1) Chipping away: Thanks to the execution of a well-devised game plan, quarterback Joe Flacco rarely hit the ground against the Bengals. Among offensive coordinator Cam Cameron’s strategies was to have Flacco move outside of the pocket on rollouts and bootlegs; use three step drop pass plays; and implement the chip-blocking scheme.
By chipping incoming pass rushers, not only did the backs and the tight ends do an excellent job of slowing down the rush, but they also became instant outlet receivers for Flacco to turn to. There were a number of instances when fullbacks Le’Ron McClain and Lorenzo Neal laid an initial block and then released into vacant spaces in the flat area.
Look for the same game plan to be utilized by the coaches against
2): On Edge: As Pittsburgh showed a week ago,
If the Ravens want to run the ball effectively, they may need to run away from this interior triangle and opt to test the perimeter. Outside backers Marlon Greenwood and Zach Diles are undersized and they struggle to shed blocks.
3) Testing Williams: Clearly, the emphasis for the offense will be to target Mario Williams. The electric pass rusher has been nearly unblockable since last season. There are a couple of ways that the Ravens can try to slow him down.
One, the team will likely run at the 2006 No.1 pick. Look for more unbalanced formations, with either Adam Terry or Willie Anderson pulled to the left side.
Two, when the Ravens show pass from the shotgun set, expect the use of draws and delays to keep Williams honest. If Williams bites too hard upfield to get to Flacco, either Ray Rice or Willis McGahee will have room to operate.
1) Zone blitz: After a miserable performance against
The Steelers used a combination of fake blitz looks to confuse Schaub and bait him into making the wrong checks at the line-of-scrimmage.
If Schaub had trouble discerning the Steelers’ defensive formations, he may struggle that much more against a
2) Four safeties: Compared to last season, the Ravens should be a much better third down defense. The team showed as much last Sunday against
Given that the team lacked corner depth with the losses of Fabian Washington and Derrick Martin, it played four safeties instead. The reason that this formation works so well for the Ravens is that backups Tom Zbikowski, Jim Leonard and Haruki Nakamura are all capable of attacking the line-of-scrimmage. If they line up as linebackers, they have the ability to stymie the run or blitz the quarterback.
Expect defensive coordinator Rex Ryan to dabble with this alignment against
3) Prepare for the Spread: The most perplexing aspect of last Sunday’s contest between the Ravens and the Bengals was that
The Ravens should be prepared for a different attack when they face the Texans. Like the Bengals,