The Ravens will make a quick turnaround to travel to Washington after losing to the Chiefs on Monday Night Football. Here are five keys for Baltimore to bounce back with a win on Sunday.
1) Bring the blitz
Since last season, the Ravens blitz more than any other team on defense. Against Kansas City, quarterback Patrick Mahomes made them pay for doing so. Washington’s Dwayne Haskins is no Mahomes, however, so Baltimore should be able to get creative and dial up the pressure against the second-year QB. Haskins has been sacked 10 times so far this season and has had trouble avoiding pressure in the pocket. Defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale should have success dialing up deceptive blitzes on Sunday.
2) Create turnovers
Through three games, Haskins has also struggled with turnovers, specifically against the Browns last week when he threw three interceptions and lost a fumble. The Ravens thrive on forcing turnovers on defense. Cornerback Marcus Peters will surely do his best to bait to the young QB into throwing his way.
3) Eliminate Terry McLaurin
The only true weapon on Washington’s offense is second-year wide receiver Terry McLaurin. McLaurin is their best chance of moving the ball effectively against Baltimore, so expect for the Ravens to pay special attention to him. Whether or not recently-extended All-Pro CB Marlon Humphrey follows McLaurin throughout the day remains to be seen.
4) Keep Washington’s pass rush at bay
Washington’s pass rush poses a serious threat to Baltimore, even with second-overall pick Chase Young inactive. Ryan Kerrigan, Montez Sweat, and Jonathan Allen will challenge the offensive line of the Ravens that may be without All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley. Tight end Nick Boyle and fullback Patrick Ricard can help on the edge, while screens could help to slow down the rush. Lamar Jackson has also been sacked 10 times this season, and while not all of those have been due to the offensive line, the group can still get better and will have their hands full with this defensive line.
5) Get back to basics on offense
Fans have voiced their frustration with offensive coordinator Greg Roman for abandoning the run in big games, most recently against the Chiefs. This week presents a perfect opportunity to get back to what Baltimore does best on offense, and that’s running the football. Washington is currently allowing 125 rushing yards per game this season. The Ravens are averaging 166 rushing yards per game. Running the ball will also help to keep the pass rush tired.