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NBC Sports Predictor

Sunday Night 7: Ravens-Bills

by Will Gray
Updated On: January 14, 2021, 11:19 pm ET

It's a (Saturday) divisional round edition of Sunday Night 7, with the Baltimore Ravens heading north to face the Buffalo Bills with a spot in the AFC Championship game on the line.

Play for FREE for your chance to win or split a $100,000 jackpot every contest. Download the NBC Sports Predictor app to join the party right now. This week's game features the Ravens and the Bills, with Baltimore advancing after a comeback win last week on the road over Tennessee, while the No. 2 seed Buffalo held off a late charge at home from the Colts.

Here are the 7 questions for Saturday's primetime tilt at Bills Stadium:

#1 Josh Allen total yards? Total touchdowns?

< 225, 225-279, 280-329, 330-384, 385+

0-1, 2, 3, 4+

Allen is in the midst of a breakthrough season, averaging 310.2 total yards per game and coming off a playoff debut against Indianapolis in which he accounted for 378. The vast majority (324) came through the air, as it's been increasingly difficult to slow the Bills' efficient passing attack as the season has progressed. Allen has thrown for over 300 yards nine times this season, including three of his last four games, and last week's 11 rushing attempts were his most since Week 1. The Ravens have a stout pass defense, finishing the season behind only the Rams in terms of yards allowed per attempt, and allowed only 165 passing yards last week from Ryan Tannehill. Allen's total should well exceed that, but might not reach his sky-high numbers of late. Put him down for 350 total yards and two touchdowns.


#2 Lamar Jackson passing yards? Rushing yards?

< 135, 135-174, 175-204, 205-239, 240+

< 50, 50-69, 70-94, 95-119, 120+

Jackson had a nearly balanced box score last week, throwing for 179 yards while rushing for 134 en route to his first career playoff win against the Titans. That wasn't far off his average passing total for the season (183.8 yards), but he set a season-high last week on the ground after breaking the 100-yard barrier only twice during the regular season. Jackson's 16 carries also tied a season-high, but he has gotten more reps on the ground in recent weeks: each of his last four games featured at least 10 rushing attempts. Given the strength of the Bills' secondary, the ground game may once again be a focus. I would estimate Jackson lands in the 135-174 yard zone through the air, with the Bills holding him just below his season average, while finishing in the neighborhood of 105 yards rushing.


#3 Stefon Diggs receptions? Receiving yards?

0-5, 6, 7, 8-9, 10+

< 60, 60-84, 85-109, 110-134, 135+

Diggs led the league in both receiving yards and receptions, becoming the first player in team history to top both categories. Not surprisingly, he was a primary target of Allen last week against the Colts, accounting for six catches on nine targets and 128 yards. Diggs closed the season on a tear and has now racked up at least 125 yards receiving in four of his last five games while averaging 11 targets per contest. The Ravens will make stopping Diggs a priority, but that's easier said than done given the rapport he has developed this year with Allen. He has caught at least six balls in all but one game this year, so consider that a floor for receptions. I'm more inclined to think he'll reach the 8-9 range, given that the Bills will likely either build a lead thanks to his production or look to him to dig them out of a hole. Either way he'll get plenty of looks, ending up with 95 yards receiving.


#4 Total points scored in second quarter?

0-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10, 11-13, 14, 15-20, 21, 22+

These are two of the most effective offenses in the league, with the Bills averaging 31.3 points per game during the regular season and the Ravens accounting for 29.3 per game. Baltimore started slowly last week on the road, climbing out of an early 10-0 hole, but it was in the second quarter that they began to find their groove against the Titans. It was a more back-and-forth contest for the Bills, as they combined with the Colts for 14 second-quarter points before really picking up the pace in the second half. It's hard to envision a scenario where neither team accounts for a touchdown in the quarter, especially given the confidence with which both quarterbacks are operating. I'll take 10 points, the second-quarter output of the Ravens-Titans game last week, and assume that whichever offense doesn't find the end zone will put a field goal on the board in what's expected to be a close game.


#5 First touchdown of the second half?

J.K. Dobbins, Lamar Jackson, Marquise Brown, Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, Any other Ravens player, Any other Bills player

This could be the toughest question to pinpoint, with all six players listed accounting for between seven and nine touchdowns (rushing or receiving) this year, and answering it will depend on which direction you see the game going after the break. Last week the Ravens scored just six minutes into the second half, while the Bills didn't get into the end zone until the start of the fourth quarter. But I'm leaning Buffalo in this one, so I'll stick with the home team here. Diggs will be a popular option and grabbed a touchdown last week, but despite his prolific stats this season he has scored in just four of the Bills' last 11 games. So I'll go with Allen to reach the end zone, not with his arm but on the ground, to open the scoring in the second half.


#6 Longest touchdown of the game?

< 20, 20-25, 26-30, 31-35, 36-40, 41-45, 46-50, 51-59, 60+

There's big play potential on both sides of the ball in this one. Last week Jackson delivered a 48-yard touchdown scamper, while Allen and Diggs combined for a 35-yard score that proved pivotal. But two strong defenses, combined with the potential impact of weather, could turn this into a game that's decided by red zone performance. There will inevitably be a couple big plays, but I'm not sure that they'll coincide with scoring plays. Let's go with 28 yards as the longest touchdown.


#7 Winner? Margin of victory?

Baltimore Ravens or Buffalo Bills? 

1-2, 3, 4-5, 6, 7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 14, 15-16, 17-18, 19-20, 21+

This is expected to be the closest of the four playoff games this weekend in the eyes of the oddsmakers, as the betting line has vacillated with the Bills slightly favored but not by more than a field goal. The home team is clearly the one with the greater supply of momentum at the moment, as Buffalo has seemingly been on a collision course with Kansas City in recent weeks to decide the AFC title. Jackson and Co. will have plenty to say about that, though, as the Ravens shed a sizeable burden last week by getting a playoff win after an unexpected ousting last year at the hands of the Titans when they were the conference's top seed. But even with only limited fans in the stands, home field could play a factor for the Bills on what's expected to be a chilly night with snow in the forecast. This could play out similarly to last week's game with the Colts, but I'll rely on Allen to once again guide his team to victory in the second half. Buffalo wins by a touchdown, 31-24.

Will Gray

Will Gray joined Golf Channel in 2007 and currently serves as a staff writer for GolfChannel.com. Gray has been covering fantasy golf since 2012 and is a regular contributor to the Golf Central blog and covers several PGA Tour events each year. He's also a regular contributor to several digital properties on GolfChannel.com, including Stat Man, On the Clock, Fantasy Central, Grill Room and the Monday Scramble podcast.