Baltimore Ravens vs. Carolina Panthers: Five Keys To Victory
By Brett Foote
Sep 7, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) is tackled after a catch by Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith (22) at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
Key to victory #5: Prevent Kelvin Benjamin from making a big play
The Raven’s secondary is by far their biggest and most glaring weakness. Outside of Jimmy Smith, no one has performed at a level that comes close to acceptable. Matt Elam, Chykie Brown, and Asa Jackson have been downright embarrassing in coverage, and one of the three has given up at least one big passing play in each game this season.
Rookie wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin has thus far disregarded the notion that rookie wide receivers often struggle. Benjamin has hauled in catches of 26, 24, and 35 yards, respectively, through the first three games, and has averaged 15.8 yards per reception. That’s the kind of average we expect from a play maker.
In a game that should be close, the Ravens can’t afford to give up a back breaking play like they have grown accustomed to. The Panther’s defense is much more stout than the Steelers or Browns, and there may be no miracle, last second catch and field goal to pull it out this time. Just shadow Benjamin with Jimmy Smith and move on. Really.