I think the key to defending the Ravens this year is trying to make the receivers beat you. The Ravens receiving core is the weakest unit on this offense. Torrey Smith has made leaps forward from his rookie year and will continue to do so, but Jacoby Jones is somewhat of an unknown (or maybe we know exactly what he is?). He has not succeeded at the position in the past and I can’t see him doing so again this year. The one threat that the Ravens receivers do pose is the deep pass. Defenses need to keep at least a single safety deep to guard against the quick strike offense.
When defending the Ravens, you cannot let them beat you with short passes to Ray Rice. Rice is the best player on the offense and the defense needs to find a way to contain him. This may mean shadowing him with a linebacker at all times. If you lose him, you are in deep trouble.
The old clichés ring true against the Ravens this year. To win, defenses have to do two things: stop the run and rush the passer. Any team that runs the ball down your throat is going to make it very tough for you to win. Stopping the run is paramount against the Ravens. Ray Rice is a game changer and can deliver the knockout punch if you are not careful. The second part is teams need to rush the passer. If Joe Flacco gets too comfortable then he will pick the secondary apart. I would consider bringing blitzes from the secondary until Jacoby Jones proves that he can get open. All in all, I think the Ravens will have a great offensive year and they will need to as they are carrying more of the load.
How would you defend the Ravens?