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Ravens News 1/14: Peters’ Passion and more

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Baltimore Ravens v Buffalo Bills Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

Buffalo’s plan to stop the Ravens rushing attack - Maddy Glab

“They’ve added some wrinkles to their offense that we’re going to have to adjust to,” Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said. “We realize we can’t just look at what we did last year and say that was good enough. Because they grew quite a bit as an offense and Lamar has grown quite a bit as a quarterback. So we’ll really have to do a good job of coming up with a good plan of trying to slow them down. They’re still the number one offense in the NFL.”

Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds thinks their defensive plan needs to start with the basics.

“I think it just goes back to our fundamentals,” Edmunds said. “Making sure that we do a good job tackling, making sure our eye discipline is good, making sure everybody’s understanding what we want to accomplish on defense. I think that’s what it comes down to.”

Safety Jordan Poyer said it’s important to make them rely on their passing offense. The Ravens had the worst passing attack in the league during the regular season averaging 171.2 passing yards a game.

“It’s a different offense and we’ve got to be able to force this team to throw the football,” Poyer said. “Until we’re able to stop their running attack, they’re going to be running the ball all game long. We’re going to have to come in and prove that we can stop that running attack.”

Final 2020 NFL secondary rankings - Anthony Treash

5. BALTIMORE RAVENS

The top defensive back in Baltimore is none other than Marlon Humphrey. He held his own on the outside (394 snaps), but his best play came from the slot (484 snaps). Humphrey produced the fifth-best slot coverage grade this season and led the Ravens with 18 passing stops.

Jimmy Smith may have played only 11 games this year, but he was a secret superstar from start to finish. He surrendered an NFL-best 0.37 yards per coverage snap (played 313 coverage snaps) en route to a 75.7 coverage grade.

Sizing up Ravens vs. Bills: One stat to know about the most important players on each team - C.J. Doon

Wide receiver Stefon Diggs: 1,050 air yards

That total ranked second in the league this season, Diggs’ first in Buffalo after being acquired from the Minnesota Vikings for four draft picks, as he added a much-needed vertical element to the Bills’ passing game. The former Maryland star’s 127 catches and 1,535 receiving yards also led the league, and he added eight touchdowns.

Wide receiver Cole Beasley: 960 receiving yards

That’s how many of Beasley’s yards came from the slot, a total that led the league, according to Sports Info Solutions. Only 7 of his yards all season came from anywhere other than the slot, which is why he earned All-Pro honors. His 59.4 expected points added — which takes into account down, distance, and field position — from the slot also led the league.

From logo stomp to beer chug: Ravens’ Marcus Peters brings unpredictable passion - Jamison Hensley

Peters is a big-time playmaker who spews big-time fire. He’s statistically the NFL’s best ballhawk since Deion Sanders and Ed Reed. He’s considered one of the most intelligent cornerbacks in the league — a “savant,” some have said.

“I like him and I love him. He’s genuine. He’s as authentic as it gets,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “That’s what you appreciate about anybody, especially someone like Marcus. He’s got a heart of gold. It really matter to him. He really cares. It shows. He’s an emotional guy, no question about that. Like all of us, he works to be the best he can be. We’re all growing. I just like him personally. I like the way he plays. I like his heart.”

“He’s a very passionate, loyal teammate and friend with the way he goes about life,” Weddle said. “Once you earn his trust and he sees who you really are, he’s one of the greatest guys you can have behind your back.”

“Very humble guy from what I’ve seen,” Jackson said. “But when you see him on the field? He’s a different guy. I feel bad for the opposing team.”

Baltimore Ravens vs. Buffalo Bills: Numbers that could tell the story of the divisional round matchup - Aaron Kasinitz

In games this season during which Josh Allen averaged more than 6.5 yards per pass attempt, the Bills are 13-0 (playoffs included)

The Bills’ offense wasn’t especially balanced this year, and an ankle injury that ended Zack Moss’ season further damaged their running game. The fate performance of the offense, which ranked second in the NFL in yards and points, rests with Allen.

Buffalo went 1-3 this season when Allen averaged fewer than 6.5 yards per pass attempt. When he generated big plays and settled into a rhythm, the Bills were almost unbeatable.

That dynamic presents a path to victory for Baltimore. If Martindale and his defense concoct a way to get Allen out of sorts, recent history suggests the Ravens will be likely to escape Buffalo with a win.

The teams that have frustrated Allen and beat the Bills have not followed one uniform game plan. Allen faced 27 blitzes against the Cardinals in a loss in November, tied for the most he’s seen in a game all year. But during one of Buffalo’s two other losses, the Titans sent just five blitzes, the lowest total Allen faced in a game.

Barring a shift in philosophy, the Ravens will lean more toward ratcheting up the pressure Saturday. They better hope it works.

Last year, it did. Baltimore held Allen to 17 of 39 passing for 146 yards, but Buffalo’s quarterback has morphed into a bona fide star since the teams last met in December 2019.