Battle Plans: Ravens vs. Steelers

Bernard-Pollard-v-Heath-Miller-640-300x200

Offense

1. Crossover

Dick LeBeau uses every blitz combination in the book and he definitely saves something extra for obvious passing situations. More often than not, he’ll dial up a few cross dog blitzes where his inside backers will split the A gaps.

In anticipating LeBeau’s tendency to use the inside blitz, the Ravens will need to have an assortment of crossers in the pipeline. The Ravens have had success in the past using slants against the Pittsburgh corners and that should be a featured route as well.

In addition, the interior linemen will need to be sharp in their blitz recognition and pick up the cross blitz to give Flacco enough time.

2. Tight End Flex

The Ravens broke out their two tight end formations against Oakland and the move paid immediate dividends. To counter Pittsburgh’s blitzes and edge rush, Dickson and Pitta should be active yet again, especially as outlet receivers in passing situations.

Specifically, Pitta or Dickson have the ability to slip out on wheel routes and flare routes coming out of the backfield. Either player could also prove to be a mismatch out wide against the Pittsburgh linebackers. Keeping them on the field on early downs will give the Ravens the best chance to run a multi-faceted offense.

3. Backs to the Wall

As much as the Baltimore tight ends will play a big role in this game as outlet receivers, the same could certainly be said for Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce. Both of these players will be counted on to help control edge rushers LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison, as well as pick up any other free runners.

Their ability to read the blitz and handle their blocking assignments will play a crucial part in Baltimore’s passing success, especially for completing downfield throws.

Defense

1. Blitz the Blind Side

The Ravens will encounter Byron Leftwich, a quarterback who is notorious for having a long wind up and a slow delivery. Every time he cocks the ball back to deliver a strike, he’s practically inviting the defender to strip the ball from his grasp.

The Baltimore defense will have to find a way hit Leftwich as often as possible from his blind side. The game plan should be to use a few overload looks and deceptive corner blitzes, not only from the slot, but from out wide. With an aggressive pass rush strategy, the Ravens could generate a big play or two going the other way.

2. Hold the Fort

With Big Ben on the bench, the Steelers will look to grind out a running game with their three-headed monster of Mendenhall, Dwyer and Redman. All three of these backs share a key feature: They can get downhill and gash the middle of the field.

Baltimore has had trouble with straight ahead rushing attacks all season. Opposing offensive lines have been able to drive the Baltimore front seven off the ball and inside runners have feasted.

If the Ravens are going to win the battle in the trenches, the front three of Ngata, Jones and Cody will need to hold their ground and keep blockers off of the linebackers. This game will be come down to their ability to play physical, tough and technique-strong.

3. Safety Valve

When the Ravens had Lardarius Webb in the lineup, they were able to use the lone cornerback to check Mike Wallace on vertical routes. No defender can run stride-for-stride with the Pittsburgh speed demon, but Webb played with tremendous technique and always found the ball at the top of its flight.

Fast forward to Sunday’s matchup, and Wallace will need to be handled by a committee of defenders. Safety Ed Reed should shade to Wallace’s side and in general, there should be deep support over the top to keep the receiver bottled up.

One-on-One Matchup of the Week

Bernard Pollard vs. Heath Miller

In a game where receiver Antonio Brown may not see the field, Miller takes on an even bigger role for controlling the middle. Miller is having a banner year. He remains a top-notch red zone threat and is especially dangerous on seam patterns. Pollard will be responsible for picking up Miller when he stretches the deep half of the field. As an open field tackler, Pollard can be devastating and he’ll have to play physical against Miller on Sunday night.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

 
evden eve nakliyat şirketleri ofis taşımacılığı evden eve nakliye istanbul evden eve nakliyat Şehirlerarası Evden Eve Nakliyat İstanbul Nakliyat Firmaları

Hot off the street

Flacco Confident 2014 Will be Better

For quarterback Joe Flacco 2013 was a disappointing season to say the very least. In 2013, Flacco set career highs in passing yards (3,912) along with passing attempts (614), but also in intercep...read more

RAVENS LINKS: Jacoby in Drag

Ravens coach "Lil John Harbaugh" pitches Miami tickets In April, Harbaugh made it into the Cradle of Coaches at Miami (Ohio). Now, he is a part of their ticket promotions for this upcoming season. ...read more

24×7 Networks Acquires BSL

24x7 Networks, LLC, the parent company for RussellStreetReport.com and EutawStreetReport.com has announced that it has acquired Baltimore Sports and Life, LLC 24x7 Networks sees this as an opportun...read more

CAMP NOTES: Mosley Ready to Make an Impact

Less than a year removed from his playing days at Alabama, rookie linebacker C.J. Mosley is happy to be back on the football field in preparation for the regular season. Throughout OTA's and minica...read more

CAMP NOTES: QBs, Rookies & Injured Vets Get Started!

Quarterbacks, rookies and those veterans returning from injuries took to the field today as the Ravens kicked off their 2014 training camp under sunny skies at the Under Armour Performance Center in ...read more

View More