Week Eight Thursday Night Football Preview: Baltimore Ravens @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Week Eight Thursday Night Football Preview: Baltimore Ravens @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Week Eight Thursday Night Football Preview: Baltimore Ravens @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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On this week’s edition of Thursday Night Football… the Baltimore Ravens and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. You heard that right, for the second week in a row the football gods have decided to throw the NFL fanbase a bone and give them a good matchup. The Ravens will take a trip down to Raymon James stadium in beautiful Tampa, Florida for a 8:15 PM EST primetime matchup against the Bucs. 

The Ravens have been a good team throughout the season, hovering just above .500 at 4-3 due to the nature of their schedule. With losses to the Bills, Dolphins, and Giants, who are a combined 15-5, this team is much better than their record indicates. Sitting in first place in the AFC North with the head-to-head win over the Cincinnati Bengals, the Ravens need to capitalize on their non-conference games because the AFC North is always a dogfight. 

Lamar Jackson has been heavily relied on for this team to win games, and he may be missing one of his best assets with Rashod Bateman, who missed practice due to a foot injury and questionable for Thursday night. Jackson is fresh off one of his “lesser” games of the year, with 210 yards through the air and 77 on the ground for one passing touchdown and one interception. Kenyan Drake’s emergence last game was a key for the Ravens, averaging 11.9 yards per carry for 119 yards and a touchdown. The offense needs to take advantage of their scoring opportunities this week considering the volume they put up. 

On the other sideline, the Buccaneers have had quite the season. Sitting at 3-4 and on an ugly two game losing streak to the likes of the lowly Pittsburgh Steelers and a Carolina Panthers team that had their third-string quarterback starting and an interim head coach. It’s hard to imagine this is the swan song Tom Brady expected coming out of retirement, but the Buccaneers showed their flashes in the early portions of the season. They still control their own destiny in the NFC South, tied atop the standings with an Atlanta Falcons team that is supposed to be rebuilding. 

Brady is the biggest question mark on this team. Despite a touchdown-to-interception ratio of eight to one, he is a shell of his former MVP self. Controversy has engulfed him, turning the usual headlines about a potential MVP season to bombshell pieces about his home life and videos of his sideline fits of rage. Can Tampa Tom get it together? It needs to turn around soon or his imagined ride into the sunset will be remembered as the time Brady did not know when to call it quits. 

Brady is not the only one to blame, but it’s hard not to make him the scapegoat. This team boasts weapons across the board and have yet to play to their full potential. A primetime win against Lamar Jackson and his very good Ravens team would do wonders for team moral and turning their season around. 

Both these teams are looking to turn towards the realm of consistency and are players in their respective divisions. As we get right into the thick of the season, games like this are important wins both on paper and in the locker room. Tampa Bay has been all over the place this entire season, particularly floundering the last two weeks. That is why Baltimore has the edge this week, but the Ravens need to look out, because the Brady-led Buccaneers can get it together at any moment. Despite this, give me the Ravens to win this matchup.

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