Keys to the Game: Oakland @ Baltimore

Flaccio out wide.

Week 10: Oakland Raiders v. Baltimore Ravens

Sunday November 11, 2012 1:00 PM

Line: Ravens -8 O/U 48

 

Although the world lost its last remaining World War I veteran this past February, today’s significance is no less diminished. As you watch you beloved Ravens do battle today keep in mind the veterans who sacrificed to make it all possible. This weekend the Birds of Baltimore face an old foe in a new uniform. Carson used to be the ultimate Raven killer, but the Raiders have been struggling all season. Will old ghosts come to haunt, or will the Ravens roll into their showdown with Pittsburgh unscathed? 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: Get after Palmer

First and foremost the Ravens have got to control and contain Carson Palmer. We all know he has the skills to torch this secondary, but if the Ravens can get in his face and force him to throw off balance, he will fold and he will make mistakes. Winning this game starts with dismantling the offense. Dismantling the offense starts with getting after Carson Palmer.

2nd and Long: Run with Rice

The Raiders have shown an inability to stop the run this season and what that means is that the Ravens have got to attack with Ray Rice and stick to it. A big part of the game plan has to be winning the time of possession battle. Looking back at the Browns game from last week, the Ravens possessed the ball 31 minutes of the total 60. That is where winning starts. Game management and ball control will be a central theme to winning this contest. A strong power running game will help the Ravens control the ball and dictate the pace of play.

3rd and Short: Press the Line

All season I’ve been screaming about Jimmy Smith and company this season (Lardarius Webb excluded) because they refuse to jam wide receivers at the line of scrimmage on obvious passing downs. Certain wide receivers (Heyward-Bey for example) can be disrupted completely if you just pressure them. Hit them hard and knock them off their routes.

Disrupt the tempo, get the receivers of their game and make it difficult for Palmer to make his connections.

4th Down: Slow it Down

All season for the Ravens, there’s been an overwhelming tendency to speed up the progression and get a rapid attack offense running. So far, despite the flaws, it’s worked and the Ravens have managed to hold on for the win. This Sunday however, conventional wisdom should again be bucked in favor of a slowed down controlled game plan.

Yes the Raiders are not so good, yes the Ravens are lethal at home, but hat shouldn’t lull anyone into a false sense of security. Don’t let this game get away from you before it begins. Slow it down, grind it out, and win the game.

Extra Point: Just Win Baby

This is the turning point of the season for the Ravens. If they can win this game they will go into a pivotal match-up against the Steelers with a 7-2 record. The race to the playoffs begins now and with an absolutely brutal December stretch looming, every single victory is going to be monumental in the effort to make it six straight seasons in the post season. The Ravens can quite literally not afford a let down game for the remainder of the year. Just win. Just get it done. Just move on.

BGR Predictions

Jonathon Scruggs (5-2)

I’m slightly worried about this game but in the end I think the Ravens walk relatively easily.

Ravens 27 — Raiders 13

Matt Jergensen (6-1)

Something tells me this one won’t  be quite as easy as people think. Let’s be honest, this edition of the Ravens hasn’t dominated any team since Week One. But they are a different squad at home, so expect the league’s longest running home win streak to continue.

Ravens 28 – Raiders 21

Gene Winner (6-1)

Slam dunk!  I don’t think the Raiders have won on the east coast in the last few years.

Ravens 31 – Raiders 24

Ben Zinman (6-1)

This will be the last “Gimme” game  on the schedule. The Raiders are a bad team and the Ravens are at home. This is a formula for victory. The Ravens should have a substantial margin of victory.

Ravens 31 – Raiders 14

 

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