Looking At The Enemy: Week 14 and 15

Mitch Stringer-US PRESSWIRE

In an eight part series, I will take a look at the opponents that the Ravens will face in the 2013 season.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS – Week 14 – Sunday, December 8th – M&T Bank Stadium

With a week and a half off after the Thanksgiving tilt with the Steelers, the Ravens should be refreshed when welcoming the Minnesota Vikings to town. A surprise playoff team last year, the Vikings are hoping to build on that success.

They come into this game obviously led by Adrian Peterson, who is going for 2,500 yards this year (according to him). The Vikings have made some meaningful upgrades on offense and defense and had an outstanding draft. They ended up with three picks in the first round.

Biggest Addition: Greg Jennings is moving from one NFC North Division team to another. The Vikings picked up a former Packer rival to give Christian Ponder some more options. This will be a great pickup for the Vikings if he is able to stay healthy. In the minds of Vikings’ fans, he already has some shoes to fill...

Biggest Loss: Percy Harvin is one of the most dynamic players in the NFL and the Vikings shipped him to the Pacific Northwest. They were able to get some very good draft picks back for him. Time will tell if this is a good trade, but currently Harvin is a player that you cannot just get in the draft or free agency, he is that kind of player.

Rookie To Watch For: How did Sharrif Floyd slip to the 23rd pick in the draft? Well, the Vikings are certainly thankful for that. He will be a force to be reckoned with from day one. He was an outstanding interior lineman at Florida and now he will have a chance to play next to Kevin Williams. Look out.

DETROIT LIONS – Week 15 – Monday, December 16th – Ford Field

It has been almost eight years since the Ravens and Lions met in the Motor City. Many of you might remember that game for the amount of penalties that were called on the Ravens. Anthony Wright was at the helm for the purple and black and the team committed 21 penalties. If someone could have jumped off-sides on the last play, the Ravens could have shared the record.

A lot has happened to both franchises since then, the Ravens found a quarterback and the Lions made the playoffs! This late season matchup could be key for playoff positioning for both teams. This will also give the Ravens a chance to see the wonders of Calvin Johnson first hand.

Biggest Addition: This move went largely under the radar, but the Lions picked up Reggie Bush. I think Bush will work great in their pass happy offense. The Lions have struggled for any sort of consistency at running back and hope they have found that in Bush. He is not going to be someone who can carry the ball 25 times a game, but he is a dynamic player that fits into their offense.

Biggest Loss: Cliff Avril can be a premier pass rusher in this league. He has only missed 7 games in his entire career. In the last three seasons, he has amassed 29 sacks. This is going to be tough for them to replace, but they are trying...

Rookie To Watch For: Ziggy Ansah is by all accounts very new to football. He played his first snap only 3 years ago as a walk on at BYU. The Lions have taken a huge risk with this pick, but it could be a huge success as Ansah is an incredible athlete.

In the last installment, we will take a look at the Ravens’ Week 16 and 17 opponents – the New England Patriots and Cincinnati Bengals.

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