Ravens vs. Buccaneers: Top 3 match-ups Baltimore must win
The final three games of the season will determine the Baltimore Ravens 2018 playoff hopes. To win this week, the Ravens must win these three match-ups.
Brandon Williams and Michael Pierce vs. Ryan Jensen and Ali Marpet:
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Maybe this is cheating, but I couldn’t make them individual match-ups because of the shuffling the Ravens will do along their defensive line. Buccaneers center Ryan Jensen returns to Charm City to face his former team alongside stud guard Ali Marpet. The stage is set for them to earn their keep, as Baltimore rolls out gap-eating monsters in Brandon Williams and Michael Pierce.
We all know by now that Williams was one of the league’s best nose tackles before kicking out to 3-Tech for another one of the league’s best nose tackles in Michael Pierce. These men combine to weigh nearly 700-lbs. of pure strength, with the ability to split gaps and devour running backs. These two make life easier on the linebackers and edge rushers because of how much space they occupy. It’ll be up to Jensen and Marpet to find a way to stop them.
While neither Jensen, nor Marpet are Pro Bowl level players, they nonetheless are above-average studs at their positions. Unfortunately for them, they’ve never had to take on two men as massive and strong as Williams and Pierce. Quite frankly, Williams and Pierce seem to be mismatches for these two Buccaneers offensive linemen.
Don’t expect to see the sack counts high from Williams or Pierce, but be sure to watch how quickly they collapse the pocket and stuff the run. If you see guys like C.J. Mosley or any of the edge rushers feasting, give some props to the big fellas upfront. After all, these guys do the dirty work and deserve a Pro Bowl nod of their own.