Originally written December 08, 2012 on RotoAsk:
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One of the marquee games from the early batch of games features the battle of Maryland, when the (9-3) Baltimore Ravens travel down the interstate to take on RG3 and the (6-6) Washington Redskins. The Ravens are coming off an embarrassing loss at home against Charlie Batch and the Pittsburgh Steelers, while the Redskins made their presence known under the Monday night lights getting the better of the defending Superbowl champs. Both teams have a lot on the line in this one. The Ravens have all but clinched the AFC North, and are trying to play for home field advantage because they are a much better home team. In fact, Joe Flacco’s quarterback rating is 30 points higher at home! The Redskins are one game behind the Giants for the division lead, and come into this one leading the league in rushing with 167 yards per game on the ground. Much of this is led by fellow rookie Alfred Morris, who has come out of nowhere to be one of the top running backs in the game, and a dark horse in the rookie of the year discussion. The Redskins have been a great story this year, much like the Colts, and are building a case for getting back to their glory days since they have a franchise quarterback in place. Much of their offense comes from the college pistol offence, which features speed in the back field and deception. If you watch tape, you see a lot of over aggressive pass rushers confused on who has the ball and where the ball is distributed. Ray Rice needs to be the center of attention for the Ravens to come away with the victory Griffin is a very efficient and accurate passer, but he’s not a gun slinger like most quarterbacks. Instead of throwing the ball away, he can scramble and pick up the first down or run it to a safe place. The problem is that he becomes susceptible in taking big hits. Being a slight quarterback, taking big hits over the course of his career is going to eventually slow him down and make him a pocket passer. The problem is, he’s an excellent pocket passer as well! I’m not sold on the Redskins in the this one. The Ravens are a tad over rated, but they are still one of the best teams in football and have the better defense, and better weapons on offense. If Joe Flacco can bounce back, and feed Ray Rice (which all fantasy owners want to see) the Ravens will be able to handle Griffin and the skins. The Ravens defense hasn’t been what we’ve all known it to be. You can run on them to the tune of 125 yards a game. Their red zone defense has been their saving grace, as they don’t give up a lot of points over the course of the game, averaging 20 points allowed a game. The defense travels well, and with Ed Reed patrolling center field, look for Griffin to keep it away from the ball hawk. The Ravens will win this game moving the ball with Ray Rice and eliminating mistakes with Joe Flacco. The Ravens have the advantage at all skill positions and have two great wide receivers in Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin. With injuries all over the Redskins defense, and Deangelo Hall a game time decision, Flacco will have a nice game. This game is a pick em for me as I see it going a couple different ways. I’ll have a better opinion tomorrow in my Winners column, but I have the Ravens winning it due to their many options of offense, and the better defense. Fantasy wise, this should be a fun game. I like Alfred Morris, RG3, Dennis Pitta, and Torrey Smith
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