Third and Long: Detestable Defense

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Last Sunday, the Ravens surrendered numerous big plays as the Browns amassed 530 yards of offense and dropped Baltimore 40-25 at M & T Bank.

This was the second-most yardage ever given up by a Ravens defense at home.

The unit struggled in almost every aspect from missing assignments to basic tackling. For a franchise who’s success has been built on tough defense it was a bizarre sight. So, how does it get fixed as Baltimore heads to Heinz Field this morning?

I have some ideas.

  1. Deplorable Defense- So where does the blame lie and more importantly how can this be fixed? I’ll start with the pass rush, which was non-existent last week. The team wasn’t able to bother Baker Mayfield under center and the struggling quarterback threw for 342 yards and a touch. Aside from Matthew Judon and Pernell McPhee the team hasn’t had any other players consistently get to the quarterback. A lot has been made about the Quarterback Hits stat but the group needs to generate consistent pressure and cause turnovers which is another area that the defense is lacking. Don Martindale already loves to blitz but he may need to more judicious in his calls and vary where they come from. I think if pass rush improves much of the coverage will fall in line.
  2.  Running at Rudolph– Mason Rudolph. The third round pick is in charge for the Steelers as Roethlisberger is out for the rest of the season. He’s looked like a typical first year starter so far. Last week against Cincinnati the offensive game plan was simple, hand it off and call for short passes. Rudolph was 24-28 with 2 touchdowns against the hapless Bungles. Please note that 15 of those completions were to Running Backs. Pittsburgh even brought the dreaded “Wildcat” set out and were able to achieve success behind a solid Offensive Line. Pittsburgh will attempt to protect the young signal caller as much as possible and it’s up to the purple and black to force him into mistakes.
  3.  Who to Watch– On offense Mark Ingram is the man. Baltimore has the top ranked ground game in the league and this is not your father’s Pittsburgh defense. In their three losses this season they gave up North of 400 total yards of offense each time. Ground and pound and take a few deep shots and the Ravens high powered offense can score enough points to win at the Big Ketchup. On defense check out Patrick Onwuasor and Kenny Young, both have struggled especially in coverage and the Ravens signed two vets this week in T.J. Fort and former Raven Josh Bynes and both should see action. At the very least the team hopes they will be in the right position to make a play.

Ravens Legend of the Game

Governor_O'Malley_with_Matt_Birk_(cropped)

Matt Birk

Center

Years as a Raven (2009-2012)

Birk was drafted by the Vikings in the sixth round of the 1998 NFL Draft. Birk was with Minnesota from 1999-2008 and during that time he was a six-time Pro Bowler, and a two time All-Pro. Birk was signed by the Ravens as an unrestricted Free Agent in 2009 and won a Super Bowl ring with the 2012 championship team. He announced his retirement in 2013. Birk is also known for his work off the field and established the HIKE foundation in 2002 to help the education of at-risk children. He received the Walter Payton Man of the Year award in 2011 for his commitment to helping improve youth literacy.

Game-Time Song of the Week

“I mean what I speak
I do as I say
I hustle, I grind
Don’t get in my way”

This is one I remember hearing during the pre-game at most Ravens games. The team needs to get back to basics and maybe this is will help.

Cousin Justin’s Betting Parlor

#*+! -ing Rams! How do you let the Buccaneers drop 50?!

So I’m out. Better luck next year. So If you’re looking for Knockout Pool advice don’t look here. Obviously I have no idea.

Game-Time Snack of the Week

Sliders. Make by the bag. Here’s a few options if you don’t like the traditional burgers.

Go Ravens! Happy Football Everyone.

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