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Week 6: Baltimore Ravens @ Minnesota Vikings


Week 6: Baltimore Ravens at Minnesota Vikings

Sunday October 18, 2009 1:05 PM

Line: Ravens +3

OK. Let’s just all gather around and hold hands. Everyone take a deep breath, grab your buddy and hug it out. It’s going to be OK, I Promise. Need a cry? I don’t blame you. Two weeks ago was tough. The Ravens went into Foxboro, gutted it out against one of the best teams in the league and came up short. Last week the Ravens forgot to set their alarm clocks and overslept until roughly 4:00pm or so…

The Bengals came into this house (which we must protect according to the good people at Under Armour) and pushed the Ravens around. If in the Patriots game the Ravens just came up short, in the Bengals game the Ravens the Ravens just fell apart. But hey, it’s football! You can’t have a memory in this game. You have to develop a nasty case of early onset Alzheimer’s and move on to next week’s opponent. You better be sure that the undefeated Minnesota Vikings are ready for the suddenly punchless Ravens, so Baltimore better be quick to forget the last two weeks, and be ready to bring the pain.

With that in mind let’s take a look at this week’s matchup. Keys to the Game

Find a Way to Protect the Field

If you read my Fantasy Preview article this week, you know my current feelings on the Ravens’ secondary. I sincerely believe that the cornerbacks on this team are about as intimidating as a box of kittens.

That being said, the Ravens have simply got to find a way to protect their backside on Defense. All of the big hits, and all of the quarterback hurries in the world won’t amount to a hill of beans if the Ravens continue to give up passing plays like this is two hand touch. I don’t know what it’s going to take to get Dominique Foxworth or Fabian Washington (or Frank Walker) to wake up, but maybe it’s time to start working the young guns like Ladarius Webb into the nickel and dime packages.

Let’s be very clear about this. I believe the Ravens can contain Adrian Peterson, but that won’t matter if Brett Favre is allowed to throw the ball all over the field (and he will if you let him). He’s a veteran. He’s smart. He will beat you (badly) if you allow him to. The Ravens Secondary have to come out fired up to win this game. Maybe we can start a rumor that Favre called Foxworth’s momma fat.

Bottle up Adrian Peterson

Look I know this should be filed under “Obvious Information,” but the key to stopping Favre is to force him to throw the ball. I know what I said above, about how good Favre is, and how bad he can hurt you, etc., but listen: Favre is the #1 all time leader in INTs. If you take a way his ground game, he will eventually implode and throw some juicy picks.

Adrian Peterson is not the most elusive of backs. He’s big, He’s strong and he’s fast. Sure he has good cut back skills, but to be honest, he’s the kind of back that the Ravens Defense is made to dominate. He can be stopped (ask the Niners), and if you can stop him then you can stop Favre. Winning the game starts here.

Possess the Ball

This is another one of those obvious information type keys to the game. If Favre/Peterson are not on the field, then they have no opportunity to score, and thus no opportunity to win. You beat good teams and you beat good quarterbacks by keeping the opposing offense off the field for as long as you possibly can. In pop warner ball, coaches stress that games are won with fundamentals and dominating statistics. Winning the time of possession is the key to beating the Vikings at home.

Beat the Metrodome

The biggest thing that the Ravens can do is to take the Vikings’ fans out of the game. They are loud, they are obnoxious, and they have a dome to amplify every single scream, obscenity and cheer sent towards the field.

If the Ravens can get up in the score early, take the Fans out of the game, it will be that much easier to take down the Vikings in a notoriously difficult place to play.

Ravens Gab Predictions

Jonathon Scruggs

The Vikings are undefeated, they have a solid rhythm, and are playing with absolutely no urgency what-so-ever. The Ravens on the other hand are struggling to get their footing back.

After dominating the first three weeks, the Ravens have begun to slide. The biggest thing going in their favor right now is a sense or urgency to right the ship heading into a much needed bye week. If the Birds can force Favre to be the INT throwing machine we all know and love then I have every confidence that they can win this game, however, I’m just not sure that the Ravens can pull it off.

The line right now is +3, and that means Vegas odds makers consider this game a bonafide toss up. Home teams always get 3 points no matter what the game. In the end I think the Ravens have way too many problems they need to work out. Beating the Vikings is simply to much to ask.

Ravens 17 — Vikings 27

Matt Jergensen

The Ravens need a win this week before going into the Bye. As a result they should show a greater sense of urgency in trying to battle the Vikings than they did last week.

Minnesota has weapons on both sides of the ball to contend with. Adrian Peterson is considered by many to be the league’s best back and Favre is only throwing when he has to and therefore his ability to make mistakes has been limited. Baltimore will need to flush him from the pocket and make him think he’s 10 years younger than he is. The mistakes will follow. The Vikings also have an excellent defensive front led by Jared Allen as well as an opportunistic secondary.

Baltimore all of a sudden feels like a team that needs to rediscover itself. That doesn’t bode well in what should be a deafening Metrodome

Ravens 20 – Vikings 24

Gene Winner

Ravens fans don’t like their chances going into this game. Continued bad play on defense has been a reoccurring theme far too often. On offense fans don’t know what to expect, the running game has not been utilized to its full potential to say the least.

The Vikings are a strong opponent with weapons at running back and the quarterback position. They pose a strong front to run against and the Ravens need to keep pounding it away to set up the play action for Flacco.

The biggest challenge will be how the Ravens coaches respond to making adjustments in order to improve the team’s inconsistent play. But don’t write off the Ravens, Coach Harbaugh has been tested before.

This is not the ‘Viking Age’ just yet. Somehow the Ravens pull out a win

Ravens 27 – Vikings 24

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One Response to “Week 6: Baltimore Ravens @ Minnesota Vikings”

  1. […] story? … » no name. @ none of your businessif you admit you owed at le… » … Week 6: Baltimore Ravens @ Minnesota Vikings » Ravens Gab – 10/18/2009 Week 6: Baltimore Ravens at Minnesota Vikings Sunday October 18, […]

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