Jan 6, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA;Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie (78) smiles after beating the Indianapolis Colts 24-9 in the AFC Wild Card playoff game at M

Is Bryant McKinnie the Key to Beating The Broncos?

The Ravens made a major shuffle in their offensive line to start the playoffs which resulted in one player losing his spot, one player moving into the rotation and 2 players shifting positions. Bryant McKinnie came in at left tackle, forcing Oher back to his more natural right tackle, forcing rookie Kelechi Osemele inside to his more natural left guard spot. The result was offensive line dominance. Flacco was rarely pressured and only sacked once, thanks in large part to McKinnie having a near perfect game in which he surrendered just one hurry to all pro DE Dwight Freeny on a really strong spin move. The Ravens also racked up 173 rushing yards(excluding Flaccos kneel downs which resulted in -3 yards) on just 29 carries(5.96 yards per carry).

Last time the Ravens faced the Broncos Flacco was assaulted and harassed all day long. He was hit relentlessly and pressured on all but three drop backs. part of that was because the Colts got up big before halftime and forced the Ravens into an almost exclusive passing mindset, but Flacco was still beaten up well before that point. McKinnie might be the solution to that problem. If McKinnie can help keep Flacco fairly clean, then Flacco can find some rhythm and get hot. We all know when Flacco is able to do that he can keep up with any QB in the league. If, on the other hand, Flacco is pressured like he was a few weeks ago, the Ravens might as well start the busses because it is going to be a long day.

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Tags: Baltimore Ravens Bryant Mckinnie Denver Broncos Joe Flacco NFL

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