Week 16 Ravens Pre-Game Thread

mascho

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Baltimore's guards telegraph run/pass with their stance.  Hand in the dirt:  run.  Two point stance:  pass.  They don't change it up for play action, draws, or screens.  
 

Ed Hillel

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Stitch01 said:
Pats in with a win or a Miami loss or a Bengal loss if I'm thinking of this correctly.
 
Don't think a Bengals loss does it, since they could win week 17, we could lose week 16 and 17, and they'd have the tiebreaker. Others are correct, though.
 
Edit - Wait, but Bengals play Ravens week 17...so we'd get the 6 seed at worst I think? One of them will have to end up with a lower record. So I guess you're right.
 

shawnrbu

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If the Bengals win in Week 17, then Baltimore would have 7 losses and the Pats would be guaranteed a playoff spot.
 
As far as I know, this is the doomsday scenario: Miami wins 2, Baltimore wins 2, Bengals win 1, Pats lose 2
 

Bongorific

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It matters which game Cincy wins. If the lose this week and beat Ravens, Pats are in and Ravens are out. If they win this week and lose to Ravens, and Pats lose both, Pats lose WC to Cincy because if h2h tie breaker.
 

Super Nomario

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RedOctober3829 said:
Pats need to blitz the shit out of Flacco and play man to man. Make Flacco make mistakes with the football.
The problem is, I don't think they have a great matchup on Smith or Jones or Pitta. If the protection holds up, they could get some long TDs that way (as we've seen with the Pats blitzing the last two games).
 
This Baltimore team scares me. The D is really good, they're tough at home, and they've given the Pats trouble historically. Their offense is weak, but consistent (between 14 and 30 points every game) and I don't think the Pats match up great against it.
 

Stitch01

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Bongorific said:
It matters which game Cincy wins. If the lose this week and beat Ravens, Pats are in and Ravens are out. If they win this week and lose to Ravens, and Pats lose both, Pats lose WC to Cincy because if h2h tie breaker.
Yes, meant this week scenarios.
 

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We should be terrified, on the highest scoring weekend in NFL history, the Ravens kick field goals. These games have always been tight. 
 

jsinger121

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Super Nomario said:
The problem is, I don't think they have a great matchup on Smith or Jones or Pitta. If the protection holds up, they could get some long TDs that way (as we've seen with the Pats blitzing the last two games).
 
This Baltimore team scares me. The D is really good, they're tough at home, and they've given the Pats trouble historically. Their offense is week, but consistent (between 14 and 30 points every game) and I don't think the Pats match up great against it.
 
I think I would use Talib on Pitta as he is Flacco's security blanket. 
 

ivanvamp

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Over/Under on Patriots' pass interference, defensive holding, or illegal contact penalties as Flacco chucks it deep, play after play?
 
I'll offer 3.5 as the over/under, with at least one of them being a Mike Francesca UGE one.
 

dynomite

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jsinger121 said:
 
I think I would use Talib on Pitta as he is Flacco's security blanket. 
 
I tentatively agree, but I worry about what this means on the outside: Arrington/Dennard/Ryan stumbling and flailing as they desperately try to keep pace with Jacoby Jones and/or Torrey Smith racing down the sideline.
 
EDIT: It's hard, but I might make Arrington the Pitta shadow.  Talib would be better to be sure (he's bigger, stronger, and a better overall CB), but Arrington is such a liability on downfield routes that I don't think you can risk it, especially against two of the fastest WRs in football.  Arrington's the best tackler in the secondary and does pretty well in coverage routes over the middle.
 
Overall, I'd probably try to have an LB/DE chip Pitta at the line and then have Arrington pick him up.
 

Super Nomario

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I think I would go with the Denver game plan here:
  • Dare Baltimore to run. They have the worst rushing offense in the league by a lot (3.0 YPC; next worst is 3.3); any time they hand the ball off is a positive for the Pats.
  • Try to take away the 30-yard plays and make them beat you converting third downs.  Switch between one-safety looks - McCourty (always McCourty; Gregory has been exposed as a centerfielder each of the past two games) very deep in cover-1 or cover-3 - and two-safety looks.
  • I'd use the Vellano / Chris Jones pairing inside mostly, with Jones / Jones in passing situations.
  • Have Fletcher spy Rice.
  • Treat Pitta like a WR - in his two games, per PFF he's played 66 snaps and gone out for a pass on 56 of them.
They tried to do this against Baltimore in the AFCCG, and did limit the big plays - they didn't have a pass play longer than 26 yards (and only drew one DPI, a 15-yarder). Smith and Jones combined for just 5 catches and 75 yards. Flacco was able to beat them by converting repeated first downs. I think he'll have a tougher time doing that this year, because Pitta isn't 100% and he can't exploit the Boldin / Cole mismatch this time.
 

ivanvamp

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dynomite said:
 
I tentatively agree, but I worry about what this means on the outside: Arrington/Dennard/Ryan stumbling and flailing as they desperately try to keep pace with Jacoby Jones and/or Torrey Smith racing down the sideline.
 
