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. Browns

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Offense 1.      Don’t press Quarterback Joe Flacco’s patience will be tested on Sunday. The Browns play a more conservative scheme than what Flacco has seen from other defenses this season. They are not nearly as exotic and keep their safeties back, which is a big reason for why they are ranked first in pass defense. The Browns try to generate a rush using their line and sparingly using their backers. Although they haven’t exactly generated a consistent rush (22 sacks), they’ve been able to force quarterbacks to hold the ball...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens v. 49ers

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Offense 1.      Quick screens and draws   The Ravens were able to tap back into their screen game against the Bengals, with varying success. However, when they were able to hit on a play, it went for a first down. Against a fairly aggressive San Francisco front seven, screens and draws to Rice might be the best way to get him the ball. The 49ers are the best in the league against the run, so using Rice to run straight ahead will be a tough proposition. On the other hand,...

Battle Plans: Bengals vs. Ravens

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Offense 1.      Return of the jump ball Against the giant Seattle cornerbacks, the Baltimore receivers were mostly ineffective. The same high-traffic catches that receivers Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith have made all year along the sidelines weren’t in play. There should be better chances for these two pass catchers to operate against veteran cornerbacks Nate Clements and Kelly Jennings. If the Bengals use more man coverage on the outside – which defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer has been known to do against Baltimore — Boldin and Smith will have the height...

Battle Plans: Ravens vs. Seahawks

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Offense 1.      Fast start After two big wins against the Steelers and the Texans, the Ravens took to the road against inferior opponents and fell apart. Now, with a third such opportunity looming in Seattle, it’s imperative that the offense is ready to start fast. This is a prime opportunity for the passing offense to get a rhythm established against a Seattle pass defense and a pass rush that is subpar. Even entering the noise of the Seattle stadium, quarterback Joe Flacco should be able to engineer an effective hurry-up...

Battle Plans: Ravens @ Steelers

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Offense 1.      Rice the decoy In Week One, Ray Rice was king of the jungle. He was a force in the passing game and running game, and the Pittsburgh defenders had a hard time keeping him contained. One has to believe that legendary defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau will have a scheme to bottle up Rice. In a game like this, it’s quite possible that Rice could open things up for his offensive teammates. Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron should fake the ball to Rice on pitches and play-fakes, getting the Pittsburgh...

Battle Plans: Cardinals vs. Ravens

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Offense 1.      Two-tight end sets It would behoove offensive coordinator Cam Cameron to make use of his talented, second-year tight ends Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta. Both of these players were pegged to be a big part of a reformed passing attack. Instead, the two pass catchers have been nothing short of disappointing. Neither player has been used correctly in the offense. For example, Dickson is a space player who can fight for jump balls and outrun defensive backs downfield. Much of the routes he runs are over the middle,...

Battle Plans: Ravens @ Jaguars

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Offense 1.      Spread the field on early downs Until last Sunday’s letdown against Pittsburgh, Jacksonville has been playing well against the run. The Jaguars’ front seven plays with discipline and excellent technique. Built in the mold of a Jack Del Rio defense, the Jaguars look to stop the run on early downs, and they play zone coverage on third down, looking to keep the big play contained. The Ravens are a predominant run first team on first down. However, in this game, trying to establish the run on early downs...

Battle Plans: Texans vs. Ravens

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Offense 1.      Protect the front Believe it or not, without Super Mario, the Houston edge rush remains a concern. The Texans present a challenge to the Baltimore line – especially backed by defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ bag of tricks. Between outside linebacker Connor Barwin, and defensive ends J.J. Watt and Antonio Smith, Phillips has a group of up-field rushers that can split gaps and disrupt plays in the backfield. The task for the Baltimore offense will be to find a way to slow down these rushers. The Ravens used an...

Battle Plans: Ravens vs. Jets

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Offense 1.      Prepare for zone looks In light of the way the quarterback Joe Flacco has performed against the blitz in two contests against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the St. Louis Rams, there is a chance that Rex Ryan might pull back on some of his aggressive tactics. Flacco has been cool under pressure, and the Ravens have been able to pick up the blitz effectively. When Flacco has struggled, it has been against zone looks in which the coverage changes after the snap. The Jets are known for playing...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens @ Rams

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Offense 1.      Quick hitters Under head coach Steve Spagnuolo, the Rams play a similar style of defense to his former team, the New York Giants. Although they rely on their front four to get after the quarterback, they will bring pressure through blitzing linebackers and defensive backs. Last Sunday against the Titans, quarterback Joe Flacco got a lot of blitz looks, but the Titans ultimately bluffed the blitz in most passing situations. Those looks created some problems for Flacco who had a pre-snap blitz read, only to find the blitzers...

