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BSL: Previewing Week 13: Ravens at Falcons


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#1 BSLGabeFerguson

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 01:16 PM

Another game the Ravens need to win if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive. Biggest question will be can the Ravens defense limit the high-powered Falcons offense, and what will Lamar Jackson look like in his first road start.

 

https://www.baltimor...ravens-falcons/


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#2 BSLRobShields

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 01:26 PM

Everyone who missed practice yesterday practiced today except for Jefferson.
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#3 esporter

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 02:21 PM

I think we get smashed.

 

Defense hasn't been playing as great as advertised IMO and I think we trade FGs for touchdowns most of the afternoon.

 

I like Lamar and am rooting for him, though I'm still a Joe guy. But I think we're due for a rough game out of him.

 

27-16 Falcons.


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#4 ravens82

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 04:26 PM

Last week was a bit deceiving.  The special teams and defensive touchdowns masked the fact that the offense only put up 20 points against a bad team at home.  Lamar Jackson is going to improve, but right now he's not a consistent passer, and nowhere near ready to win a shootout without some defensive help.

 

The Falcons one big strength is their high powered passing offense.  A Ravens win hinges on their ability to counter that strength.  The Ravens should win if the defense clamps down on the Falcons offense and holds them to 20 points or less.  If the Falcons score between 20-30 points, the Ravens D will need to score or provide some short fields for the offense to pull out the win.  If the Falcons put up 30+ and the defense does not get turnovers, the Ravens will likely lose.



#5 BSLGabeFerguson

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 04:46 PM

Yeah this game will be decided by the defense. I don't see the Ravens putting up more than 23-27 points max on offense, and as I noted in the article the Ravens have been among the best in the NFL at limiting big plays in the passing game. They will need to do that because it is the strength of the Falcons offense.


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#6 primetime

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 05:21 PM

Flacco returning to practice today adds a bit more intrigue to the next few days for sure. We'll see how that all plays out.

 

Regardless of who's under center, the game within the game is how we handle the Atlanta offense. When you hear the names...Ryan, Jones, Ridley, Sanu, etc, you definitely worry about them putting up a bunch of points. With that said, they haven't scored more than 19 points in any of their last 3 games. Albeit, 2 of those were road games and overall, the Falcons average 30 points per game at home, so the defense needs to show up in a big way. 

 

Bottom line, if you win the turnover battle, you're going to have a good shot at winning the game. Can we generate enough pressure to force either a strip-sack and/or some bad throws that could be picked off? And then on offense, can we take care of the football? 


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#7 BSLRobShields

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 06:20 PM

Ryan has been sacked a lot this year.  We will see if our pathetic pass rush can get after him.

 

Their running game is next to last in the NFL in terms of yards per game and yards per carry, so our defense needs to be able to shut down their running game with 6 or 7 guys and keep guys back in coverage or be able to blitz.


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#8 BSLGabeFerguson

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 06:56 PM

Ryan has been sacked a lot this year.  We will see if our pathetic pass rush can get after him.

 

Their running game is next to last in the NFL in terms of yards per game and yards per carry, so our defense needs to be able to shut down their running game with 6 or 7 guys and keep guys back in coverage or be able to blitz.

Pretty much exactly what I wrote.


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#9 BSLRobShields

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 07:08 PM

Pretty much exactly what I wrote.

Sorry, haven't had a chance to read the article yet.  But clearly, if you wrote that, you would be right.  :)


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#10 BSLGabeFerguson

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 07:13 PM

Sorry, haven't had a chance to read the article yet.  But clearly, if you wrote that, you would be right.   :)

haha it's fine, how the Ravens can pressure Ryan is going to be the X factor imo


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#11 cprenegade

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 07:19 PM

I look at the NFL as a series or ebb and flows within each season.  There are only a handful of teams that go on either a prolonged winning or losing streak.  The Falcons have lost 3 in a row for the second time this season.  They have not lost 4 in a row or more since 2015.  The Ravens, on the other hand, have only put together 2 winning streaks of more than 2 games since the beginning of 2015.  Moreover, they have rarely put together 3 good efforts in a row.  We have already seen this team look terrible against teams after looking like they might be able to start stacking some wins, as Harbuagh likes to say.  They have been especially vulnerable to these efforts on the road.  Playing in Atlanta, against a team desparate for a win, would not seem to be a situation where the Ravens rise to the occasion.  They are better than Atlanta, but not by all that much.   If this game follows the form of not only this year, but the last several, the Ravens are probably due for a flat effort on the road which will spell loss.  



#12 BSLGabeFerguson

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 07:34 PM

I don't think the Falcons are desperate for a win, their season is over.


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#13 jamesdean

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 07:35 PM

I'll stick to my assessment of this game.  It will certainly help if the defense is performing at high effectiveness when out there and they go on a roll with turnovers and sacks.  But more realistically, I still think the key to the game is controlling the clock and keeping Ryan & Co. on the side line.  If they can't do that, they will lose and possibly get blown out.  If Jackson is faced with a quick 14-0 or 21-0 deficit and it's not even half time, it's going to get ugly.  So, I think it's imperative that they start the game committed to running the ball and chew up the minutes. Lamar can then mix in some quick in seam or side line pattern throws to keep Atlanta honest.  And since it's a road game, he must try to avoid throwing anymore picks, thus getting the home crowd in a frenzy and establishing momentum.  It's a lot to ask of the kid but I'll be excited to see how he does.  I don't see them winning the game but I hope it's competitive and goes down to the wire. 



#14 cprenegade

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 07:47 PM

I don't think the Falcons are desperate for a win, their season is over.

