Ravens vs. Lions: TV Info, Spread, Injury Updates, Game Time and More

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Ravens vs. Lions: TV Info, Spread, Injury Updates, Game Time and More
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Once again the NFL schedule has done right by fans, because the Week 15 edition of Monday Night Football from Ford Field featuring the Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions may decide the playoff fates for both.

The 7-6 Lions have dropped three of their last four, but they still sit in first place in the NFC North—but only via a tiebreaker over Chicago, a team with a matching record.

It is a familiar tale for the visiting team, too. Baltimore has won four of five and three straight, but the Ravens sit two games behind Cincinnati in the AFC North at 7-6. The best bet for the Ravens is a wild card, but they face division leaders in each of their three remaining games, two of which come on the road—where Baltimore is 1-5 on the year.

Get ready for a classic strength vs. strength matchup here on Dec. 16 under the national spotlight.

 

When: Sunday, Dec. 16, at 8:30 p.m. ET

Where: Ford Field, Detroit, Mich.

Watch: ESPN

Live Streaming: NFL Sunday Ticket

Betting Lines (via Vegas Insider

  • Over/Under: 48
  • Spread: Detroit (-6)

 

Ravens Injury Report (via NFL.com

Ravens Injury Report
Name Position Injury Practice Status Game Status
Elvis Dumervil LB -- Did Not Participate In Practice --
Brynden Trawick S -- Limited Participation in Practice --
Lardarius Webb CB -- Limited Participation in Practice --

NFL.com

 

Lions Injury Report (via NFL.com

Lions Injury Report
Name Position Injury Practice Status Game Status
Calvin Johnson WR -- Limited Participation in Practice --
LaAdrian Waddle T -- Limited Participation in Practice --
Israel Idonije DE -- Did Not Participate In Practice --
Reggie Bush RB -- Did Not Participate In Practice --
Darius Slay CB -- Did Not Participate In Practice --
Chris Houston CB -- Did Not Participate In Practice --
Ezekiel Ansah DE -- Did Not Participate In Practice --
John Wendling S -- Did Not Participate In Practice --
Louis Delmas S -- Did Not Participate In Practice --

NFL.com

 

Can the Defending Champs Overcome Road Woes and Back Up the Talk?

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore surely does not lack for confidence heading into a matchup against a Detroit team that is 4-2 at home and boasts an offense that scores an average of 26.6 points per game—five teams score more.

In fact, Baltimore does not seem concerned with the task of shutting down receiver Calvin Johnson, who has 75 receptions for 1,351 yards and 12 touchdowns on the year. Rookie safety Matt Elam elected to add fuel to the fire earlier in the week with comments about Megatron's age and physicality, per David Ginsburg of the Detroit Free Press:

He’s pretty old, so I don’t know how physical he’ll be. He’s a big guy, but he’s older. I guess when they get older they’re not going to be as physical, you know what I’m saying? We’re going to have to be physical, make him uncomfortable.

For the record, Johnson is 28 years old. Fellow receiver Nate Burleson seemed dumbfounded by the comments, as captured by Paula Pasche of the Oakland Press:

While Baltimore has ranked in the top 10 against the rush this season, the one blemish for the solid defense has come against the pass. The Ravens give up an average of 231.7 yards per game and are coming off a 29-26 win over 3-9-1 Minnesota—where Baltimore needed 22 points in the fourth quarter to come back after allowing journeyman quarterback Matt Cassel to throw for 265 yards and two touchdowns.

In Detroit, Baltimore must play much better to escape with its second road win of the year.

 

Prediction

Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford is no Cassel. The Georgia product has completed 58.3 percent of his passes this year for 3,976 yards, 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Monday, Stafford will have a motivated Megatron to work with as the team's Twitter account illustrates:

Which team wins?

Submit Vote vote to see results

To make matters worse for Baltimore, the Lions will likely have running back Reggie Bush back (1,302 total yards, five touchdowns).

All in all, a Baltimore offense that averages just 21.4 points per game behind the arm of quarterback Joe Flacco (3,238 yards, 18 touchdowns to 17 interceptions) will have a hard time keeping pace. The Lions rank in the top 10 against the rush, where Baltimore has struggled thanks to Ray Rice's three yards per carry average.

Perhaps Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun puts it best:

John Harbaugh is right. The Ravens will have to play their best game this season to beat the Lions. Considering that they haven't played well on the road all year and they struggle against good defensive fronts, I don't like their chances of doing that Monday night.

Road woes, an anemic offense and unnecessary motivation for an explosive offense via prodding one of the NFL's best players is simply a bad recipe for the Ravens on Monday night.

 

Final Score: Lions 28, Ravens 23

 

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