The Baltimore Ravens (1-1) take on the New England Patriots (1-1). A rematch of last seasons AFC Championship game.
What will be the biggest obstacle or challenge for the Ravens Sunday night versus New England? We pose the question to our Baltimore Bridiron Report staff:
“The biggest obstacle will be the Ravens offensive play calling. Let’s rethink this ‘no huddle’ for a minute because I am seeing less of running back Ray Rice, an elite back, on the field with this new approach. The team’s ultimate weapon in Rice shouldn’t be a bystander. So far Rice has 26 carries and Flacco has 71 passing attempts in two games. Last week Coach Harbaugh/Cam Cameron refused to run the ball on 3rd and short multiple times. Sure, you can’t be predictable, but don’t tell me it’s good play calling not to give the football to your best player on the field in Rice. Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron stands by his play-calling, which is a concern, because there is no indication he will change.
This game calls for the Ravens to make smart choices and smart play-calling decisions. New England’s Coach Bill Belichick will take advantage of any miscues or missed opportunities presented by the Ravens.”
“I expect the play calling to be fine this week. I’ve noticed the pattern over the years that in games after Cameron getting heat for a loss the offense normally performs better. I’m concerned about the defense stepping up in a Prime-Time contest against a top quarterback. Sure, Baltimore was able to fluster Brady during the AFC Title game but that was with Terrell Suggs who is a one on one matchup nightmare for most teams. If the defense can slow the Patriots attack like Arizona did last week the Ravens have a chance to win by 10 points or more.”
They must begin to establish the offense as the superior side of the ball on their team through the air. The Ravens biggest obstacle will be their ability to establish the run if they must do so as a means to move the ball.
“The biggest obstacle to winning the game is limiting the total yardage gained on Defense. The Ravens have been absolutely shredded on defense the last two games, and if they hope to pull out the W they have to step up, man up, and gain back the swagger they’ve seemingly lost. You simply cannot let the Pats put up 500 yards of offense and expect to win.”