EDIT: It's hard, but I might make Arrington the Pitta shadow.  Talib would be better to be sure (he's bigger, stronger, and a better overall CB), but Arrington is such a liability on downfield routes that I don't think you can risk it, especially against two of the fastest WRs in football.  Arrington's the best tackler in the secondary and does pretty well in coverage routes over the middle.
 
Overall, I'd probably try to have an LB/DE chip Pitta at the line and then have Arrington pick him up.
 
Talib's game isn't downfield speed.  He can really blanket the bigger receivers, and I think he'd absolutely shut Pitta down.  He would have handled Boldin last year, but I think Jones/Smith would give him problems.  You risk the big play on the outside, though, with Ryan, Dennard, and Arrington, but still, it might be the way to go.
 

dynomite

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ivanvamp said:
 
Talib's game isn't downfield speed.  He can really blanket the bigger receivers, and I think he'd absolutely shut Pitta down.  He would have handled Boldin last year, but I think Jones/Smith would give him problems.  You risk the big play on the outside, though, with Ryan, Dennard, and Arrington, but still, it might be the way to go.
 
I think you're underestimating Talib here.  He's simply a good CB: earlier this season he shut down Julio Jones and AJ Green.
 
If last night is any indication, the Ravens seem to rely in part on the pass interference offense and Flacco's rainbow throws.  I'd worry about asking Kyle Arrington to cover 3-4 of those. 
 

Van Everyman

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Those were both before he re-injured his hip tho. I agree: you probably need to provide support to Talib for the stretch stuff.
 

Granite Sox

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ivanvamp said:
 
Talib's game isn't downfield speed.  He can really blanket the bigger receivers, and I think he'd absolutely shut Pitta down.  He would have handled Boldin last year, but I think Jones/Smith would give him problems.  You risk the big play on the outside, though, with Ryan, Dennard, and Arrington, but still, it might be the way to go.
 
I agree with this, but I still think Pitta and Dixon drive the Pats and Pats fans crazy. Talib can only cover one of them, which leaves Gregory to miss the other, or Hightower to watch him run by, or Collins/Fletcher to interfere.
 
While I still respect the Ravens D, even in its current incarnation, I just don't think the Patriots defense matches up well with the strengths of the Baltimore offense at all.
 

Stitch01

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I would go to bend but dont break, play a fair amount of zone and two safety coverage, and make Flacco hit a bunch of throws in a row.  Pitta catching 10 for 110 over the middle isnt going to bother me.  Sick Collins on him and let him sink or swim.  Two TD bombs to Torrey Smith or Arrington tackling a guy 50 yards downfield for PI will bother me, Id let Pitta just do what he's going to do outside of the red zone.
 
Ravens will score points, but if you don't give up cheap long plays they aint putting up 30. 
 
Then its up to the offense.  Pats will move the ball, so its just a matter of not turning it over and how many times they put up 7s.
 
Game is very likely coming down to the last possession.
 

dcmissle

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I think this has to be a big Vereen game for the Pats to win as I don't really see many big plays coming on offense. The Ravens' front 7 is going to cause all sorts of problems for our battered OL. Just like in every recent Ravens game, I don't expect Brady to have very much time to throw the ball. With Gronk out, we really need either Dobson or Thompkins back in the lineup to give Brady bigger targets in the passing game.
 
I imagine Vereen is the one guy Pees will attempt to take away because they don't fear the others.  They'll happily take their chances tying up and beating up Amendola and Edelman on marches down the field, as that's what they have done successfully before.
 
It may be high risk against this crew, but I'd unleash Ridley.  What do they have to lose?  If the Pats can't bring some balance, Brady is likely to be running for his life for much of the afternoon.
 
On defense, I take away the long ball.  Force the Ravens to march it down the field.  They have had their share of red zone problems too.
 
Any recipe for a win has to include controlling the Ravens' excellent special teams.
 

ivanvamp

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The last 3 years, the Pats are 2-2 against the Ravens, each splitting the games in Baltimore and New England.  In other words, as tough as it always feels that Baltimore plays the Pats, it's equally true that the Pats always play the Ravens tough.  
 