Battle Plans: Ravens @ Titans

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Offense 1.      Two tight, one-wide formations The Ravens broke out their newly minted tight ends in grand fashion against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Second-year players Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta combined for 7 catches and 104 yards and a score. Two of their biggest catches came of play-action on first down, after the defense forced a turnover. Having both of these players on the field at the same time gives the Ravens a run-heavy look, but affords the offense the flexibility to pass off of run action. Either player has the...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens v. Steelers

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Offense 1.      Single back set on first and second down; two back set on third-and-long Last season, three of the four teams that beat the Steelers set up in a one back, shotgun set on most early downs. Those teams – the Saints, Patriots and Packers – featured variations of three receiver, four receiver, and two-tight end formations to make plays in the passing game. The act of spreading the Steelers out on first and second down not only created matchup problems for the base defense, but kept the vaunted...

BATTLE PLANS: Divisional Playoff Ravens @ Steelers

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Offense 1.      Polamalu out of the box: It is a mystery as to how the Ravens had such a hard time identifying a player who wears a mountain of hair under his helmet. The Steeler great has confounded the Baltimore offense just as recently as in Week 13 of the season. Everyone remembers his strip/sack play of Joe Flacco in Baltimore. But during the regular season game in Pittsburgh, Polamalu lined up to blitz off-tackle numerous times, including a rush that came directly in Flacco’s sightline. Yet in every instance,...

WILD CARD BATTLE PLANS: Ravens @ Chiefs

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Offense 1.      Throw from power sets: The Chiefs are gunning for the run, especially after being dismantled by the Oakland ground attack last Sunday. The Ravens should show run, only to pass against the Kansas City base defense. In 2009, the Ravens started their game against Kansas City by showing run-action, only to throw off of the play-fake. It’s not just a matter of using a fake while the line is stationary. The illusion of run-action goes to the way the guards may pull seemingly to block for a run...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens v. Bengals

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Offense 1.      Open attack: Although this is a decimated version of the Cincinnati defenses that the Ravens have faced in the past, the scheme will remain the same on Sunday afternoon. The Baltimore offense will get its best chance to attack a two-deep shell before the postseason begins. Since the four interception performance by quarterback Joe Flacco, he has fared much better against zone defenses, including Atlanta, Carolina, and Tampa Bay. Still, the Bengals have had Flacco’s number. In his last three games against this unit, he has thrown eight...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens @ Texans

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Offense 1.      Hog the ball: The Ravens have traditionally been slow starters out of the gate. Against the Texans, a slow start could lead to more of a back-and-forth game. Baltimore has to find a way to establish an early lead by putting together time consuming drives. Ideally, the Ravens would be able to put points up on the board while draining the clock, thereby keeping the high-powered Houston offense off the field. The Ravens had lost their ability to eat the clock through the last couple of games. They...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens v. Steelers II

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Offense 1.      Three wide, shotgun set: There are as many storylines as there are Pro Bowl players to line up on Sunday night. Among the key concerns is whether fullback Le’Ron McClain will line up at fullback when the grudge match between AFC North rivals ensues. Given McClain’s potential unavailability, the offense will have to operate from more spread formations. Against Pittsburgh, the formation of choice would be a shotgun set in which T.J. Houshmandzadeh is the third receiver, and the backs next to quarterback Joe Flacco are tailback Ray...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens v. Bucs

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Offense 1.      Run/Pass Read: Tampa Bay lines up in a base Cover 2 look on most downs. However, in this game against the Ravens, the Bucs may show more Cover 3 with the strong safety dropping closer to the line. Tampa Bay has struggled to stop the run all season, so they could use an eighth man to defend the Baltimore tailbacks. It will be up to Joe Flacco to make the right adjustment at the line depending on how the safeties are positioned. If he is facing the Cover...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens @ Panthers

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Offense 1.      Fast and furious: The Ravens have been absolutely dreadful coming out of the blocks on the road. The stats are staggering, including going scoreless in the first quarter in four out of five road games they have played this season. That trend needs to change against Carolina on Sunday. The Ravens should look to pass on first down and establish a rhythm with quarterback Joe Flacco with pass completions off of play-action. Play-action fakes should be effective against a defense that will commit much of its attention to...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens @ Falcons

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Offense 1.      Control the clock: One of the biggest keys for success against Atlanta is controlling the tempo and time of possession. On Thursday night, the best defense against a high-powered Atlanta offense will inevitably be a ball-control, clock churning offense. In order to hog the ball, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron should devise a game plan that features plenty of intermediate pass plays and carries to the backs. While finishing these drives will be equally important, the offense has to stay on the field to keep the defense fresh and...