It didn't snow when the Ravens played at Buffalo last year, but it was tough sledding for their offense.
Baltimore ran for a season-low 118 yards and had a season-low 257 total yards against the Bills last year during a 24-17 victory. The Ravens managed to win, but it was a struggle.
The Ravens had a pair of three-and-outs in the first half, and another drive before intermission ended with Lamar Jackson throwing an interception. Baltimore's only touchdown in the first half was set up by Matthew Judon's strip sack of Josh Allen, resulting in a fumble that was recovered by Jihad Ward.
The Ravens' biggest play of the game came on the opening drive of the third quarter, when a coverage mistake in the Bills' secondary allowed Jackson to find former Ravens tight end Hayden Hurst wide open for a 61-yard touchdown.
That play gave Baltimore a 17-6 lead, and the Ravens never trailed on the way to their ninth straight win. However, left guard Bradley Bozeman remembers it being difficult to move the ball consistently against Buffalo, and he wants that to change Saturday night.
"They played a really solid game against us last year," Bozeman said. "They did the things they needed to do to execute. We have to figure out how to make adjustments. (Offensive Coordinator) Greg Roman and all the coaching staff has put a pretty good plan together. We're ready to go out there and execute it, regardless of what plays they call, whatever the scheme might be."
Baltimore's offensive line has gotten plenty of credit for fueling the rushing attack with its blocking, along with the tight ends and Pro Bowl fullback Patrick Ricard. But Bozeman says the wide receivers also deserve their due.
"Everyone is blocking their absolute butts off," Bozeman said. "Lamar's selling the run, doing his play-action. Coach Roman's having great play calls, schemes going into the games, and something that's not really talked about is how well our receivers are blocking. Our receivers are blocking their butts off. They're flying out of the box, knocking people's heads off. They're getting into the nitty-gritty of it."
Bradley Bozeman Doesn't Want Snow in Buffalo
Baltimore's offensive line has played its best football over the past six weeks, when the Ravens have averaged 262.1 yards rushing. Meanwhile, Buffalo hasn't been as stout against the run this season, allowing 119.6 yards rushing per game to rank 12th in the NFL.
After rushing for 236 yards against the Tennessee Titans last weekend, the Ravens are 6-1 this season when rushing for at least 200 yards. Roman will surely add a few wrinkles to this week's game plan, but Bozeman says the Ravens don't change their mentality offensively, regardless of the opponent.
"Whatever comes over the headset, and then whatever Lamar feeds us from G-Ro (Roman), is what we have to execute," Bozeman said. "No matter what it is, we have to make the play successful."
At the beginning of Sunday's third quarter, Jackson started wearing a glove on his left hand and kept it on the remainder of the game. It certainly didn't hinder Jackson from continuing to make plays.
Saturday will bring mixed emotions for Ravens Pro Scout Corey Frazier. His father, Leslie Frazier, is Buffalo's Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator.
Before joining the Bills, Leslie spent the 2016 season as Baltimore's secondary coach, and he has been a longtime friend of Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh. The two men coached together on Andy Reid's staff with the Philadelphia Eagles.
"Leslie's one of my best friends in coaching," Harbaugh said. "His son is here as a scout doing a great job. Leslie has always been one of those guys, what you see is what you get. He's just an even, steady, high-character, very smart, common sense - very principled in the way he approaches the game. He believes in fundamental football. Secondary, you've got to have it tight back there. Everybody's got to be on the same page. Leslie does a great job of organizing those guys. I think he'd be a great head coach. I think he has been a great head coach. He did a really good job at Minnesota."
Bills wide receiver John "Smoke" Brown is another person that Harbaugh is very familiar with. Brown spent the 2018 season with the Ravens and had 42 catches for 715 yards and five touchdowns. Limited to nine games this season with the Bills, Brown had 33 catches, 458 yards and three touchdowns. However, the Ravens are well aware of Brown's ability, particularly as a deep threat.
"I remember John Brown well, 'Smoke,'" Harbaugh said. "He's a really likeable, loveable guy. Gave us everything he had. He was kind of banged up the last year a little bit and fought through it. Very fast, just a dynamic player. Obviously, he's on the other side now, so he's got our full attention for sure."
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