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Ravens News 12/17: Maintaining momentum and more

New York Jets v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Word of Muth: Ravens Rolling - Ben Muth

Offensive coordinator Greg Roman is as good as there is at putting interesting tweaks on basic concepts. This is just Power from Baltimore, a play that just about every team in the NFL runs. But they run it from the pistol, and more importantly they go tackle over. That means left tackle Ronnie Stanley (79) is lined up at tight end to the right-hand side, and the tight end is lined up at left tackle. This just gets a better blocker at the point of attack.

This is another base NFL play in Duo. Once again the Ravens get their running back up on the safety here, and frankly you’d like to see the back make this guy miss and gain a lot more yards. But the blocking is great. Notice the communication between the right guard (Marshal Yanda, 73) and center (Patrick Mekari, 65) before the snap. Yanda lets his center know that their linebacker (Milano, 58) has walked up on the line of scrimmage, so the Ravens offensive line just fans out to the three Buffalo defenders man to man.

News & Notes: Ravens Not Counting on Playoff Help, But Could Aid Their Rivals - Ryan Mink

After beating the Jets on Thursday night, Baltimore could secure a first-round bye if either the New England Patriots or Kansas City Chiefs lost one of their final three games.

On the first weekend, both teams steamrolled their opponents, leaving the Ravens (12-2) still one game ahead of the Patriots (11-3) and two up on the Chiefs (10-4). The Patriots still have games against the Bills (10-4) and Dolphins (3-11), and the Chiefs face the Bears (7-7) and Chargers (5-9).

“We plan on winning both of the next two games. That’s how we’re going to be working and approaching it. That’s really our job is to go out there and earn whatever we get.”

“Of course, I think about [resting players], but no plans have been made,” Harbaugh said. “I’ll just decide that when the time comes. Like I said, we’re not there. When we get there, we’ll be there, and we’ll go from there.”

Ravens Look to Maintain Momentum Over Final Two Games - Todd Karpovich

“The turnover differential is the No. 1 stat that affects winning and losing,” Harbaugh said. “We always feel that way. We had a goal for a really high number this year. We aren’t really there where we wanted to be, but we’re pretty darn good. Our defense has done a great job. Offensively, we’ve really protected the ball well the last number of weeks. That’s big. We have to keep doing a good job of that.”

Baltimore is ranked sixth with a +10 turnover differential.

Picking fatal flaws and matchups to avoid for 2019 NFL playoff contenders - Bill Barnwell

Baltimore Ravens (12-2)

Playoff kryptonite: Quarterbacks who can beat the blitz

Since the Ravens traded for cornerback Marcus Peters before Week 7, their defense is allowing the league’s stingiest passer rating (72.5) and yards per attempt (5.8). Adding Peters has led the Ravens to blitz even more frequently, upping their rate to 53.5%. Their success rate with those blitzes has doubled; after sacking teams on 5.9% of their blitzes before Peters arrived, they’re up to 10.8% after Week 7.

The kryptonite for blitzes can also be screen passes. Teams haven’t been able to hit many screens against Baltimore’s blitzes this season, but since the Peters trade, the Ravens are allowing a passer rating of 124.2 when teams throw screens against their blitzes, which ranks 24th in the NFL.

Team to avoid: Kansas City Chiefs

It seems odd to mention the Chiefs and their well-known sieve of a run defense against the league’s most devastating rushing attack, but Kansas City was able to slow down Jackson the first time these two teams played. The Chiefs seemed to focus on stopping Jackson at all costs, limiting him to eight carries for 46 yards and a lone rushing touchdown. The other Baltimore backs ate -- Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards combined to touch the ball 23 times for 156 yards and three touchdowns -- but with Jackson averaging just 6.2 yards in the air across his 43 passing attempts, the Chiefs were able to keep the Ravens quiet for most of the game before allowing three late scoring drives with a big lead.