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Bold Predictions for Week 8

For Ravens-Chargers.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Some of these will come as a surprise; some won't.  Any reader regularly following my writing knows I have a low opinion of the Ravens' secondary--as most metrics say I should.  But this has almost nothing to do with metrics.  The secondary, with the notable exception of Will Hill, has been far, far less aggressive than in the past, and has been schemed to provide large cushions in coverage to start plays.  Theoretically this makes it less likely that the secondary will give up huge plays--except that this has not helped.  Torrey Smith's torcher from two week ago, or Brown and Fitzgerald from last week, show that it doesn't help.

Just let the corners be what they are: man-press corners with a safety hanging high for help.  It's not going to be like it was with Reed back there and Smith, Webb and Williams all healthy a few years back, but it certainly can't get much worse.

Phillip Rivers rips off 400 yards passing. This is a popular prediction.  He's passing well, we're not defending the pass.  I'd say we're not defending it well, but it's sometimes closer to "at all."

Za'darius Smith smacks Rivers for two sacks again. The lone bright spot from Smith's rookie season so far was him going off on Vick in the Steelers game.  Otherwise he's--underwhelmed is not the right word.  He's a 5th Round Rookie.  The odds of him lighting the game on fire were small.  Pernell McPhee--

--we miss you Pernell!  We miss you Pahokee, Florida crew! Pernell, come back and bring Boldin with you!--

--ahem.  McPhee gave us unrealistic expectations for what 5th rounders from decent SEC programs should be expected to do.  He should have had more time, or been in an entirely complementary player in his first few years, the way McPhee was.

That said, the Charger's line is poor, especially inside.  The same sort of blitz he excelled at during the Pittsburgh game, inside stunts, are going to be effective here.

And finally: Will Hill will take one to the house, but it will be called back by a penalty. The Ravens are due for some turnovers, but this year, I think we just won't get a good one.