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Ravens vs. Jaguars: 3 defensive keys to victory

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Two weeks in, and this defense looks unstoppable. They’ve intercepted eight passes, and forced two fumbles. Every time they’ve been called upon, they’ve answered. With the Ravens offense dealing with a strong Jaguars defense, Baltimore must respond with their own defensive prowess.

Stack the box

Nobody is scared of Blake Bortles and his passing; everybody is nervous about Leonard Fournette’s skill in the running game though. With Brandon Williams out, the run game has a hole in the dead center. It’s time for Michael Pierce, Brent Urban and five other defensive linemen on the roster to hold strong against the rookie runningback and the Jaguars line. With eight defensive linemen on the roster, it’s time to utilize the abundance of riches. Force Bortles to throw, don’t let the rookie through.

Clean football

Seasons ago, Elvis Dumervil grabbed the facemask of Bortles on a play that should have been called dead. The referees not only allowed the play to occur, but called a penalty on a play that should have been called dead. This gave the Jaguars a fifteen-yard advancement, setting up a game-winning field goal for the Jaguars. Free yards will keep the defense on the field. They will turn 3rd & 7 into 3rd & 2. It will allow the Jags to move the chains, and put up points. Staying disciplined and focused will negate all of it.

Continue to press receivers

The past two weeks we’ve watched Jimmy Smith and Brandon Carr to bully receivers at the line. Kenny Britt and Corey Coleman were non-factors due to the contact. With Allen Robinson out, Jacksonville is down a star wideout. Keep the pressure up on the receivers, keep them from getting separation. Make Bortles hang on to the football. It’s only a matter of time until Terrell Suggs swats it out of his hands.