FanPost

5 Keys to the Game: Pats V. Ravens the Rematch


The Ravens are largely the same team that defeated the Pats in January of 2010. The Pats, however, are largely not the team that was defeated by the Ravens in 2010.

Use Gronk and Hernandez against Suggs. It may disrupt their route-timing, but use the Boston TE Party to throw off the Baltimore pass-rush. Chip those DEs before you take off, get physical with them and whatever LB is there because they are going to try to get physical with the TEs. Ray Lewis is going to make sure his soldiers don't let Gronk and Hernandz kill him and Ed Reed up the middle of the field. Baltimore's DEs/OLBs are likely to try to get physical with our TEs to throw their timing off, so the Pats TEs might as well get to them first. Throw tricks at the Baltimore linemen, be relentless against them, and don't let them dictate. The Pats are best when they are dictating, deciding the tempo without a huddle and trying on purpose to hurry up a D that ain't ready. The strength of the Pats is the unstoppable force of their offense and the strength of the Ravens is their immoveable defense. The Ravens think they're a tougher team, and just maybe they don't realize how much the Pats still remember that humilitating playoff loss.

Be aggressive upfront, ready in the middle, and disciplined in back. Most of the 5 sacks on Joe Flacco against the Texans were given up by the far-right side of the Baltimore offensive line. Is it a sign that the Pats managed 5 sacks against Tebow Saturday night? I'd like to see the Ravens O-Line get challenged on every play. Pats D-Line has improved with better stunts and for the first time all season, the Pats 4-best LBs are all healthy at the same time. Pats D and the Ravens O are the most unpredictable aspects of this game. Pats front-line needs to be disciplined like their LBs need to be decisive. Ravens run-game is more potent than their pass-game, but the pass-game can't be underestimated as neither Boldin nor Smith are slouches.

Move beyond the Big-3 receivers. Gronkowski, Hernandez, and Welker are amazing, but Pats do best when someone else can take advantage of all the attention they draw. Deion Branch had a good game vs. Denver, but he can't always beat coverage these days. Edelman, Ochocinco, Solder(!), Underwood, or a pass to an RB here and there could do wonders to keep the Ravens D honest. You can't let the Ravens focus on three guys in their quest to shut down the offense. The Pats will need to continue to run the ball with effectiveness. Ridley is fumbling lately, the Lawfirm is still is reliable at being consistently-okay, and Woodhead is just not an every-down kind of back. Perhaps there'll be some more Faulk or Shane Vereen vs. the Ravens. My money is on Vereen, who was a healthy scratch last week. Just because I said that I'm sure he'll see no snaps again.

Don't make dumb mistakes. Take out Jacoby Jones' ridiculous PR fumble within his own 10-yard line and that rookie-interception from Yates around his own 30, and the Ravens offense simply had nothing. Remove either Texan mistake and the Ravens would have probably lost. Take care of the football, pursue the football, be disciplined and take advantage. The Ravens won't make a lot of mistakes(see; 0 penalties vs. Texans) so take what they give and make the most out of it. Don't give their O the ball on your own turf

Score points. Flacco is at his worst when the pressure is on him. On the road this year, the Ravens were 4-4 for a reason. Earlier this season, Eli wanted to be considered 'elite' and what I thought then stands now; if you want to be considered elite, pick up a team onto your shoulders and win a game for them. Eli Manning has proven he has that ability to rally his team. Flacco has yet to prove it. His team didn't win the game against Houston anymore than he won the game; the Texans lost the game for the Ravens win. If Ray Rice doesn't have a good game than the Ravens tend to lose.

The views expressed in these FanPosts are not necessarily those of the writers or SBNation.

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