BATTLE PLANS: Ravens @ Redskins
1. Control the Blitzkrieg
The biggest staple of Washington’s defense is their all-out blitz game. The Redskins will show a lot of aggressive looks – at times showing Cover 0 where there is no safety help over the top. In other instances, they will bluff the blitz and have the hovering A gap blitzers fan out to clog the inside passing lanes.
For Joe Flacco to be successful, he’ll need an assortment of quick-hitting blitz beaters at his disposal. The ball must be out of his hand quickly and decisively. Moreover, before he releases the ball, he’ll have to be careful to make sure a linebacker doesn’t drop into a spot he thought would be vacated. All in all, Flacco will need to be prepared to see all ends of the blitz spectrum.
2. Play Keep Away
One of the standout aspects of the Giants game plan against Washington was their ability to control the clock. The Giants won the battle by a little more than a seven-minute differential. This may not seem like a big deal, but they were able to limit RG3’s snaps on offense, and keep the game a low-scoring affair.
The Ravens will need to sustain offensive drives in a similar manner if they want to keep the red-hot rookie quarterback on the sidelines. That means finding a way to convert third downs by running the ball and using the short passing game as an extension to the running game.
3. Red Zone Efficiency
It’s amazing to think that after lighting up the Raiders for 55 points, the Baltimore offense has scored just three touchdowns in the weeks after. Offensive drives have stalled for a variety of reasons, including penalties, sacks and poor short-yardage execution.
Whatever the case, the Ravens will have to get their act together when they get inside of the red area. Field goals won’t be enough to compete against a suddenly explosive Washington offense.
Defensive Keys and One-on-One Matchup to watch HERE