Bills beating the Ravens? Smith says it's 'an unequivocal no' originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
After a strong regular season and a Wild Card round win over the Indianapolis Colts, many believe that the Buffalo Bills are on their way to a potential AFC Championship matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Are the Bills capable of dethroning Patrick Mahomes and the reigning Super Bowl champs?
ESPN's Stephen A. Smith feels that is a little premature. There's still a game before that against the Baltimore Ravens, one he doesn't see Buffalo pulling out.
"An unequivocal no," Smith said on ESPN's First Take. "To win the Super Bowl you got to get to the AFC Championship game first. How the hell you going to do that getting through the Baltimore Ravens? I don’t see that happening.”
Smith is a fan of what the Bills have, specifically with MVP candidate quarterback Josh Allen and All-Pro wide receiver Stefon Diggs. It's quickly become one of the top duos in the league and a connection that is hard to defend.
However, Smith believes that if anyone is going to slow them down, it's the Ravens. With talent in the secondary led by Marlon Humphrey, there's a chance Baltimore can slow down Diggs and force the Bills to go another route in terms of putting up points.
“It’s all nice, fine and dandy. Here’s the problem, you are going up against a Baltimore Ravens defense that is number two in the entire National Football League. Number six against the pass, number eight against the run," Smith said. "They are a complete, defensive football team.”
“I don’t know if I’m going to anticipate Josh Allen and Stefan Diggs being that matchup nightmare that the Baltimore Ravens can’t handle," Smith said.
On the other side of the ball, Smith also feels that quarterback Lamar Jackson could be a nightmare for the Bills. The quarterback's dual-threat style can give any defense fits, but what happened against the Titans in the Wild Card has Smith thinking the 2019 MVP could be even more lethal.
Putting to bed old narratives and picking up his first playoff win, Jackson could enter the Divisional Round playing loose. That's something no team wants to see.
"Now that Lamar Jackson has got that monkey off of his back, that proverbial monkey off of his back, having won a playoff game," Smith said. "How that pressure ultimately has dissipated dramatically, him going up against the Buffalo Bills and being able to create the havoc that he is going to be able to create, combined with that defense, I’m sorry I just don’t see it.”
Smith thinks the future is bright in Buffalo and there are pieces there for success. Yet when it comes to a potential Super Bowl run this season, the Ravens may have something to say about it.
“I think Baltimore obviously is going to give them a lot of trouble," Smith said. "I don’t see a Super Bowl in the Bills picture this year. Not even close.”