3 problems facing Ravens defense and 3 possible solutions
The Baltimore Ravens defense has been about as bad as it ever has been. It’s been a couple of weeks for the defense to say the least:
On a scale from 1-10 how bad is the Baltimore Ravens defense? Well it’s probably about a nine at the moment. The Ravens are 23rd in points allowed with the 30th ranked pass defense. The Ravens still rank 10th in run defense yet after Nick Chubb ran all over them it’s hard to be excited about this. What are the problems? What are the solutions? Let’s explore these questions:
Problem 1: The Outside linebackers
The Baltimore Ravens just released Tim Williams. That’s right, the Ravens are heading into week 5 and they have cut one of their outside linebackers. When the Ravens lost Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith the plan was to let Williams and Tyus Bowser finally show their worth. That hasn’t happened. Matt Judon and Pernell McPhee are the only outside linebackers that have gotten sacks for the Ravens. The Ravens outside linebackers aren’t doing a good job setting the edge and they aren’t getting to the quarterback nearly enough. The Ravens simply don’t have the players they need to make this work on the edge. They need to lean on Matt Judon and Pernell McPhee however they need to step up their game a bit.
Solution: Blitz more
The Ravens don’t have a defense that is going to be able to get consistent pressure without a constant fear of a blitz. Don Martindale has to make the opposing offense always mindful of a blitz. While coverage schemes probably have to be simplified (we’ll get to that), the amount of looks the defense shows has to multiply. Creating confusion about who’s coming at the quarterback and who’s dropping into coverage is the key. That creates hesitation in the opponent’s passing attack.
To pull this off however the Ravens need actual pass rush. Blitzing the inside linebackers isn’t a bad idea. It’s not like they can cover blitzing can actually get something out of them. Playing Tony Jefferson closer to the line of scrimmage will help the run game. Let’s face it, he’s not a great player in coverage. Make him responsible for cleaning up the run game and the Ravens will get better results from him. This also creates another potential blitzing defender on the outside.