2. Holding on to the lead:
There are two reasons the Ravens struggle to keep leads and only one of them has to do with the defense. That’s where we will focus today. The Ravens defense has given up so many late leads in the last few years that it would be comical if it wasn’t so tragic. The Ravens biggest problem is that their strategy has changed in the last stretch of football. Dean Pees always thought about holding on to the lead, and he constantly checked the game clock. It’s the curse of passive defense. Prevent defense has proven to be an absolute problematic game plan.
The number one thing you can’t do, late in the game, with that precious lead, is give the quarterback all day to throw the football. It’s unbelievable how many three man rush plays the Ravens defense has had in the waning moments of a ball game. The Ravens need to keep pressure on the opposing quarterback. Late in the game is when the quarterback is trying to be the hero. He’s holding the ball a second longer, looking for the shot down field. Pass rush can speed things up for the quarterback and put the defense in a better position to make a play.
It’s not a complicated thought, that if the opponent is behind, you’re defensive game plan is working. Don’t switch up what is working and don’t fix what isn’t broken. If you’ve played them tough all game long, backing off and playing a soft zone isn’t going to keep that going. The Ravens need to change their mindset down the stretch.