To tell the tale of the matchup, I thought I would compile each team's stats and top performers.
The picture painted isn't pretty, sure, but it's worth noting that Ravens fans seem legitimately nervous about this game. May they have reason to be.
Ravens: 27.3 points per game, 389.8 yards, 257 passing, 132.8 rushing, 137 first downs, 35/78 third downs
Falcons: 27.3 points per game, 410 yards, 306.8 passing, 103.2 rushing, 128 first downs, 33/75 third downs
QB Joe Flacco: 140/220, 1,596 yards, 7.3 yards per attempt, 12 TDs, 3 INTs, 7 sacks, 97.8 rating
QB Matt Ryan: 149/234, 1,850 yards, 7.9 yards per attempt, 12 TDs, 7 INTs, 10 sacks, 92.7 rating
RB Justin Forsett: 64 attempts, 408 yards, 6.4 YPA, 3 touchdowns
RB Steven Jackson: 69 attempts, 263 yards, 3.8 YPA, 2 touchdowns
WR Steve Smith: 35 receptions, 573 yards, 16.4 per reception, 4 touchdowns
WR Julio Jones: 44 receptions, 620 yards, 14.1 per reception, 3 touchdowns
These teams are surprisingly close on offense. Flacco is having a nice year and the Ravens are noticeably better at running the football, but otherwise these are both fairly high-octane offenses.
The Ravens are doing good work behind a quality offensive line, which the Falcons are currently lacking. It's fair to wonder if these two offenses aren't headed in opposite directions, but as long as the Falcons have Ryan, Jones and Antone Smith, they've got the capacity to be dangerous.
Still, given the appreciable edge in the ground game and the resurgent year from Steve Smith and Flacco, you have to like the Ravens' offense a little more at the moment.
Edge: Ravens, slightly
Ravens: 16.2 points allowed per game, 361.2 yards per game, 270.5 passing, 90.7 rushing, 34/79 third downs, 10 sacks, 4 interceptions
Falcons: 28.3 points allowed per game, 419 yards per game, 278.8 passing, 140.2 rushing, 39/83 third downs, 6 sacks, 2 interceptions
Top Performers (by basic counting stats)
DE Elvis Dumervil: 11 tackles, 5 sacks
NT Haloti Ngata: 14 tackles, 2 interceptions
LB C.J. Moseley: 57 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 interception
LB Paul Worrilow: 64 tackles, 1 forced fumble
DE/LB Jonathan Massaquoi: 12 tackles, 2 sacks
SS Kemael Ishmael: 36 tackles, 1 interception
This is where the Ravens hold a significant edge, not just statistically but in terms of talent. They're allowing 58 fewer yards per game, giving up 12 fewer points per game and just generally doing a better job of stopping other teams than the Falcons. There's a massive chasm between what these two teams have been able to do on defense in the first six weeks of the season, in short.
Your thoughts on how these two teams stack up on offense and defense?