49ers vs. Ravens Week 12 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Alex Smith or Joe Flacco?
The 49ers and Ravens both are in the middle of heated races for the #1 seed of their respective conferences. Both quarterbacks have been throwing the ball a lot lately, and contrary to popular belief, I believe this trend will continue on Thursday Night Football.
Both quarterbacks will have opportunities for big-time plays. The Ravens have been living and dying on the arm of Joe Flacco. Alex Smith has been a much more consistent performer, though he lacks the lofty numbers of others.
The 49ers defense is healthy, mean, smart and fast. They are the best in the NFL at creating turnovers, and they are equally good at getting pressure on their opposing quarterback.
This sets up a scenario where I would stay away from Joe Flacco and definitely sit him. I expect at least two turnovers from Flacco against the 49ers defense.
On the other side, the Ravens defense may have to go without their leader, Ray Lewis. At this moment, it is unknown whether Lewis will be able to suit up. Lewis is the vocal leader on that defense, and if he can't make it they will have a hard time staying disciplined against an offense that has been one of the most balanced offenses in the NFL.
Alex Smith is ranked second only behind Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers in touchdown/interception ratio, and I expect nothing less than what he has managed to do all season long. He will be sharp, accurate and quick with his reads.
You should start Alex Smith and expect him to shine on Thursday Night Football, Thanksgiving night.
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