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Keys to the Game: Cowboys @ Ravens

Will Romo Be in a Giving Mood to Reed?

Week 5: Dallas Cowboys at Baltimore Ravens

Sunday October 14, 2012 1:05 PM

Line: Ravens -3 O/U 47

The Ravens this season have been a tale of two cities. On the road a sputtering bumbling mess. At home a freight train of efficiency and power. Dropped balls, ineffective game planning and miscommunications doomed the Ravens to a squeaked out victory over the Chiefs last week, but thankfully the road trip was brief. Will the home dominance streak continue or will the Ravens fall to 4-2? With that in mind, let’s take a look at this week’s keys to the game.


Baltimore Gridiron Report Keys to the Game

1st and Ten: Contain DeMarcus Ware

There is no bigger force on defense throughout the NFL than DeMarcus Ware. With all do respect to Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs, Ware has the innate ability to absolutely wreck opposing offensive lines. His sack numbers over the last seasons are maddening.

The Ravens must dig deep and brace for the onslaught. Although Bobbie Williams is starting in place of Ramon Harewood, which should provide some greater push, the Ravens would do well to double up on Ware and give Flacco some extra protection.

2nd and Long: Pound the Nose Tackle

One other way to limit the pass rufh of the cowboys is to run Ray Rice straight down the heart of the defense. Get Vonta Leach in front of him and this should be a good day.

The Ravens have an opportunity to capitalize big time here. The Cowboys can be weak through the center of their defense and the Ravens have the type of running game that will create penetration. Winning the game starts here

3rd and Short: Rush Romo

Converse to protecting Joe Flacco is getting after Tony Romo. As well all know, when you get into Romo’s face and force him to make plays on the run, he generally gets sloppy with the ball.

Ravens must generate pass rush and get into the backfield as rapidly as possible. Getting the game under control and forcing the turnovers starts with dominating Tony Romo in all phases of the game.

4th Down: Flacco’s Dominance

So far this season there has been few quarterbacks as solid as Joe Flacco when playing at home. For whatever reason his numbers skyrocket while playing within the confines of M&T Bank Stadium. Winning over Dallas requires a well executed plan of attack from Joe Flacco.

If the Ravens are going to win, Joe will need to be sharp, focused, and above all else accurate. The Cowboys are are coming off the bye week and need this victory to keep their season going. They are behind the 8 ball right now and need a spark in the worst way imaginable.

Extra Point: Contain Demarco Murray

You damn sight better believe that the Cowboys watched Jamal Charles and company gash the Ravens for +200 yards of offense last Sunday. The Ravens have got to expect a healthy dose of Murray on Sunday. Although he’s not the same down hill power runner that gives the Ravens fits, he’s still insanely talented and can gash this defense if they’re not ready for him. Stop him, and you stop the Cowboys dead in their tracks.

BGR Predictions

Jonathon Scruggs (3-2)

The Ravens generally play at a whole other level when at home. I think they win this game by the slimmest of margins and move on to their second Texas show down sitting at 5-1

Ravens 27 — Cowboys 24

Matt Jergensen (4-1)

The Cowboys are a team full of stars but they seem to lack that certain something to propel them to a playoff caliber squad. The Ravens and Joe Flacco play at another level at home and that’s why  they have enough to get past Dallas.

Ravens 27 – Cowboys 21

Gene Winner (4-1)

I see the Ravens defense going out and making a statement. The national media have been all over Ray Lewis and the D after they struggled in Kansas City.  That means getting after QB Romo and forcing him to make mistakes. The offense always play better at home and must stay aggressive.

Ravens 30 – Cowboys 20

Ben Zinman (4-1)

Ravens are back home to face the Cowboys. Flacco will face challenges from the defense of the Cowboys. Romo gets very emotional when all is well and the game is working in his favor. He also tends to lose his composure when the game is not going his way. If the Ravens can paint this picture of fustration for Romo it could be a long night for the Dallas Cowboys.

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