Which AFC Wild Card teams should the Ravens fear most?

If the No. 1 seeded Baltimore Ravens aren’t careful, they may be on upset alert. Which AFC Wild Card team poses the most significant threat to their season?

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by NFL Films (@nflfilms)

Buffalo Bills | QB Josh Allen

The Buffalo Bills overcame some early season woes and finished the season on a five game winning-streak. The Bills will host the Pittsburgh Steelers as the No. 2 seed in the AFC Wild Card, a have a huge opportunity to regain some momentum in front of their home crowd.

Bills quarterback Josh Allen poses as a dual-threat on offense both as a runner and passer. If the Bills play the Ravens, defensive coordinator Mike MacDonald will need to account for this dynamic by placing his all-pro linebackers Roquan Smith or Patrick Queen, as a QB spy on Allen.  This sort of adjustment would force the Ravens to play more man coverage and lessens their zone blitz allowances.

Sure the Ravens led the NFL in total sacks but if you look closely at their season schedule, you will see that they have not played a quarterback with the mobility that Allen possesses. Like it or not, the Bills pose as a threat to upset the Ravens in the playoffs because their offense is very powerful when Allen isn’t throwing interceptions.

Cleveland Browns | Total Defense

Cleveland Browns wide receiver <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Amari Cooper;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Amari Cooper</a> (2) warms up before kickoff against the <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Houston Texans;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Houston Texans</a> during an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023, in Houston. The Browns defeated the Texans 36-22. (Cooper Neill via AP)

Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz continues to be a  stealth mastermind. The Browns rank No. 1 in the NFL in total yards allowed per game, and they have quarterback Joe Flacco leading their offense. Flacco won Super Bowl XLVII with the Ravens in 2013 and has adequate experience winning big games on the road.

The Browns forced Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson into two interceptions when they defeated the Ravens at home on Nov. 12. The Ravens have allowed 41 sacks this season and Browns defensive end Myles Garrett has been wreaking havoc all year. With a proven ability to run the ball versus the Ravens defense and a stout defense of their own, the Browns are well equipped to potentially upset Baltimore.

Houston Texans | HC DeMeco Ryans

Houston Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans stands on the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Arizona Cardinals;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Arizona Cardinals</a>, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

When the Ravens had an unseemly first-half struggle versus the Houston Texans in week 1, it left many scathing their heads. Having now won the AFC South, the Texans have an identity and a quarterback named C.J Stroud who threw for 4,108 yards in just 15 games played. The team has thrived under the leadership of first-year head coach DeMeco Ryans who spent several seasons molding the linebacker play of the well-thriving San Francisco 49ers.

Having played linebacker for several seasons in the NFL and showing himself successful in coaching, Ryans has the wisdom needed to lead the Texans in the playoffs. The Texans are allowing opponents just 20.8 points per game and will be looking to defeat the Browns in the AFC Wild Card. If the Ravens matchup with Houston they should avoid turning the game into an offensive shootout,

Story originally appeared on Ravens Wire