NEWS

OPPOSING VIEW: Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun says it will come down to Megatron

Posted Dec 16, 2013

One big factor to the Ravens beating the Lions on Monday Night will be their ability to contain wide receiver Calvin Johnson

This week's Opposing View comes from Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. Wilson has covered the NFL since 1997 and the Ravens since 2001, joining The Baltimore Sun in 2012. He's on Twitter: @RavensInsider and also writes for National Football Post.

Jacoby JonesA healthy Jacoby Jones has been a big factor in the Ravens' current winning streak. (Photo: AP Images)

What has been the biggest factor in Baltimore's recent three-game winning streak?

Wilson: The Ravens' winning streak has primarily been fueled by an improved deep passing game where they've benefited from a healthy Jacoby Jones opposite Torrey Smith. The return of tight end Dennis Pitta from hip surgery during training camp provided a boost against the Minnesota Vikings. The defense has been bend-but-don't-break the last two games after a solid performance against the Jets where they confused rookie quarterback Geno Smith.

What is the toughest matchup for the Ravens on Monday night?

Wilson: It's close between defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh against the Ravens' undersized interior offensive line and wide receiver Calvin Johnson against the Ravens' secondary, but the offensive line hasn't totally collapsed against big defensive linemen this season, including the Dolphins' Paul Soliai, the Browns' Phil Taylor and the Jets' Muhammad Wilkerson. Given how vulnerable the Ravens have been to deep passes and how Johnson tends to use any slights against him with the latest being Ravens rookie safety Matt Elam's "old" comments, the nod has to go to Johnson.

Who is one player Lions fan might not know but could have a huge impact in the game?

Wilson: Rookie wide receiver Marlon Brown is a big red-zone threat at 6-foot-5, 205 pounds and leads the team with six touchdown catches. He went undrafted out of Georgia and runs well after the catch.

What's been the biggest factor in Joe Flacco's up and down season?

Wilson: He hasn't had receivers who regularly make contested catches like Anquan Boldin and Dennis Pitta last season. He's forced throws into tight areas, thrown off his back foot and stared down reads on occasion, had receivers drop passes that were intercepted at least three times and his pass protection hasn't been great.

The Ravens will win if …

Wilson: They somehow contain Calvin Johnson, force some turnovers by Matthew Stafford and manage to be creative offensively to keep the Lions honest by building a semblance of a running game against a stout front seven.

Twentyman Articles