Ravens 18

(8-6, 2-5 away)

Lions 16

(7-7, 4-3 home)

Coverage: ESPN/WatchESPN

8:30 PM ET, December 16, 2013

Ford Field, Detroit, MI 

1 2 3 4 T
BAL 0 9 3 618
DET 7 0 3 616

Top Performers

Passing: M. Stafford (DET) - 235 YDS, 1 TD, 3 INT

Rushing: R. Bush (DET) - 17 CAR, 86 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: C. Johnson (DET) - 6 REC, 98 YDS

Ravens-Lions Preview


The Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions are both in position for playoff berths, but only one of them has made significant progress toward reaching that goal lately.

The surging Ravens, though, have also struggled on the road this season and will try to end those woes Monday night while dealing the host Lions another blow in NFC North race.

Baltimore (7-6) currently holds the final AFC wild-card spot, but only by a tiebreaker over Miami. The Ravens, who also lead San Diego and the New York Jets by one game, maintained that position by coming out on top in a wild game with Minnesota this past weekend.

The teams combined for 36 points in the final 2:05, with Baltimore scoring 22. The Ravens capped their incredible finish to that 29-26 victory with Joe Flacco's 9-yard pass to Marlon Brown with four seconds to go.

Its third straight win also kept Baltimore two games behind Cincinnati in the AFC North, but the Ravens will face three straight division leaders to conclude the regular season. Two of those games are on the road, including a visit to the Bengals in the regular season finale Dec. 29.

Baltimore is 1-5 away from home, losing its last three there.

"I think we've won the close games at home and we haven't won them on the road. That's the bottom line," coach John Harbaugh said. "We've done the things we needed to do to win tight games at home and we haven't done the things we've needed to do on the road. It's us."

The Lions (7-6) have had trouble in most of their recent games no matter where they've played, dropping three of four. They blew out Green Bay 40-10 on Thanksgiving but their inability to close out games resurfaced in Philadelphia this past weekend.

Detroit gave up 28 points in the final 15 minutes in a 34-20 loss -- its third blown fourth-quarter lead in the past three weeks -- and dropped into a tie with Chicago atop the division. The Lions own the tiebreaker thanks to their two wins over the Bears but know they have to get back on track quickly if they want to win their first division title since 1993.

"We'll just take this slap in the face and hope it wakes us up," cornerback Chris Houston said. "We have two straight home games and we have to go get them. We can't get down on ourselves. We are still in a good position in our division. I think we like when our backs are against the wall."

Detroit has committed a combined five turnovers in the final quarters of its last three losses and totaled 20 giveaways in its past six games.

"It's tough to win football games when you turn the ball over," said quarterback Matthew Stafford, who has seven interceptions and two fumbles in the last four games. "We know that. We're doing everything that we can to correct it."

Baltimore has forced just four turnovers in its last four games after tallying 13 in its first nine, but sacks leader Elvis Dumervil may return after a one-game absence due to a sprained left ankle.

"We're starting to get healthier. We're starting to put it together as a team," Flacco said. "We just need to start putting it together for a full 60 minutes and see where it takes us."

The Ravens, however, might face a motivated Calvin Johnson after Baltimore rookie safety Matt Elam called the All-Pro receiver "old" following some initial compliments.

"He's pretty old, so I don't know how physical he'll be," Elam said. "He's a big guy, but he's older. I guess when they get older they're not going to be as physical, you know what I'm saying? We're going to have to be physical, make him uncomfortable."

The Lions could also get leading rusher Reggie Bush back from a calf injury that kept him out of the loss to Philadelphia. Bush needs 147 yards to surpass 1,000 for the second time in his career.

Bush, though, was listed as questionable.

Baltimore has won two of its three meetings with the Lions and routed them 48-3 in the most recent one Dec. 13, 2009. The Ravens are making their second trip to Detroit and were beaten 35-17 in the other one Oct. 9, 2005.

