While the Baltimore Ravens rushing offense stands strong at 12th in the league (thank you Alex Collins), the passing is second-to-last. If Baltimore wants to win, they’re going to need more than the rushing game.
It starts and ends with blocking. We witnessed the Ravens O-line bully the Raiders passrushers, but suddenly they’ve fallen off a cliff. To beat the Dolphins, you must stop Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake from pressuring your quarterback. The Ravens have utilized the tight ends often, but these guards must produce strong results in this contest.
Move the pocket
Can’t keep the pressure off Flacco? Move the pocket, and incorporate different strategies to keep the defense uncertain. Rollouts, bootleg’s and different running attacks will be necessary. If they’re chasing, hit them with counters and trap runs. No point in going head-on with a team bigger and stronger than you in the trenches. While this worked against the Bengals, Browns and Raiders, it won’t work here.
Protect the Football
I’m fine with Joe not taking the big risks in this game. Rather than cough up an interception, or somebody losing the rock via fumble, force the other teams to drive 70+ yards for the score. My gut tells me this defense will be ready for the Matt Moore led Dolphins. No turnovers.
When this team scores first, they’re capable of staying ahead. The defense is fresh, they’re confident, and passing offenses struggle against this secondary. Get some doggone points on the board, and let Jimmy Smith, Brandon Carr, Eric Weddle and the others create turnovers.