Jacksonville’s game plan has changed slightly since the first meeting.
Red. Alert. This game actually triggered our third-highest MahScore of the NBA calendar, which tells you how steep the fatigue mountain is that the Bulls will have to climb. This will mark their fifth game in seven days. It will mark their third game in four days. And it will mark the second of a back-to-back set, with both of those games coming on the road. (Plus, they’ll be crossing a time zone: not good!) So after facing the Mavericks in Dallas on Jan. 5, the Bulls will head out that same night for Indianapolis — and lose an hour in the process — to face the Pacers less than 24 hours later. And it’s not as if the Pacers need much of an edge here, but they’ll enter this game with a two-day rest advantage.
Sound the alarms from the mountain tops! This game has the most severe MahScore of 2017-18, folks. So feel free to send thoughts and prayers to the Mavericks in advance, because they’re going to need help. It’s tough enough that the Mavericks will be playing their third game in four days (and their fifth game in eight days). It’s tough enough that this will be the second of a home-road back-to-back set. But then consider the travel. The Mavericks will face the Magic at home on Jan. 9, then head out that night for Charlotte — a trek that will cost them an hour and which will span, oh, more than 900 miles as the crow flies. And somehow, someway, the Hornets will enter this game with a four-day rest advantage. You read that right: four days. Thoughts and prayers, Dallas. Thoughts and prayers.
Brown caught 10 passes for 157 yards in the first meeting against Jacksonville, which won 30-9 in early October. Ben Roethlisberger targeted Brown a staggering 19 times, with three of those ending up as interceptions.
He’s an elite player, Ramsey said. Highly regarded by everybody, honestly, around the nation or maybe internationally. So, yeah, it’s going to be a challenge. We’re going to have to be on our Ps and Qs and try to execute the game plan as best we can.
Ramsey and fellow Pro Bowl cornerback A.J. Bouye played sides to start the season, covering whatever receiver lined up in front of them. But Ramsey has since started following the top wideout for every opponent all over the field, and he’s had rousing success against Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins, Indianapolis’ T.Y. Hilton, Cincinnati’s A.J. Green, Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald, Los Angeles Chargers’ Keenan Allen and San Francisco’s Marquise Goodwin.