Most people would see these numbers and automatically assume that the Baltimore Ravens will have a field-day against the Chiefs' defense. Despite of the high amount of points that Kansas City allows, they still have the 13th ranked defense in terms of total defense. They have the 11th ranked passing defense and the 21st ranked rushing defense. So what does this mean? The Ravens will have to deviate from their new pass-heavy offense and pound away at Kansas City's front-seven with the bruising combination of Vonta Leach and Ray Rice.
2012 is the first time in a very long time where the Baltimore Ravens can not automatically expect their defense to be solid. In fact, up to this point in the season, the Baltimore Ravens' defense has been very hit-or-miss. Considering that the Kansas City Chiefs have the fourth best offense in the league, this combination could be a problem if the Ravens' defense continues to be inconsistent and our offense isn't putting up points.
So what do the Baltimore Ravens due to avoid this problem?
- Run. The. Damn. Ball. Joe Flacco is establishing himself as one of the league's best QBs, but if I was Cam Cameron I would center the offensive game-plan around feeding the ball to Ray Rice and winning the game 4-5 yards at a time, not 15-20. Common sense dictates that you attack the 22nd-ranked part of their defense, not the 11th-ranked part.
- Stop The Big Play Dexter McCluster, Dwayne Bowe, Jamaal Charles. What do they all have in common? They can all hurt a defense badly if they manage to get the ball into open space. The big play has been the Achilles-heel of the Ravens defense this year. The Kansas City Chiefs' offense has a number of explosive, speedy players who can kill a defense if not defended properly. So in order for the Ravens' inconsistent defense to prevent this game from turning into a shoot-out, they need to contain the players listed above.
- Make Adjustments If The Offensive Game-Plan Isn't Working Cam Cameron has been doing a bit of a better job at this than he has in years past, but too often we still see the "prevent offense" in play. You know, incomplete deep-pass on first-down, 3-yard short pass to the left on second-down, 4-yard run on third-down, punt. The Ravens have been fortunate to have this game-plan be effective so far, but eventually some team is going to catch on to this trend. So Cam Cameron needs to be able to mix things up if his game-plan doesn't seem to work early-on.
- Don't Be Afraid To Give Up On The Four-Man Pass-Rush The key to a successful defense in the NFL is an effective four-man pass-rush. The Baltimore Ravens, however, have not found much success in this area this year. The truth is Matt Cassel will make mistakes if he gets frustrated. In order to frustrate Matt Cassel the Baltimore Ravens need to do whatever it takes to get pressure on him. And if that mean abandoning the four-man pass-rush, and gambling on blitzing a DB or both OLBs, then so be it.