Here's the thing. All the experts had the Texans pounding the Ravens last week. But the Ravens won by a convincing score, so now everyone is picking the Ravens to pound the Buffalo because the Bills lost last week.
A team's overall ability, though, doesn't change that much week to week, right? Same players, same coaching staff. Other things change from week to week, however. Your opponent, for example. Is it a road or home game? Injuries. Match-ups. Which team needs a win more, etc.
The betting line has the Ravens favored by 3.5—an indication to be "cautiously" optimistic for Sunday. Yes, the Bills' defense, its run defense, in particular, has been awful. But teams—look at the Ravens this year and last year versus the Texans, for example—generally play better defensively at home.
Also, the Ravens' offense hasn't set the world on fire, yet. Hopefully, Flacco and company will get on track in Buffalo, but the game could be close. Most experts seem to agree that the Ravens' pass rush vs. rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel, and the Ravens running attack against the Bills' defense are the two keys to game.
The chatter from various media outlets about the game:
Mike Rodak from ESPN: "There’s definitely concern with the Bills’ run defense. They’re actually allowing more yards per game than they did last season, when they allowed 145 yards per game, 31st in the NFL . . . However, it’s worth noting that teams are racking up most of their rushing yards in the middle of the field. Once opponents get deep inside Bills territory, they struggle to run. Buffalo allows just 2.36 yards per rush inside its own 25-yard line, 10th best in the NFL. That’s when a well-stocked defensive line, especially Kyle Williams, seems to be at its best."
Garrett Downing, BaltimoreRavens.com: "Much of the focus on the Bills this season has centered on their new signal caller. Buffalo drafted Florida State product EJ Manuel with the No. 16 overall pick and he’s been the team’s starter since the preseason. Manuel has been solid in his first three NFL games, completing 59 percent of his passes and throwing for 689 yards and four touchdowns, with only one interception."
From the Sporting News: "Running back Ray Rice (hip) missed the last game but practiced Wednesday and plans to play Sunday. Backup Bernard Pierce gained only 65 yards on 24 carries in his absence, and the Ravens will need better balance on the road. There is hope, as the Bills run defense is tied for 30th (155 YPG) and is banged up on the defensive line."
Shehan Peiris from Bleacher Report: "When defensive coordinator Dean Pees dials up the pressure, he has to take Manuel’s scrambling ability into account. Manuel is the latest dual-threat quarterback, and he’s already showcased the ability to make plays with his feet in his first three games."