The Raider receivers present the biggest test of the Ravens secondary’s season so far. Jimmy Smith has performed reasonably, but Shareece Wright has found himself exposed by sudden receivers when left one-on-one.
After choosing to use Jimmy Smith to shadow Sammy Watkins in week one, Dean Pees has gone back to the more familiar approach of having Smith on the field side and Wright on the boundary side of the field. The Jacksonville Jaguars attacked Wright with Allen Robinson, and found success until Jimmy Smith was moved on Robinson in the late third quarter.
The strategy that will be used to match up with the Raider receivers is unclear. The Ravens find themselves in a “pick-your-poison” situation with whoever Wright finds himself on. His lack of awareness when tracking the ball will be exploited when matched up with either Cooper or Crabtree.
The best course of option would be to employ the Patriot way of matching up. Jimmy Smith on Crabtree and Wright on Cooper with constant safety help. Even with safety help, Cooper will use his ball skills in combination with his crafty release to create back shoulder opportunities along the sidelines. Wright will find himself in situations where the opponent across from him will simply be too good.
Fans should expect plays to be given up. It will not be a perfect game. The coverage strategy mentioned above will help mitigate damage and will give the Ravens front the best chance to make its impact.