 

Well first of all I don't think they have quit on their season so I expect they will be motivated to get a win.  We all saw a team out of the playoffs that should have had no motivation beat the Ravens in the final game of the season last year.  They played New Orleans fairly tough in New Orleans on Thanksgiving, even though they lost by 14.  Second, the NFC wild card race is as messy as the AFC.  The second WC has 5 losses already.  If they won out they might be in a tiebreaker position.  It's a long shot no doubt.  But as long as there is a chance I think they will still be trying to string together those wins.  



#15 BSLRobShields

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 08:32 PM

Well first of all I don't think they have quit on their season so I expect they will be motivated to get a win. We all saw a team out of the playoffs that should have had no motivation beat the Ravens in the final game of the season last year. They played New Orleans fairly tough in New Orleans on Thanksgiving, even though they lost by 14. Second, the NFC wild card race is as messy as the AFC. The second WC has 5 losses already. If they won out they might be in a tiebreaker position. It's a long shot no doubt. But as long as there is a chance I think they will still be trying to string together those wins.


The Ravens lost to a rival...the Saints are a rival for Atlanta.

Your point may be true but I don’t think those are the best examples.

The Ravens pass defense has been elite this year. Only giving up 200 passing yards a game in this era, with poor pass rushing, is pretty damn impressive.

We really should boat race this team. We match up well with them.
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#16 cprenegade

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 09:29 PM

The Ravens lost to a rival...the Saints are a rival for Atlanta.

Your point may be true but I don’t think those are the best examples.

The Ravens pass defense has been elite this year. Only giving up 200 passing yards a game in this era, with poor pass rushing, is pretty damn impressive.

We really should boat race this team. We match up well with them.

 

True.  Again on statistics alone it has been.  But against better QBs like Brees and Roethlisberger when they needed stops, they failed to get them.  Might as well throw Mayfield in there as well.  If they don't give up the big play in OT they probably at least get a tie.  



#17 BSLRobShields

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 09:42 PM

True.  Again on statistics alone it has been.  But against better QBs like Brees and Roethlisberger when they needed stops, they failed to get them.  Might as well throw Mayfield in there as well.  If they don't give up the big play in OT they probably at least get a tie.  

I mean, I guess.

 

They did lock down that Saints offense, the best in the league, for 3 quarters and held them to 14 points under their scoring average.

 

Had they given up 24 points in the first 3Q and shut them down in the 4thQ, would you be saying the same thing?

 

Look, there is no doubt that the team has failed to get big stops at some crucial points in the game...but overall, the defense is playing very well.  They lead in most statistical categories (including the most important, points allowed) and they are 5th in DVOA.  I certainly get frustrated with some of the things they fail to do, especially with the pass rush, but overall I think we have to be happy with how good this defense is considering the rules in place.  Really, the only game they shit the bed was against Carolina and they were without their best defensive player, Marlon Humphrey, in that game.  And that was crucial at that point in the season, considering Jimmy Smith wasn't really back yet.  I don't know that it would have mattered but its not an issue to ignore either.


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#18 ravens82

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 11:09 AM

With Humphrey, Carr, and a returning-to-form Jimmy Smith, the Ravens should have enough quality corners to slow down the Falcons passing attack.   If Young can play, that would make it even better.  The Falcons OL is in flux.  Hopefully Tim Williams can go and provide some pass rush spark along with Judon/ZSmith/Suggs.

 

The offense has the tools to play a grind-em-down, ball-control type of game, with the occasional passing strike to prevent their D from deploying an extra guy in the box on every play.  But the defense must help their rookie QB on the road, if they are going to get the W.  If they can't get it done @ATL, how can we expect them to compete @KC or @LAC?


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#19 cprenegade

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 07:23 PM

I mean, I guess.

 

They did lock down that Saints offense, the best in the league, for 3 quarters and held them to 14 points under their scoring average.

 

Had they given up 24 points in the first 3Q and shut them down in the 4thQ, would you be saying the same thing?

 

Look, there is no doubt that the team has failed to get big stops at some crucial points in the game...but overall, the defense is playing very well.  They lead in most statistical categories (including the most important, points allowed) and they are 5th in DVOA.  I certainly get frustrated with some of the things they fail to do, especially with the pass rush, but overall I think we have to be happy with how good this defense is considering the rules in place.  Really, the only game they shit the bed was against Carolina and they were without their best defensive player, Marlon Humphrey, in that game.  And that was crucial at that point in the season, considering Jimmy Smith wasn't really back yet.  I don't know that it would have mattered but its not an issue to ignore either.

 

I see what you're saying and agree to a point.  The Ravens defense is among the better defenses statistically in the league.  At this point in the NFL I'm not really sure that means all that much.  A perfect case in point occurred last night.  Dallas defense shut the Saints down pretty much all game.  Dallas offense did not perform nearly as well as the Ravens offense did against the Saints.  They had 1 TD and 2 FGs.  Late in the 4th the offense is deep in Saints territory going for the kill and Prescott fumbles the ball back to the Saints with a little over 2 minutes left in the game.  A perfect scenario for Brees to lead them back to a winning score, or at the very least a FG to send it to overtime.  Except that the Dallas D came up with the big play, an INT, to stop them when it needed to and win the game.  That's the difference.  When the Ravens D has been faced with that situation in the past few years, more often than not they give up that play and fail to make that stop.  And it is often the difference between winning and losing.  I'm not arguing that the defense isn't statistically among the leaders.  It is, and has been for the past two years.  But when it comes to gut check time they have blown a lot of games that a defense needs to close out to be considered elite, imo.



#20 BSLRobShields

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 07:28 PM

Well, I don’t know that anyone who watches them on a weekly basis believes them to be an elite defense.
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