Last week the Ravens suffered the loss of star cornerback Jimmy Smith. He was primed for an All-Pro entry, but a sore Achilles turned into a torn Achilles, five weeks after the initial injury report of pain. The Ravens front office strategized for such a loss this offseason, and it’s time to enact their plan.
Stop the ground game
In Week four, the Ravens lost Brandon Williams to a foot injury. The big D-tackle couldn’t play, and Le’Veon Bell ran wild for 144 yards and two touchdowns. This game can become much different, as the Ravens trenches are beefed up with B-Will, Michael Pierce and a playmaking Willie Henry. I don’t suspect they will allow another 173 yards on the ground today, and the gameplan will surround swarming the line and playing gap responsibility on the patient runner.
Bottle up Brown
Easier said than done, certainly with Jimmy Smith out. Usually the corner and receiver duke it out, with Jimmy winning his fair share of contests, but with Smith done for the year, Antonio Brown has a chance to cut deep into the Ravens territory. Marlon Humphrey and Brandon Carr will have their hands full today. Either way, they both face against Brown or Martavis Bryant. A lucky break, though, as JuJu Smith-Schuster will not be on the gridiron due to his suspension.
Steal the football
Terrell Suggs loves many things, but sacking and causing turnovers at the expense of Ben Roethlisberger may become his favorite of those things. He cannot be the only one, though, as this game is all about turnover creation. The Steelers won the turnover battle in Week four, it’s time for the Ravens to return the favor.