The Bengals loss on Sunday night means both teams tonight can now win their respective divisions by winning out over the last three weeks. Though even with a victory night, it’s hard to say that the Ravens or the Lions are a lock to take care of business over those last two games. Baltimore has a date with New England on Sunday then a trip to Cincinnati the following week.
Detroit’s final two weeks are certainly kinder, as games against the Giants and Vikings are all that remains for them after this evening. Though a weak schedule hasn’t necessarily translated to success for Detroit. Losses to Pittsburgh and Tampa helped turn what was a promising 6-3 start to a 7-6 team on the verge of blowing its golden opportunity to take the NFC North with Aaron Rodgers absence.
In last week’s Snow Bowl in Philly, Detroit had a 14-0 lead in the third quarter only to watch an Eagles offense quickly find its bearings. It didn’t help that the Lions were on the wrong end of a few questionable calls and what seemed like 8,000 fumbled snaps between Dominic Raiola and Matt Stafford. After being late scratch last week, Reggie Bush is expected to get his regular workload tonight.
Both teams are stingy against the run though careless with the ball on offense. At -10 and -5, the Lions and the Ravens have the two worst turnover differentials of all teams with a winning record.
Finally, there are the sure to be often referenced and exaggerated comments by Ravens rookie safety Matt Elam about Calvin Johnson being old. In fact, at this point it doesn’t even matter that Elam was mostly complimentary of Megatron as the negative stuff has been bandied so extensively. Not that it has any bearing on how the game plays out, but Megatron-Negatron battle will be gagged on no matter who comes out looking better.