The full Battle Plan for week one featuring the Ravens at Raiders is POSTED HERE, but we thought you might appreciate an abridged version. Here are the keys to the game (for anybody in a bit more of a rush…)
Persevere with the running game
- Any Ravens offensive game plan this year will start with running the football.
- Take advantage of the Raiders Defensive Line in the state of flux.
- Ravens need to challenge the Raiders rush defense which was among the five worst in the NFL last season.
Run play-action and target the Backs early
- Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, brings his winning Cover 3 defense to Las Vegas so it is essential that the Ravens:
- Win the right to the middle of the field, where the Ravens thrive in the passing game.
- To win the middle the Ravens must use play-action and target the Running Backs early in the passing game.
- Attack the flats with the backs, and then hit the seams.
Win the space to throw across the middle of the field
- Use play action to bring the linebackers up and open the seams
- Throw to the flats to force the linebackers to widen their position on the field.
- Target Mark Andrews
- Lamar should hold the deep Safety with his eyes opening deep strikes with Hollywood.
- Don’t force throws into tight underneath zones typical of a Bradley defense.
Limit Darren Waller
To control the Raiders most prolific offensive weapon the Ravens will need to:
- Get physical – no free release
- Waller runs a lot of Option routes so mix up looks in coverage and leave a surprise for him.
- Double team often. This one is obvious, but any kind of bracket or cone double team coverage should be deployed effectively as well as Robber technique from your safety.
- Get length on the field. The Raiders run him out of the bunch regularly and the Ravens need to get length into their banjo coverage so defenders can pass off responsibility for him.
- Don’t panic. They move Waller around to get him, and others, advantageous matchups. The Ravens could do with avoiding a Peters-Waller matchup but they should be comfortable with Humphrey on Waller and not panic when he is moved to face different defenders.
- Stay disciplined. Linebackers must stay disciplined in case Waller is running behind him into their
Give Derek Carr eye candy but don’t take any of his
- Keep the Gruden/Carr offense off balance with moving parts to counter their pre-snap eye candy.
- Force Carr to hesitate.
Test the OL early and often
- Test the Raiders offensive line, one that is in its early stages of development.
- Create confusion with varied looks, a challenge for a line that has had limited snaps together.
- Win this battle, win the game.
Matchup to Watch
The aging veterans are both on new teams and will likely go head-to-head in this one if McCoy plays in the 3 technique spot as anticipated. McCoy is still a good penetrator and will test the Ravens first off-season addition.