Stitch01

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dcmissle said:
 
I imagine Vereen is the one guy Pees will attempt to take away because they don't fear the others.  They'll happily take their chances tying up and beating up Amendola and Edelman on marches down the field, as that's what they have done successfully before.
 
It may be high risk against this crew, but I'd unleash Ridley.  What do they have to lose?  If the Pats can't bring some balance, Brady is likely to be running for his life for much of the afternoon.
 
On defense, I take away the long ball.  Force the Ravens to march it down the field.  They have had their share of red zone problems too.
 
Any recipe for a win has to include controlling the Ravens' excellent special teams.
 
Agree with almost all of that, think I might give Blount first crack though. He's been pretty damn effective lately.  Pats werent really bad at running the ball last week.
 
Hopefully Dobson or Thompkins will come back this weekend.  Dobson in particular would be helpful to at least have someone with some height on the field.  Hard to throw back shoulder and fade patterns to Edelman.
 

Pumpsie

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The Ravens defensive backs scare me.  They punished the more athletic Lion receivers all game long. If I were Edelman or Amendola, I'd take out extra insurance. This is going to be a very tough game, no doubt about it.
 

RedOctober3829

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Pumpsie said:
The Ravens defensive backs scare me.  They punished the more athletic Lion receivers all game long. If I were Edelman or Amendola, I'd take out extra insurance. This is going to be a very tough game, no doubt about it.
I think they need to use more bunch formations and utilize motion to get free releases for the WRs whenever possible against these physical CBs.  The more physical they are, the more they are vulnerable to the double move as well.  This game screams for Aaron Dobson to work the outside of the field so hopefully he's healthy.  I haven't seen a practice report from today, but he did practice last Friday.  The formula for the Ravens against the Patriots in the past has been to muddle the middle of the field, so Brady will have to try to work the outside with some back-shoulders and such.
 
On defense, they need to be able to defend the screen pass(both inline and traditional) better.  Obviously, the 4th and 5 pass was not defended good enough but they've given up way too many middle screen plays for big yardage(Denver game for example).  The Ravens like to involve Rice in the screen game as we've seen in the past.
 

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RedOctober3829 said:
I think they need to use more bunch formations and utilize motion to get free releases for the WRs whenever possible against these physical CBs.  The more physical they are, the more they are vulnerable to the double move as well.  This game screams for Aaron Dobson to work the outside of the field so hopefully he's healthy.  I haven't seen a practice report from today, but he did practice last Friday.  The formula for the Ravens against the Patriots in the past has been to muddle the middle of the field, so Brady will have to try to work the outside with some back-shoulders and such.
 
On defense, they need to be able to defend the screen pass(both inline and traditional) better.  Obviously, the 4th and 5 pass was not defended good enough but they've given up way too many middle screen plays for big yardage(Denver game for example).  The Ravens like to involve Rice in the screen game as we've seen in the past.
Good call, Lloyd had a big game against the Ravens last year IIRC
 

jsinger121

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Super Nomario said:
9 catches for 108 yards week 3, 7 catches for 70 in the playoffs. Welker had even bigger games - 8 for 142 and 8 for 117 and a TD.
 
And also a critical drop in the AFC title game.
 

Byrdbrain

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mascho said:
Baltimore's guards telegraph run/pass with their stance.  Hand in the dirt:  run.  Two point stance:  pass.  They don't change it up for play action, draws, or screens.  
This amazes me if true(which I assume it is), I could see it in obvious passing downs but it is inexcusable in other situations.
I also don't see a major advantage for guards even doing that, I understand tackles especially with edge speed rushers but not guards.
 

mascho

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Byrdbrain said:
This amazes me if true(which I assume it is), I could see it in obvious passing downs but it is inexcusable in other situations.
I also don't see a major advantage for guards even doing that, I understand tackles especially with edge speed rushers but not guards.
 
Baltimore ran one play in the second half where it didn't match up, a play-action bubble screen.  On every other offensive snap in the second half, run/pass could be predicted from their stances.  
 

Super Nomario

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You never like to root for players to be hurt ... well, sometimes you like to root for players to be hurt.
 
