Ravens D must go with what they have

In the mist of the 55-20 beating on Sunday, Baltimore’s defense played well in run defense, allowing 72 yards rushing, their best since Week 3 against the patriots. They still allowed 20 points, and 368 yards passing, which both are not acceptable in Baltimore. It’s still the middle of the season so that doesn’t matter all that much. But in the playoffs, this won’t work.

Haloti Ngata, Ray Lewis, Jimmy Smith, Pernell Mcphee, and Lardarius Webb are the high profile injuries on defense that at the very least, continue to linger. Nine games have already been played. There’s not much a team can do from a personnel stand point to fix the defense. The Ravens best bet is that Ray, Suggs, Ngata, Reed and Pollard are all on the field together later. Outside of that not much can be done.

The Ravens won’t win games like that every week, but they will have to have the same mindset on the offensive side of the ball. Joe Flacco and Ray Rice will need to carry the team.

Cornerbacks playing 10 yards off the wide receivers and still allowing big yards. How about playing press more since Terrell Suggs is back? They can’t get much worse than they are right now. Can the overload blitz packages from 08-2011 work? Maybe.

Courtney Upshaw has been used in a unique way the past two weeks with interior pressure. How long that will last we don’t know. He was also used in ILB packages in Cleveland. They can mix and match all they want, but with the way the defense is playing, individual talent will need to take over.

The natural instincts of a Lewis, a Suggs, a Ngata, a Reed, and even a Benard Pollard will need to show up for the stretch run. That’s where defense is right now. They have been ineffective to the point where sheer talent will need to take over. The good news is Flacco and Rice are good enough to handle that load. The bad part from their pride stand point, winning on defense won’t be a consistent formula for success for the rest of the season.

Contrary to what some pundits say, the Ravens are very well alive. However, the perception that this is a defense-first team is no longer accurate. It is leaning towards a balanced team despite the defensive struggles.

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Your email address will not be published.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>

 

Hot off the street

RAVENS LINKS: Can Flacco Silence Pittsburgh Again?

Can Joe Flacco silence Heinz Field again? Joe Cool has enjoyed some success in Pittsburgh with late game heroics. Jamison Hensley gives us Joe's opinion on going in to Heinz Field and playing the h...read more

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Ravens Sweep Steelers

The Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Perhaps there’s mutual respect but there’s certainly mutual disdain. The Ravens head to Pittsburgh this week, week 9 of the NFL season just ...read more

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens at Steelers

Offense 1. Flip the Script Last Sunday, the Steelers were able to beat the Colts at their own game by winning the time of possession battle. They controlled the clock for close to 40 minutes, near...read more

Special Teams Aren’t as Special Anymore

With all due respect to Justin Tucker (who is essentially Matt Stover with a bigger club) and Sam Koch who has the 6th best net punting average (41.5) in the league, special teams are overrated. So...read more

THURSDAY INJURY REPORT: Ravens @ Steelers

Ravens DID NOT PARTICIPATE: WR Michael Campanaro (thigh); TE Owen Daniels (knee); CB Jimmy Smith (foot); LB Terrell Suggs (neck) LIMITED PARTICIPATION: RB Justin Forsett (ankle); G Marshal Yanda...read more

View More