About Dev Panchwagh

Dev Panchwagh

Dev Panchwagh is a versatile analyst who breaks down the Xs and Os of the game and has been a columnist/analyst for Ravens24x7.com since the summer of 2004. In his regular season column Battle Plans, Dev highlights the Ravens' keys to success against each upcoming opponent. Dev started modestly as a sports journalist, but his contributions to sports talk radio were noticed, leading to duties as a regular columnist for the Scouts.com network before joining RSR.  It would be very difficult to find his rare combination of youthfulness, knowledge and insight in all facets of football anywhere else.  Fortunately, Dev brings it here each and every week. 

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens vs. Steelers

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Offense Sugar is the Key Ingredient                 The last time these two foes met, the Ravens began to make long-term changes to their offensive attack. They went with more open shotgun sets, ran the ball from those formations, and even broke out their “sugar” huddle to quicken the pace in the second half. When the Ravens were in hurry-up mode, they had success moving the football and wearing out a Pittsburgh front that lacks the reliable front line rush they’ve had in years...

BATTLE PLANS: Everybody’s Going at Geno

Jets vs Steelers
  Offense Stay Out of Predictable Passing Situations For one of the few times this season, the Ravens were productive on first down in muddy Chicago. In staying balanced in those situations, the offense had more manageable third downs, and they were a bit more unpredictable overall. The Jets have a lethal pass rush and with Rex Ryan pulling the strings, it’s even more deadly in obvious passing situations. To keep Ryan from dialing up exotic looks on third down, the offense will need to stay on schedule. If they...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens at Bears

NFL: Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings
  Offense   Not your Father’s Bears For years, Chicago had backers that controlled the middle of the field. With the recent retirement of Brian Urlacher, and the loss of weakside backer Lance Briggs, the middle has less bite than ever before. Case in point, against the Lions, tight end Brandon Pettigrew consistently attacked the seams. In general, the Lions had no fear throwing the ball in at that area of the field against an ILB group that doesn’t get enough depth in their drops. For the Ravens to exploit...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens vs. Bengals

Suggs v Bengals
  Offense Three-Wide Attack The Ravens’ offensive display was hardly memorable against Cleveland last Sunday. However, one element that stood out was their changeup in personnel groupings. Instead of using heavy base packages on early downs, the team was in more three receiver sets, with Joe Flacco handling snaps from the gun. In fact, the pistol was also prominent, as the Ravens tried to adjust Ray Rice’s launch pad. Having more receivers on the field eventually paid off to wear out the Browns and spring some plays downfield, especially when...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens vs. Browns

Kruger v Ravens
  Offense Trick of Treat In order to counter Cleveland’s blitz, the Kansas City Chiefs relied on a well-coordinated passing attack that consisted of a variety of screens. In particular, the Chiefs were successful using misdirection screens in which they faked the play-side action to one side, only to get their backs out in space in the other direction. When the Browns were exposed on these plays, they gave up yards in chunks. Misdirection and screen plays have been few and far between in the Ravens’ playbook. However, with a...

Battle Plans: Ravens vs. Steelers

Torrey Smith Ike Taylor
  Offense Shorten the Passing Game on First Down It seems like the broken record we’ve been playing about passing the ball on first down is also getting air play in the Ravens’ locker room. Torrey Smith and Joe Flacco chimed in on the subject during their weekly press conferences, with Smith pointing out that short passes can act as an extension of the running game and enable the team to get ahead in the down-and-distance battle. Short passes on first down have seemingly been erased from the playbook, but...

Ravens Need to Take Handcuffs Off Flacco

Flacco looks to sideline
In staying up late to watch the San Diego Chargers the last two weekends, I’ve gained a greater appreciation for what head coach Mike McCoy has done to turn Philip Rivers around. He’s empowered his embattled quarterback and put the ball in his hands. Rivers has complete control of the passing game, and the Chargers rely on his arm to win or lose games. So far, Rivers has delivered his highest completion percentage of his career (72.6%), and he commands a passing game that runs fast or slow depending on...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens v. Packers

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Offense Pour Some Sugar on the Pack The Packers come into this game without their best pass rusher, Clay Matthews, who is sidelined with a broken thumb. Matthews is a jack-of-all-trades who rushes from the inside or outside, and had to be accounted for on every down. Green Bay will compensate for Matthews’ absence using a rotation of rushers that includes Mike Neal and Nick Perry. The duo may have combined for three sacks against Detroit, but their ability to sustain that productivity is a question mark. Despite struggling with...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens @ Dolphins

Ellerbe Dolphins
OFFENSE Misdirection Plays As fast as Miami plays on the defensive side of the ball, they can be over aggressive in spots, and the Saints certainly exploited their lack of discipline on Monday night. For instance, New Orleans used a combination of play-fakes, pump-fakes, and ghost plays—when receivers or backs are used as decoys—to get the Miami defenders to take false steps all over the field. Baltimore has hardly shown that level of creativity with their play-calling this season, but they will need to take a couple of pages out...