Passing Leaders

L. Jackson64.428821613
T. Huntley64.9108134
J. Goff67.23245198
T. Boyle64.952636

Rushing Leaders

L. Jackson1337675.82
D. Freeman1335764.35
D. Swift1516174.15
J. Williams1536013.93

Receiving Leaders

M. Andrews107136112.79
M. Brown91100811.16
A. St. Brown9091210.15
T. Hockenson615839.64

Team Averages & NFL Ranks

Total YardsBAL
Yards PassingBAL
Yards RushingBAL
Yards AllowedBAL
Pass Yds AllowedBAL
Rush Yds AllowedBAL

Head to Head Matchups (Since 2001)

Baltimore leads 2-1
Dec 13, 2009BAL 48, DET 3
Oct 9, 2005BAL 17, @DET 35

Research Notes

Joe Flacco completed 80 percent of his red zone passes last week in Dennis Pitta's return, including three touchdowns. Prior, Flacco had completed 47 percent of his red zone passes this season, 26th in the league.
Matthew Stafford now has 3 4,000-yard passing season, the 3rd player to do that within his first 5 NFL seasons. The others are Peyton Manning (4) and Dan Marino (3).
Matthew Stafford threw two interceptions in the 4th quarter Monday night, and has now thrown the most 4th-quarter interceptions this season when the score is within five points. Stafford joined Tony Romo (Week 15) and Geno Smith (Week 2) as the only quarterbacks to throw multiple 4th-quarter interceptions in the same game when the score is within five points this season.
Matthew Stafford was 0-4 on passes more than 10 yards downfield in the first half.
Matthew Stafford threw two fourth-quarter interceptions, including one with 38 seconds left to seal the game. Stafford has completed 15-of-47 (32%) pass attempts in the fourth quarter in the Lions' last five games, the lowest fourth-quarter completion percentage since Week 11. - During the last three seasons, Stafford is 3-8 in December, a 27% win percentage. Only Ryan Fitzpatrick has a lower win percentage in December (25%) among quarterbacks with at least 10 starts during that span.
Justin Tucker made a franchise-record six field goals Monday night, including the game-winning 61-yarder. Tucker has made six field goals of at least 50 yards this season, tied for the most in the league. - The Ravens won despite not scoring a touchdown, becoming only the second team this season to do so (the New York Giants won 15-7 against the Eagles in Week 8). - According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Tucker's 248 total yards on his field goals was the fourth-highest total in a game in NFL history. - The Ravens' field goal unit has added 28.6 expected points this season, most in the league. For context, the Seahawks and Jets each have better field-goal percentages this season but have added 15.8 and 18.9 expected points, respectively. The Saints' field goal unit, which missed twice Sunday, is last in the league with -4.9 expected points added this season.
From Elias: Justin Tucker's 61-yard FG is the 2nd-longest FG made on Monday Night Football.
Torrey Smith has yet to catch a touchdown on a pass thrown more than 15 yards downfield this season. Smith had at least five such touchdowns in each of his first two seasons.
- The Lions have committed at least three turnovers in five consecutive games. The only team with a longer streak this season is the Giants (Week 1-6). - The Lions have committed 48 defensive penalties, including five on Monday. That total is tied with the Rams for the most in the league this season. - Calvin Johnson had two drops Monday, giving him a career-high nine on the season. The Lions have 44 drops this year, 12 more than any other team. - Joe Flacco was 6-of-15 (40%) on passes traveling 15+ yards downfield. Flacco's 15 deep attempts are tied for the most he has had in a game in his career. Coming into the game, he had completed 29% of his deep passes, third-lowest among qualified quarterbacks.
Joe Flacco was 4-of-14 for 45 yards with a sack when the Lions sent five or more pass rushers Monday. Flacco has averaged 5.4 yards per attempt against added pressure, the lowest among qualified quarterbacks this season.
The Lions were 6-3 and in 1st place in the NFC North entering Week 11, since then they have lost 4 out of 5. They have beaten themselves, dropping the most passes, throwing the most picks and committing the most turnovers in the NFL since then. Tonight epitomized that, they dropped 3 passes, threw 3 interceptions, committing at least 3 turnovers for the 5th straight game.
Matthew Stafford has a 12.1 Total QBR in the 4th quarter of the Lions last 5 games. Only Brandon Weeden has a worse 4th-quarter Total QBR over that span (2.8).
Matthew Stafford now has his 3rd career 4,000-yard passing season, the most 4,000-yard passing seasons in Lions history (Jon Kitna had 2 such seasons).
Joe Flacco has been under pressure on 144 dropbacks this season, already the most in a season for his career.

ESPN Stats & Information