The Baltimore Ravens are preparing for a huge game against the Buffalo Bills, and an interesting sidebar has now been added to the contest in the form of some light trash-talk.
While the Bills have generally avoided boisterous commentary, linebacker Matt Milano did make a comment late this week which likely opened some eyes on the Baltimore side of things. According to Milano, the Bills can stop Lamar Jackson this weekend.
For those that think Milano was being disrespectful of Lamar (which he wasn't), here's the next question and answer about how tackling the reigning MVP is, "a lot easier said than done."#BillsMafia #RavensFlock https://t.co/86ws5o9aIH
— Dan Fetes (@danfetes) January 14, 2021
Whether it was simple confidence or pure bravado, the fact is, proclaiming that Jackson can or will be stopped is a tough sell ahead of a huge game. Arguably, Jackson was the reason the Ravens won last weekend and upset the Tennessee Titans considering his electric 48 yard touchdown run was then backed up by a solid defense. Weather not withstanding, Jackson is always a few electric plays from changing a game. A team can think he’s contained, but he can erupt and change the course of a game with one or two plays.
Milano has 45 tackles, 3.5 sacks and 1 interception this season, so it’s a fair bet he will be a marked man for Jackson and the Baltimore offense, especially in the open field. It will now be up to Milano and the Bills defense to put their money where their mouth is regarding of the most explosive players in the game.
Lamar Jackson Hopes to Avoid Buffalo Snow
A big factor in Jackson’s effectiveness this weekend could be the weather. This week, speaking with the media, Jackson admitted he doesn’t have much experience to rely on in the snow, and would actually prefer if the weather wasn’t bad for the game.
Lamar Jackson said he has "zero experience" playing in the snow and he hopes he doesn't have to Saturday night.
— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) January 12, 2021
The comment is likely to catch many by surprise considering the Ravens will have to deal with the weather no matter what it is this weekend. As of now, the forecast for Saturday night in Orchard Park, New York calls for 31 degree temperatures and the potential for 1-3 inches of snow to fall. That wouldn’t please Jackson at all, it seems.
Jackson has played in cold and inclement weather before, but it’s not a surprise that a guy from Florida who played college football at Louisville wouldn’t exactly be thrilled with the chance for perception during a huge game.
Buffalo, meanwhile, will hope to use the elements to their advantage in the game. When the Bills claimed home field through the early part of the playoffs, it meant teams might have to deal with a situation just like this where snow or cold would impact them. With that in mind, the Bills could be favored if the elements come into play in a big way during the game. Perhaps Milano can be proven right with an assist to mother nature.
Why Lamar Jackson Could be Poised for Huge Game vs. Bills
Weather questions aside, Jackson comes into this divisional game with a huge opportunity to shift the narrative, and great athletes are always dangerous in those situations. It’s more than possible that Jackson will play looser and more confident now that he has managed to end his streak of playoff losses. Early in his career, that’s one storyline that seemed to dog Jackson the most. After Jackson made a huge play to drive the win, he could be ready to play his best football in a long time.
The Bills will have to hope they didn’t further awaken the sleeping giant with their comments this week, however respectful they may have seemed to be.