Jason La Canfora ‏@JasonLaCanfora3m
Joe Flacco will be limited next few days, may rest a day or two while he is fitted for a knee brace but has every intention of playing Sun
 
Jason La Canfora ‏@JasonLaCanfora3m
Flacco was hit low late in Baltimore's win at Detroit but every indication so far is it is a manageable injury short and long term
 

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mascho said:
 
Baltimore ran one play in the second half where it didn't match up, a play-action bubble screen.  On every other offensive snap in the second half, run/pass could be predicted from their stances.  
I believe there was also a run on Baltimore's game-winning FG drive on which the guards had their hands on their knees. Otherwise, seems pretty accurate.
 

j44thor

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Ghost is going to have to be perfect Sunday night.  BAL has arguably the best K in the NFL, certainly the hottest right now, and both teams have challenges in the red zone.  A missed FG on either side could easily determine the game.
 

( . ) ( . ) and (_!_)

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ivanvamp said:
Over/Under on Patriots' pass interference, defensive holding, or illegal contact penalties as Flacco chucks it deep, play after play?
 
I'll offer 3.5 as the over/under, with at least one of them being a Mike Francesca UGE one.
 
I know there is a lot of NFL Ref backlash going around right now and while a lot of it is over the top, this seems like a legit concern to me in this game. 
 
The Ravens chuck it deep a lot and they lead the league in not only defense pass interference calls (13, tied with two others) but also yards received from PI calls (272) and average yards/game from PI calls (19).
In 2012 they were second in getting DPI calls, but lead the league in yards benefited.
In 2011 they were third in getting DPI calls and again lead the league in yards benefited.
http://www.nflpenalties.com/penalty/defensive-pass-interference?year=2013
 
The Ravens are going to use the deep ball as a weapon.  If the refs call this game tight then the Patriots are at significant risk of not only giving up the deep pass but also the deep DPI.  With the game being in Baltimore, I am significantly worried about this. 
 
I fear that there is going to be another Monday AM, the Refs suck thread.
 

Stitch01

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Ive just built one bullshit TD from PI into my expectations so I can enjoy the rest of the game. 
 

mascho

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Ive just built one bullshit TD from PI into my expectations so I can enjoy the rest of the game.


But it's the second one that might be te death knell for my TV.
 

RedOctober3829

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Not a great place to put this, but since this is a free-for-all this week...

 
Jeff Howe ‏@jeffphowe 3m
Bill Belichick has announced the launch of the Bill Belichick Foundation to assist in coaching, mentorship in football and lacrosse.
 
I think this is really cool.  It combines his love of coaching, football, and lacrosse into an endeavor he can carry on after his coaching days are over.
 

Reverend

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dynomite said:
 
Svitek at LT, defending Tom Brady's blind side.  Against the Ravens.  In Baltimore.
 
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVmeeYwEiQw&noredirect=1[/youtube]
 
So much for the WR-heavy spread formations being the team's best hope to score idea floated last week.
 
I mean, this is a pro team going into a game without a real left tackle? People go ape shit on the main board fighting about whether or not a catcher or a third baseman can play first base, the difference being that if Middlebrooks plays there and misses a catch, Lester doesn't get pile-driven into the dugout.
 

dcmissle

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Temps are expected to be around 60, so maybe it won't hurt so much.  The only worse timing for this game would be next week if making the playoffs were on the line. They were much better gotten earlier in the season.
 

Super Nomario

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Reverend said:
 
So much for the WR-heavy spread formations being the team's best hope to score idea floated last week.
 
I mean, this is a pro team going into a game without a real left tackle? People go ape shit on the main board fighting about whether or not a catcher or a third baseman can play first base, the difference being that if Middlebrooks plays there and misses a catch, Lester doesn't get pile-driven into the dugout.
Svitek started 11 games at LT for Atlanta in 2011 (the last time he was healthy). Obviously it's not ideal, but he's a pretty reasonable backup option.
 
The other possibilities are Cannon at LT, Svitek at RT, or Mankins at LT, Kline at LG.
 

Stitch01

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dcmissle said:
Temps are expected to be around 60, so maybe it won't hurt so much.  The only worse timing for this game would be next week if making the playoffs were on the line. They were much better gotten earlier in the season.
Meh, still would rather play now than during that stretch when Gronk was still out, Vereen was out, Amendola was banged up/out, and the Dobson/Thompkins hadnt hit their stride.
 

FL4WL3SS

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dynomite said:
 
I think you're underestimating Talib here.  He's simply a good CB: earlier this season he shut down Julio Jones and AJ Green.
 
If last night is any indication, the Ravens seem to rely in part on the pass interference offense and Flacco's rainbow throws.  I'd worry about asking Kyle Arrington to cover 3-4 of those. 
Seriously - I can guarantee that sometime in the near future, the league will need to adjust their passing rules because offenses are figuring out that they can exploit these rules to the detriment of the on-field product. When you have offenses starting to be built around exploiting pass-interference rules, they probably need to change a bit.