The Ravens make the quick trip south this weekend, driving right into the storm that is RG3 mania in Washington. Rookie Robert Griffin III and the pistol offense figure to pose a huge challenge for a Ravens defense that could be without both Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs. The Ravens are looking to bounce back from that stunning loss to the Steelers and have shown remarkable resilience under coach John Harbaugh. The Ravens have won 15 straight games after a loss, the longest such streak in the league.
Here is how some of the national media see the game. And in typical Washington fashion, there doesn't appear to be a consensus:
Tedy Bruschi, ESPN: Ravens (no score given)
"This Washington Redskin offense is predicated on deception, on fooling them with the play-action pass off of the read option, and back there for the Baltimore Ravens is one of the smartest players in the history of the game in Ed Reed. I think he'll stay home and stay back especially against those play-action shots."
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: Redskins 23, Ravens 21
"The Redskins currently look more like the potential Super Bowl team, beating every other team in the NFC East in a three-game stretch. Though it remains to be seen whether God really is on the Redskins’ side, He’s definitely not on the Ravens’ this year.”
Elliott Harrison, NFL.com: Ravens 34, Redskins 30
"For the second straight week, I'm predicting a high-scoring game, and for the second straight week, I'm picking the Washington Redskins to lose a close one. But I'm teetering. You can mount a case for either team. Ray Rice is the best player on the field. The Baltimore Ravens' defense, however, will have trouble with the Redskins' formations and Robert Griffin III's versatility."
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: Ravens 24, Redskins 23
"There is more than local bragging rights on the line in this short trip for the Ravens. While the red-hot Redskins have a shot to overtake the New York Giants in the NFC East, Baltimore still needs to worry about holding on to the AFC North lead and getting a bye. While rookie Robert Griffin III’s running has boosted Washington’s top-ranked rushing attack, the traditional ground game from rookie Alfred Morris has in turn set up big pass plays for Griffin. The Ravens, still battling through defensive injuries, need to stay disciplined. Baltimore’s defense has been good at bending without breaking to give the offense a chance.
This is a critical game for Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. Ray Rice will be held in check by the Redskins’ run defense, so the Ravens need to be aggressive with Flacco because Torrey Smith, Anquan Boldin, Dennis Pitta and Rice create issues for Washington’s vulnerable back seven coverage. The Ravens have been very good at rebounding from tough losses under John Harbaugh, and they will grind out a victory in their backyard."
Peter King, SI.com: Redskins 23, Ravens 16
"You know what the saddest part of this game is? That Ray Lewis won't be playing in it. Think about it. Ray Lewis is going to go down as a top 20 player of all time. Robert Griffin III is one of the most exciting rookies to enter the NFL -- ever. And Lewis is one week away from a likely return after his torn arm muscle. I just wish we could have seen Lewis chase RGIII once in an NFL game. Not that it'd be a fair fight, but just so we could say: Hey, Ray Lewis played against Robert Griffin III."
Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com: Redskins 26, Ravens 20
"The Ravens are struggling to score and now must go play a hot team in the Redskins. Washington has done some good things on offense in the past month and the Ravens defense isn't what we've come to expect. Look for the Redskins to inch closer to a potential playoff spot."
Peter Schrager, FoxSports.com: Redskins 31, Ravens 23
"The fine folks of Pikesville, Maryland don’t want to hear this, but the Ravens are in trouble. And they’re not just in trouble in terms of the No. 2 seed in the AFC (which the Patriots currently possess due to the NFL’s three-team tiebreaker rules), and not just the AFC North title, either — but for a playoff berth, at all.
The Ravens are 9-3, but have the Redskins in Washington this weekend, the Broncos in Week 15, the Giants in Week 16, and the Bengals in Cincinnati in Week 17. Are any of those games surefire wins? Baltimore’s been fortunate all season long. Did Week 13’s loss to the Charlie Batch-led Steelers expose the Ravens? We’ll find out rather quickly. RG3 could take this defense to school."
Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk: Redskins 13, Ravens 10
"The Ravens’ run defense is terrible, and the Redskins’ run offense is excellent. Washington will rush for 200 yards and win a tough, physical game."