Brady and the red-hot Tampa Bay Buccaneers to cap off the divisional round. Although the COVID-19 pandemic remains a threat to disrupt the playoffs, each of the eight remaining teams survived the wild card weekend, with the Super Bowl now in clear view.

Division Round Preview: Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills

ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 08:  Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills shakes hands with Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens after the game at New Era Field on December 8, 2019 in Orchard Park, New York. Baltimore defeats Buffalo 24-17.  (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson are the gems of the 2018 NFL Draft class. (Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

Date: Saturday January 16 at 8:15 p.m. ET
How to watch: Live on DAZN Canada

Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson were the two most polarizing players of the 2018 NFL Draft class and both quarterbacks have proved a legion of haters and skeptics wrong this year. Allen took a monumental leap in his third season, emerging as the NFL’s third-best quarterback this season and led the Bills to their first playoff win since 1995 in the wild-card round against the Colts. Jackson, meanwhile, was the unanimous NFL MVP last season, and was at his best in a 20-13 win against the Titans that was closer than the score indicated.

Jackson and the Ravens’ run-oriented offense is a logistical nightmare for the Bills, primed to take advantage of their glaring flaw. Colts rookie Jonathan Taylor gashed the Bills a few times in the wild-card round and Jackson, J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards provide a much tougher, more dynamic challenge. Buffalo may use Pro Bowl linebacker Tremaine Edmunds as a spy tasked with limiting Jackson’s outside runs, but containing the 2019 MVP is easier said than done, as Jackson rushed for 136 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries against the Titans. Buffalo has been susceptible to huge runs all season and all hands will be on deck to contain Baltimore’s three-headed monster.

It won’t be a walk in the park for the Ravens’ defense, either. Allen and the Bills averaged 40.4 points in their final five games and though the offense lagged behind its usual standards, Buffalo did enough to show why it is a genuine Super Bowl contender. Stefon Diggs, who led the NFL in receptions and receiving yards is simply unstoppable, while fourth-round rookie Gabriel Davis has emerged as a bona fide No. 2 option, with four catches for 85 yards against the Colts, including two toe-taps that were among the best of the weekend’s action.

This is no slight on the Ravens’ defense as Pro Bowl cornerback Marlon Humphrey will be assigned to Diggs, Marcus Peters remains one of the NFL’s most opportunistic ball hawks, while Calais Campbell, Matt Judon and Pernell McPhee form an underrated pass rush. Baltimore essentially swallowed up Derrick Henry and the Titans’ robust run game, but it might be too much of a risk to dare Allen into a shootout.

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Buffalo won’t be at full strength as running back Zack Moss suffered an ankle injury against Indianapolis and was carted off the field. Moss will likely be out for the playoffs, a crushing blow to his rookie year. The Bills have practically abandoned the run, however, and expect Allen and Devin Singletary to form a makeshift 1-2 tandem.

Bills vs. Ravens: Tale of the Tape

Category

BUF

BAL

Record

13-3

11-5

Head-to-Head

N/A

N/A

Points For (per game)

31.3

29.3

Points Against (per game)

23.4

18.9

Bills will win because

Josh Allen is on fire and despite the Ravens’ defensive pedigree, there isn’t a team in the league that he should be intimidated by. Diggs, Davis and second-team All-Pro Cole Beasley are as effective a trio as there is in the NFL at the moment, while Buffalo’s secondary ought to erase all of Baltimore’s speed-oriented options in the passing game.

Ravens will win because

Jackson and the Ravens can run the ball down the Bills’ throat, and take full advantage of their opponent’s porous run defense. Baltimore’s front seven, particularly Campbell and Judon, are athletic enough to keep up with Allen’s improvisation in the pocket, and his propensity to take off with the football in his hands. Baltimore’s proficient run game could also keep the ball out of Allen’s hands, and limiting Buffalo’s possessions may end up knocking the offensive juggernaut out of rhythm.

NFL Divisional Round Previews

What’s the NFL Playoffs schedule in 2021?

  • Wild Card games: January 9-10

  • Divisional games: January 16-17

  • Conference championships: January 24

  • Super Bowl: February 7

NFL Divisional Round Schedule

Saturday January 16

Time (ET)

Matchup

Stream in Canada

4:35 p.m.

Rams at Packers

DAZN

8:05 p.m.

Ravens at Bills

DAZN

NFL Divisional Round Schedule

Sunday January 17

Time (ET)

Matchup

Stream in Canada

3:05 p.m.

Browns at Chiefs

DAZN

6:40 p.m.

Bucs at Saints

DAZN

NFL AFC/NFC Conference Championship Schedule

Sunday January 24

Time

Matchup

Stream in Canada

TBD

TBD

DAZN

TBD

TBD

DAZN

NFL Super Bowl 55 Schedule

Sunday February 7

Time

Matchup

Stream in Canada

TBD

AFC Champion vs. NFC Champion

DAZN

More NFL Playoffs on Yahoo Sports