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 v. Broncos

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Offense 1.      Find Brian Dawkins: One of the big keys for success in the Ravens’ 30-7 romp over Denver a year ago had to do with their ability to complete timely passes against a tough Denver secondary. In particular, quarterback Joe Flacco did an outstanding job of recognizing the Cover One look that Denver employs quite often. Given safety Brian Dawkins’ ability to blitz and stuff the run, Denver will use him as a box player. Once he shifts from the deep half closer to the line of scrimmage, one...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens @ Steelers

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Offense 1.      Pass the ball on early downs: Winning the down-and-distance battle against the men of steel is absolutely critical. For an offense, not being on schedule toward third down conversions means being in danger against an opportunistic defense. The Steelers absolutely thrive in obvious passing situations. For the Ravens, gaining yardage on first and second down is a must. However, they won’t be able to consistently gain yardage through the running game, as the Steelers are the best early down run defense in the league. Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens v. Browns

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Offense 1.      No-huddle offense: The Ravens operated from a hurry-up, no huddle attack through their opening series in games against Carolina, Washington, and New York. One would have thought they were gearing up to use that approach in their opening tilts against the Jets and the Bengals. However, the offense huddled up in those games, perhaps in anticipation of the crowd noise. Now that the team will be at home against the Browns, there is a perfect opportunity to breakout their speed offense. Moreover, if the Ravens use this attack...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens @ Bengals

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Offense 1.      Hurried spread attack: Against the Jets, the Baltimore offense didn’t need to score a lot of points to win the game. The Bengals are a different animal. They have the offensive capability to either keep pace with the Ravens or to lap them. Therefore, the Baltimore offense will have to be in attack mode from the start. For the most part, the Ravens kept their offensive formations tight to counter the New York blitz. They will need to spread it out against a Bengals defense that will play...

Battle Plans: Ravens vs.Jets

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Offense 1.      Quick release: Whether the ball needs to be delivered off of a three-step, five-step or seven-step drop, quarterback Joe Flacco will need to get rid of the ball on time. If it’s a three-step pattern, he’ll need to be in rhythm once he firmly plants his foot in the ground. Given the speed of New York’s pass rush, any missteps by Flacco could result in a sack or a hurried throw. Moreover, the count should usually go to three and five steps until the offensive line can prove...

Why the Ravens picked back-to-back tight ends

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When Baltimore came back around in the fourth round and nabbed tight end Dennis Pitta from BYU, many observers were probably dumbfounded.   Two high-profile tight end prospects in back-to-back spots?   It seemed that the Ravens’ selection of Pitta and Ed Dickson may have been overkill.   However, there is definitely more than meets the eye. Although Pitta and Dickson are similar in size and weight measurables, and are exceptional pass catching tight ends with unrefined blocking skills, their roles and route combinations will be different in the offense. While...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens @ Colts, Divisional Playoff Game

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Offense   1)      Run deception: The play-action passing game is wide open for the Ravens on first down. Whether they are able to execute is a different story.                 Thanks to the attention that the Baltimore rushing attack has garnered over the week, the Indianapolis defenders will have their eyes in the backfield. At times this season, they have bitten up field to defend the run. However, they also have the speed to recover and break on the ball if the pass is delivered late.   Joe Flacco’s timing will need...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens @ Patriots Wild Card Game

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Offense   1. Quick drops: Against Pittsburgh and Oakland, quarterback Joe Flacco was sacked eight times. In particular, he and the offensive line struggled on third down, against heavy blitz packages.   Enter New England and Bill Belichick’s blitzkrieg scheme. Belichick doesn’t have the edge rushers that he’s had in years past, so he relies on exotic looks to breakdown protection. He’ll bring defenders from every direction, including from the secondary.   Against Baltimore in Week 4, New England blitzed Flacco often, and they will likely recycle the same formula....

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens @ Raiders

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  Offense    1)    Use Asomugha as a decoy: Coming into this game, the Raiders big focus will be to slow down the Baltimore rushing attack. Given that cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha is able to shut down his side without safety help, Oakland will drop strong safety Tyvone Branch into the box on early downs. If Branch plays close to the line, there will be one-on-one opportunities for the receivers to exploit on the outside. For quarterback Joe Flacco, he must find a way to move the single safety away from cornerback...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens @ Steelers

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Offense   1)    Exploit the B gap blitz: The Steelers continue to execute the crossfire blitz to perfection. The crossfire blitz involves the two inside backers crashing the A or B gaps at the same time, through a twisting motion.      However, against the Ravens, the Steelers changed up the look.   Instead of sending both inside linebackers, defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau sent Lawrence Timmons through the B gap. Timmons did a tremendous job of disguising his pre-snap movement to indicate that he would drop into coverage, only to crash...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens v. Bears

