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Week 14: Detroit Lions @ Baltimore Ravens


Week 14: Detroit Lions at Baltimore Ravens
Monday December 13, 2009 1:00 PM
Line: Ravens +3.5

That was… that was just awful. I’m not even sure where to begin. Do I start with the multiple pass interference calls? Do I start with the nonexistent offense? Do I start with the lackluster defense/pass rush? How about the 25-point quarterback rating from Joe Flacco? I am seriously at a loss.

Normally I would take a good amount of time in this space to talk about last week’s game and maybe shed some light on to the good things that happened as well as the bad, but I’m so disappointed that I think I’m just going to skip it this week. We all know the score, Ravens have to win out to make the playoffs. This week the Lions come to town but in the NFL no game is a gimmie (just ask Pittsburgh).

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

Win the one-on-ones

I’m going to keep this one as a hold over from last week. Mostly because they still have yet to get it right. I know they got two sacks on Aaron Rodgers, but for most of the game they were being pushed around by the Green bay offensive line. Now that being said, the Lions are not Green Bay. They simply are not at that talent level.

However, to win this game the Ravens MUST do something they have failed to do consistently all season. They must win the one-on-one matchups and they must get pressure on Dante Caulpepper. If they can hurry him, if they can pressure him, if they can get sacks, they will win.

“Poe”ssess the football

I’m going to keep this one too. I like the pun, and the Ravens didn’t get this one right either. The weather forecast for Sunday is cold and wintry mix. That doesn’t usually translate to a game in which your quarterback runs and guns it all over the field. This is the type of hard nose rush attack game that the Ravens used to be so well known for. This is the type of game where you get the ball and you hold the ball. Run it as much as humanly possible to keep the defense on the field, keep them tired and keep them from being able to focus. In cold weather long sustained drives are be back breakers.

Protect the football

While we’re on the subject of things the Ravens failed to do, how about protecting the football? If it wasn’t Ray Rice fumbling the ball, it was Joe Flacco throwing interceptions. The game against the Pack was flat out ugly. Absolutely nothing went right. But well, if you don’t protect the ball, you cannot expect to win.

The turnovers must be stopped (especially the red zone turnovers) if the Ravens are going to get back to winning and make a run for the playoffs. Winning starts here.

Put Lardarius Webb on Calvin Johnson

Dominique Foxworth is STILL the weak link in the Ravens secondary right now (although arguably he was given a run for his money by Frank Walker). The only corner worth his salt right now is the rookie. Webb didn’t have a flawless game but her certainly had a solid enough game to merit being placed on the Lions’ best offensive weapon in Calvin Johnson.

Without Calvin Johnson, Caulpepper won’t have enough targets to make anything happen. If the Ravens and Webb can shut down Johnson then the Ravens will win this game handily. If he runs roughshod all over the field, it could be a battle till the final whistle.

Be Mindful of the Weather… Run the Ball

After doing a great job of dominating the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Ravens could get no traction against the Pack. Every time Rice, McGahee and McClain tried to get anything going, Green Bay was ready and had an answer. Now I know the Pack ahs the best defense in football, but that’s no excuse to not get anything going. The Ravens needed their running game to win and failed to get it done. This week once again, obviously the first thought is that the Ravens are going to run, they have to, but to do it effectively the Ravens will need to be creative and mix up their looks and their packages with all three backs. Let’s see if they get it right this week.

Just Win

The message for the rest of the season is just win. Don’t be focused on anything else but getting the W and moving forward. The talking heads talk about identity, and when you’re losing you have no identity. When a team wins you never hear people talk about identity. The Ravens must simply win to get through this tough spot. Having the Lions and Bears back to back is a gift from the NFL, Baltimore must capitalize.

Ravens Gab Predictions

Jonathon Scruggs

Look, the Ravens are playing the Lions. The Lions are terrible but trending towards sunnier shores. Until they get there though this is the perfect opportunity to right the ship and get the winning ways back on track. This team has a winner somewhere inside of it, they simply have to find him again and find a way to dominate this game early and often.

Ravens 27 — Lions 13

Matt Jergensen

The Ravens must get up and play well in the first half, a problem throughout most of the season, to keep the Lions believing just how awful they truly are. The weather will be cold and rainy which means the running game should be dialed up most of the afternoon. On paper this looks like a walk but would anyone have believed the Browns would have beaten the Steelers last Thursday? In the NFL it can happen and with players like Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs and Mark Clayton  game time decisions others need to step forward.

They have to get it done or it really is over.

Ravens 28 – Lions 14

Gene Winner

The Ravens usually do well playing teams with losing records, and should be able to handle Detroit.  In this game it is important for the offense to get back some confidence.

A key to the offense is receiver Demetrius Williams, as he is a viable deep threat and helps stretch the field.  Opposing defenses are able to press our receivers because of the lack of the deep threat.  Having a receiver in Williams may open things up for the offense.

On defense the team will be all over receiver Calvin Johnson as he is an explosive player.  The unit has to find a way to get pressure upfront.  Expect the Ravens to push Detroit around a little bit as they are struggling on offense.

Ravens 28 – Lions 13

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One Response to “Week 14: Detroit Lions @ Baltimore Ravens”

  1. […] got the start over Stafford. QUARTERBACK REPORT CARD Passer Rating: Detroit 33.3, … Week 14: Detroit Lions @ Baltimore Ravens » Ravens Gab – 12/13/2009 Week 14: Detroit Lions at Baltimore Ravens Monday December 13, […]

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