Baltimore Beatdown traded five questions with Kevin Ewoldt, manager of Hogs Haven, SB Nation's blog on the Washington Redskins, about this weekend's match-up between the Ravens and their neighbors just down Interstate 95 from them.
The Redskins are the Ravens next opponent this Sunday afternoon and we thought it would be interesting to see what they think of the game from the "enemy's" perspective. The Redskins are actually favored to win this game even though the Ravens are three games better in their respective season records.
See Kevin's responses below to how Baltimore can stop Redskins rookie QB Robert Griffin III, to what he thinks the outcome of the game will be:
1. RG3 seems to be the most exciting QB in ages and virtually impossible to shut down. How come the Redskins are only 6-6?
The Redskins had a lot of turnover from last year, especially the safeties and WRs. They released Atogwe and didn't resign Landry. They over-hauled their WRs corps and added a new RB and QB. It's hard to have the offense and defense clicking the first few weeks of the season, especially with rookies. In addition, Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker were lost very early in the season to IR. The next guys up needed some time to get going.
2. "You can't stop, him, you can only hope to contain him." How do the Ravens contain RG3?
I don't have an answer to this. The read option works so well. If the LBs come in, RGIII throws a pass over their head...if they stay put, he hands the ball to Alfred Morris or runs it himself for 5+ yards. Logic seems to say keep our offense off the field with long Ravens drives, but the Giants won the time of possession battle by 7+ minutes and lost (oh, and they won the turnover battle 1-0). The only thing I've seen that works is making sure you lick him when he stays in bounds or slides. If it's a 3rd down and he's running, he is NOT going to slide short. There's your chance.
3. The Redskins defense is 31st against the pass yet fourth against the rush. Are they that good stopping the opponent's rushing attack or does nobody run on them because they can pass so much better?
The Redskins front 7 is pretty solid in terms of tackling. Fletcher, Kerrigan, Cofield, Bowen...they can stop a run. The reason the passing numbers are so bad is because that same front 7 cannot generate a pass rush what so ever. Every QB has all day to throw and you'll see that this week. The Redskins have been pretty good at buckling down in the red zone, so, if the Skins can keep up giving only FGs, that's enough for RGIII to score some TDs and win the point differential.
4. What one player on each side of the ball should we keep an eye on that perhaps we might not normally follow?
Well, RGIII for sure. I guarantee at least twice watching the game on TV you'll have trouble following the ball. His play fakes are that good. The Redskins nickel corner will be an interesting situation. Cedric Griffin was suspended the next 4 games for Adderall, so that leaves the Redskins scrambling to replace that position. It's likely DHall will move to nickel and rookie, Richard Crawford, will move to CB. With the poor pass rush and rookie CBs on the field (who were benched earlier this year), there is room for success for Flacco.
5. Your prediction on the final score and why?
Man this is a tough one. Both defenses are literally limping into this game and that makes predictions near impossible. I picked the Ravens to squeak out a win this week by 1-2 points. Bettors have moved the line from a pick-em to Redskins -2.5. Vegas usually doesn't take hits like that.