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Ravens vs. Raiders: 3 Defensive Keys to Victory

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports

After a big loss at home, against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Ravens hope to rebound in Oakland, California, against the Raiders.

After producing incredible turnovers, the Ravens defense collapsed back to earth against the Jaguars and Steelers. Now they have an opportunity to revitalize the turnovers production against E.J. Manuel.

Apply Pressure

It won’t be easy, as the Raiders offensive line is dominant, but Suggs and Judon need to make magic happen. E.J. Manuel isn’t the quarterback who thrives under pressure. Michael Pierce is another player I hope to see break through the line and disrupt Manuel’s rhythm. This will be the biggest difference maker today.

Protect the middle

This goes both for running and passing, as the Ravens linebackers have not done well against tight ends in coverage, or against runs that split past the initial line of scrimmage. The Ravens cannot be the team to allow Marshawn Lynch to celebrate, or look as if he’s returned to form. Instead, remind him why he retired in the first place. Lay the boom, and wrap up. Don’t just hit him up high and expect Lynch to go down.

Stop Crabtree

We all know the threat of A.J. Green, and his ‘Ravenkiller’ name, but Michael Crabtree is vying for second place. In three regular season games, and Super Bowl XLVII, the wideout has produced quite the statline:

27 catches | 362 yards | 5 TDs

It is critical for Brandon Carr, Marlon Humphrey and Jimmy Smith to lock Michael down.