Eating Buffalo Wings with the Enemy

chicken wing
It was my first NFL road game. So what was the initial thought that crossed my mind when I entered the Ralph Wilson stadium area? This is a college scene. Between the sea of trailers in the parking lots, the single circular entrance, and the open, bowl-shaped seating arrangement, it screamed something different. However, as much as the energy and exuberance in the stadium was undeniable, there was also deep-rooted trepidation that permeated the stands. As jacked up as Bills fans were, they quickly burrowed into their seats as soon...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens vs. Bills

why so serious
Offense In Flacco We Trust The Ravens have struggled to establish a first half rhythm in their last two games, as they were shut out against Cleveland and only mustered a field goal drive against Houston. Without defensive and special teams help, they would have been in a bigger hole. In the second half of these games, it was a totally different story, as the team had more of a pass-first mentality and put the ball in Joe Flacco’s hands. The Ravens had an easier time moving the ball in...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens v. Texans

Flacco on run
WHEN ON OFFENSE Receivers Imitating Tight Ends Once Ed Dickson dropped the first pass attempt of the game, and Dallas Clark was rocked on a third down pass later in the drive, the tight ends completed disappeared from the game plan against Cleveland. Instead, offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell wisely redirected the passing game to his receivers. In the second half, the wideouts ran crossers underneath to defeat Cleveland’s blitz. In particular, Torrey Smith made his presence felt on over-the-middle routes. Quarterback Joe Flacco clearly had more trust in his receivers...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens v. Browns @ M&T Bank Stadium

Smith v Haden
Offense What can Brown Do for You? In his debut performance against the Denver Broncos, rookie receiver Marlon Brown snagged four catches for 65 yards and scored a touchdown. The 6’5” former Georgia Bulldog showed the same sharp route running and ability to work in traffic as he did during the preseason. Now, with Jacoby Jones being out for 4-6 weeks, he’ll make his first start against a Cleveland secondary that is undersized and undermanned at the cornerback position, apart from Joe Haden. With Hayden checking Torrey Smith—more on this...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens @ Broncos

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OFFENSE Singles, Doubles, and Triples It was the long ball that sank Denver’s Super Bowl hopes and dreams nearly eight months ago. The Ravens still have the speed demons to drown the Broncos yet again. However, chances are defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio won’t use as much single-high coverage as he did a year ago—particularly with a gimpy Champ Bailey, who may not even play (game time decision). Expect the two-deep zone to be in play early and often to negate Baltimore’s vertical passing game. The pressure will be on...

Pees to Bring Mayhem Back to Ravens’ Defense?

Dean Pees
Last season, out of necessity, the theme of the 2012 Baltimore defense was bend but don’t break. As the best red zone defense in the NFL, the Ravens certainly held up when they needed to. However, they weren’t themselves. They weren’t imposing their will. And they weren’t creating as many turnovers, only forcing 12 fumbles and 13 interceptions. Thirteen teams finished with more turnovers. Instead of attacking, the defense was holding on for dear life. Once the unit was healthy and able to showcase all of their key defensive players...

Bet on the Ravens being better in 2013

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I’m not a betting man, but here’s a tip: Take the 30-1 odds that Vegas has listed for the Ravens winning the Super Bowl and run with it. Don’t even think twice about it. The reality is that those are the best odds that you’re going to get for any legitimate Super Bowl contender, let alone the defending champs. The Ravens continue to get questioned by the odds makers and the media who conduct daily dissections of a group of former players who have been “whacked” (if you’re a fan...

Brown Adds Missing Dimension to Defense

Arthur Brown takes down RGIII
In the NFL, if speed kills, then slow leads to a fast death. With so many offenses showing read-option looks and spread formations while becoming more pass-happy overall, inside linebackers have to be able to cover a lot of ground. Although brute force is still needed in certain situations, the days of thumpers being able to stay on the field without being exposed are dwindling. Last year, the Ravens paid the price for not having enough athleticism on the field. Being able to defend stretch runs, iso patterns against tight...

Huff on Ravens Radar Screen Again

michael-huff
Remember when the Ravens drafted Haloti Ngata as their first-round pick before the season? Although he was highly coveted by the Baltimore brass, he wasn’t the only player they had their eye on near the top of the draft. Safety Michael Huff was billed as a blue-chip safety coming out of Texas. At the time, the Ravens needed a safety alongside of Ed Reed. They also needed a young corner that could eventually fill the shoes of Chris McAlister and Samari Rolle. Huff was someone the front office liked a...

Dumervil Addition Means Positive Subtraction for Suggs & Ngata

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Now that Elvis has officially entered the building (I only have one more day left to use that catchphrase), the fun begins for defensive coordinator Dean Pees. He’ll have to figure out which players to rotate in and out of his lineup, especially when the defense is in its sub packages. Dumervil is yet another addition to the front line along with defensive ends Chris Canty and Marcus Spears. This is arguably the deepest front that Baltimore has had since the 2006 team. In that year, the Ravens fielded Trevor...

Rest Assured There is a Plan in Baltimore

Ozzie Close
In the Dark Knight, there is an unforgettable scene in which the Joker explains his view of anarchy to Harvey Dent. He explains that when people expect something to take place – no matter how heinous in nature – order is still maintained among the masses. But when events take place on the fly, chaos ensues. Right now, it seems to some Ravens observers that chaos is in full effect in Baltimore as it was in Gotham City. It’s as if the general manager Ozzie Newsome has lost his mind....