Ravens secondary has chance to prove its worth against Packers, Aaron Rodgers

Baltimore's secondary will have a tough test against Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers. - Jonathan Daniel

It's the second time the Ravens will face an elite quarterback this season, giving the secondary a chance to show what it can do against a top tier quarterback like Aaron Rodgers.

The last time the Ravens were tasked with going against an elite-level quarterback, Peyton Manning tossed seven touchdowns in a Broncos 49-27 win.

Since, the Ravens have defended Cleveland's Brandon Weeden, Houston's Matt Schaub, Buffalo's E.J. Manuel and Miami's Ryan Tannehill. That's not exactly a murderer's row of quarterbacks to go against.

On Sunday, the secondary gets another chance to prove it can hold its own against one of the NFL's best. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is once again proving he's one of the NFL's best.

Thus far in 2013, Rodgers is averaging 332.8 yards per game while completing 66.4 percent of his passes.

"When you're playing a quarterback that has full control over the offense and their receivers are in tune, you have to be on your best game," cornerback Jimmy Smith told reporters this week. "We're looking at this game like we're facing another Peyton Manning. To Aaron Rodgers' credit, he's a little quicker with the ball; he has better arm strength right now. He can fit some balls in there that you wouldn't expect."

Rodgers' quick release could be problematic for a defense that depends on front seven pressure. If Rodgers is able to overcome his re-shaped offensive line and get the ball to his receiving targets then it will be on the back end to make plays and force Green Bay's signal caller into mistakes.

In addition, Green Bay's receivers are the toughest trio — James Jones, Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson — Baltimore's seen since the Denver game.

This game could be a defining moment for the secondary moving forward.

"He's a guy who could be looking one way and then, in a split second, throw it the other way, where we've seen quarterbacks here so far this season — other than [Peyton] Manning — they drop back and if they look over here, they're probably throwing over here," defensive coordinator Dean Pees told reporters on Thursday. "Well, [No.] 12 [Aaron Rodgers] may be looking over there, and that ball may be over here in a split second. The ball will come out as fast as anybody. If you ever watch him on film, he doesn't have to plant the front foot to throw the ball, either. This guy can throw it with his feet square, off-balanced, with one foot forward - it doesn't matter. The ball can come out quick. He's got great vision. So, we have to have great vision to be able to do a good job against him."


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