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Offense   1)    Decipher the A gap blitz: Over the years, the inside blitz has been a staple play for the Chicago defense. This design has the inside and weakside backers perched directly in front of the A gaps. The backers will either blitz simultaneously; bluff the blitz; or one linebacker will shoot the gap while the other will drop.   Quarterback Joe Flacco had a tough time with this look against Indianapolis. The inside linebacker did a nice job of disguising his movement to indicate blitz, only to drop into...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens v. Lions

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Offense   1)    Open attack from the start: The Ravens have reached the point where they can no longer afford to start slow on offense. Beginning every game in a two-back, one tight, two-wide set has yielded minimal results.   The team should open from a three-wide, shotgun spread formation. Detroit ranks dead last in pass defense, and the game plan should be to attack through the air on early downs. The offense needs to play with a killer instinct.   Moreover, this is also a game for quarterback Joe Flacco...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens @ Packers

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Offense   1)     Rev up the three-headed monster: The three-headed monster made its return of sorts against Indianapolis two weeks ago. In that ballgame, the trio of Ray Rice, Le’Ron McClain and Willis McGahee gained 98 yards. The key though was the distribution of carries, as McGahee and McClain logged a total of nine carries.   Against the stingy Steelers, the three backs carried the ball 29 times for 132 yards. The formula was similar; Rice carried the ball 19 times, while McGahee and McClain again received nine handoffs.   As...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens v. Steelers

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Offense   1)    Four-wide spread: Baltimore should take a page out of the Indianapolis game plan from a week ago. Last Sunday, the Colts started the game against the Ravens in a single back, four-wide look, in which tight end Dallas Clark flexed to the slot. With four targets spread evenly, the safeties had to honor the inside receivers. Thus, there were one-on-matchups available for Peyton Manning to exploit on the outside.   When Pittsburgh is in its base defense, the Ravens should pressure the safeties as much as possible. Spreading...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens v. Colts

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Offense   1)    Pass in running situations; run in passing situations: For years, the book on the Colts has been to run the ball right at them. Even during the ‘06 season, in which Indianapolis won the Super Bowl, the unit was dead last in the league against the run. But against Baltimore, it has been a different story. Since 2005, the Colts have limited Baltimore to 309 yards on 92 attempts, for an average of 3.3 yards per carry.   The Colts’ formula has been the same during this quasi-rivalry....

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens @ Browns

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Offense   1)    Diversified portfolio: For five straight games, the Ravens have stumbled out of the gate. The offense needs to play with better efficiency from the start or it will find itself behind the eight ball once again.   In particular, there needs to be a better mix of formations. Starting the game from a two-back, one tight, two-wide set has not worked well for the offense. The pattern of plays has been predictable, and defenses have shut that formation down on first and second down.   Against Cleveland, the...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens @ Bengals

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Offense   1)    Spread attack: In the first matchup between these two clubs, the Ravens emphasized protection first, and executed a conservative game plan. Given the potential mismatches up front, the offense stayed in more base formations and the drops were quicker for Joe Flacco.   With Jared Gaither back in the lineup at left tackle, the protection scheme is back in line. Now, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron can trust his front five to pick up the rush without help from extra blockers.   Arguably, the best formation that this offense...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens v. Broncos

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Offense   1)      Fast break offense: In the past two contests, the Ravens started slowly and were unable to establish an early rhythm. They can’t afford to do that again against a Broncos team that feeds off of staying close in every game. The offense will have to play aggressively and look to strike early to establish a lead. The key has to be to force Denver to play from behind; a position that the Broncos have not been in.   Moreover, in this case, the best defense could be the...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens @ Vikings

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Offense   1)      Attack the linebackers: The trio of Minnesota backers is as good a group against the run as there is in the league. They have great gap integrity, tackle well, and pursue from sideline-to-sideline. However, they are not as strong in pass coverage. This is a group that has given up big plays against tight ends. Specifically, Vernon Davis and Jermichael Finley put together two of the bigger performances by tight ends this season.   The Ravens will need the same type of effort from Todd Heap. Heap will...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens v. Bengals

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Offense   1)      Maximum Protection: With left tackle Jared Gaither on the mend, the line will have a reshuffled look heading into its matchup against the Cincinnati front seven. Rookie Michael Oher will man the blindside, while Marshall Yanda will take over for Oher on the right side. The two did an admirable job against the Patriots, but it will be a different ballgame against Cincinnati.   In Antwan Odom and Robert Geathers, the Bengals boast a pair of outstanding edge rushers. Both players are big, quick and use an array...