Mike Preston

Preston’s preview: Key matchup, what’s at stake in Sunday’s Ravens-Bills game

Key matchup

Bills QB Josh Allen vs. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson: Whenever there are adverse conditions, one of the keys is how well the quarterback can throw and if he can make plays with his legs. Like Jackson, Allen is in his second year and can make plays by running the ball. Allen has completed 225 of 366 passes this season for 2,591 yards and 16 touchdowns but also has rushed 93 times for 430 yards and eight touchdowns. Meanwhile, Jackson has completed 214 of 322 passes for 2,532 yards and 25 touchdowns. He has also rushed 140 times for 977 yards and seven touchdowns. There is no doubt that Jackson is more explosive, but Allen can also provide the big play at times with his legs and arm.

What’s at stake

Both teams are playing for positioning in the postseason. The Ravens have a half-game lead over the New England Patriots for home field advantage in the playoffs and can clinch it by winning their remaining four games. The Bills trail the Patriots by one game in the AFC East race and New England has to face Kansas City on Sunday. This is when the contenders separate from the pretenders and the really strong teams secure opening-round byes. Both the Ravens and Bills are in the hunt.


Under the radar

Bills halfback Frank Gore might be headed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day, but he is 36. He has started seven games for Buffalo this season and has rushed for 552 yards and two touchdowns on 146 carries to lead the team. It’s uncertain how much Gore has left in the tank, but he’ll be worth watching Sunday. Gore also has 10 catches for 84 yards.