Based on the Ravens' history of playing down to their competition at times, the thought of this being a trap game only naturally enters the mind.
The Vikings are a dismal 3-8-1 for the season, though they have played well over the past couple of weeks in a tie against Green Bay (without Aaron Rodgers) and in an overtime win over Chicago. Even though the Vikings are trotting out Matt Cassel at quarterback, they still have Adrian Peterson at running back — a rare player that can create plays when seemingly nothing is available in front of him.
But that's about it for the Vikings. To be honest and fair, the Vikings are a one-man show on offense with Peterson. The defense has a few quality players in the front seven — namely Jared Allen, Erin Henderson, Brian Robison and Chad Greenway.
Even so, the Vikings have been prone to giving up 120.6 yards per game, which ranks 23rd in the NFL. The secondary has been one of the league's worst, surrendering 287 yards per game, which checks in at 30th. The Ravens can't run the ball. But the deep ball has been present the past two games.
I do believe this has the potential of being a trap game. The Ravens have to avoid playing down to the level of competition in front of them. The good news is that this is a home game. Generally, the Ravens' woes against inferior teams happens on the road.
With Flacco able to connect with both Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones in the deep passing game of late, the Ravens should be able to come out of this one with a win. On top of that, the Ravens, playing in what will be a chilly afternoon game, should be able to cover the 6.5-point spread.
Prediction: Ravens 23, Vikings 16