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First Look: Packers (2-2) vs. Ravens (3-2)

1. Slowing down Rodgers- It is no secret that Aaron Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He is elite and is coming off another strong performance agains the Lions. Rodgers can kill you with his arm, and  it doesn’t hurt that he has the weapons around him to make it that much easier for him. With receivers Jordy Nelson, James Jones, and Randall Cobb, to go along with tight end Jermichael Finley, Rodgers has plenty of options to choose from. The Ravens will have to pick their poison and decide who they are going to focus on. Cobb can hurt you in the slot, on the outside, and even in the backfield, so locating him before the snap will be key. The pass rush needs to have another big game if there is any hope of slowing down this aerial attack. The defensive backs will be challenged this week and will need to be on the same page or else Rodgers will have a big day.

2. Flacco’s streak- Quarterback Joe Flacco is 10-0 at home against NFC teams in his career and he hopes to extend that streak this week with another strong performance against an out of conference foe. Flacco will hopefully get some of his receivers back this week as they all appear to be healthy. The team expects Jacoby Jones and Marlon Brown to be available this week, barring any setbacks, so that should help definitely help Flacco. On top of that, the Ravens are lucky that Clay Matthews will be unable to suit up this week as he deals with a thumb injury, which means an already shaky offensive line has one less thing to worry about. Flacco should be able to have a good day Sunday against the NFL’s 26th ranked pass defense.

3. Monroe’s Debut?-Is this the week that we get to see the newly acquired left tackle suit up for the Ravens? All indications are pointing that way, but you never know with coach John Harbaugh, who likes to keep things close to the vest. I would fully expect to see Monroe out there as the starting left tackle this week, and without Matthews playing, he should have a solid debut as the Packers don’t have any other impact pass rushers like Matthews. This will be something to keep a close eye on as the week goes on and something to look for when hearing coach Harbaugh address the media.

4. Packers underrated run game- For years the Packers have been a one dimensional team who couldn’t run the ball. After drafting two talented backs in last year’s draft, the team has put more of an emphasis on running the ball. With their three-headed attack of James Starks, and rookies Eddie Lacy and James Franklin, the team has been able to run the ball efficiently to complement their passing attack. The Packers have struggled on the road lately and as we all know, it is hard to win on the road when you don’t have an effective running game. If the Packers want to make it even more difficult for the Ravens to slow them down, they will find a way to run the ball. The Ravens were able to hold the Dolphins to only 22 yards last week, but the previous week they gave up over 200 yards on the ground, so it will be interesting to see which Ravens run defense shows up this week agains the Packers.

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2 Responses to “First Look: Packers (2-2) vs. Ravens (3-2)”

  1. Gayle Levy says:

    Enjoy tis column, well written and very informative and up to date.

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