The Ravens have a clear three-pronged road to victory against the Eagles
The 4-1 Ravens are still trying to fine-tune things with their offense, but guess what? They are the 4-1 Ravens, and that’s a good place to be while figuring out things. This week gives them a decent chance of moving to 5-1 when they take on an injury-studded Eagles team.
By looking at the two teams, there is a three-tiered route the Ravens can take to picking up the win and keeping pace in the ultra-competitive AFC North: Trounce, Turn and Toss. Let’s take a look.
Ravens Nation has been calling for the team to get physical on offense with the run game and stuff it down opponents’ throats. It makes sense, especially if the run game is working. The Ravens’ rush offense, however, has been a little hot and cold, with some explosive runs crunching up the overall run numbers. This is a good week to get right.
Though the Eagles have a very good defensive line, the Ravens can wear them down by consistently sending waves of fresh running backs at them, and peppering in some outside runs by Lamar Jackson and JK Dobbins. It will be hard to open big creases in that front from opening kickoff, but a constant barrage of bodies at them will eventually open the floodgates.
The Ravens need to trounce them. And then trounce them some more. It’s a good game to feature the physical Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards to lead this attack, with the sprinkling in of the speed and tackle-breaking ability of Dobbins. Wear them down — then wear them out. Trounce them.
The Eagles have turned the ball over 11 times in five games this season and sit at -6 in turnover differential. The Ravens, conversely, have turned over their opponents 10 times and are +5 in turnovers. Do you see where I’m going here?
With a depleted offensive line, and a propensity for holding on to the ball by their quarterback Carson Wentz, the Eagles are ripe for Don Martindale’s defense. The Ravens need to mount consistent pressure and be clever in their coverage schemes baiting Carson Wentz into making mistakes on the run. This could be a good week for another Patrick Queen sack, with Chuck Clark sneaking into his open zone behind him several times.
This feels like a Marcus Peters highlight game.
Yes, the Ravens need to run the ball to be successful. It is how they have built this team, and they’ve done a great job in doing that. But they need to hit some moderate-to-deep sideline passes to accomplish three things: generate big plays, keep safeties from charging forward and make corners respect the outside routes, as opposed to cheating inside to help against Lamar Jackson’s outside option runs.
I’d love to see four or five timing passes down the sidelines to Marquise Brown, Mark Andrews and, yes, Miles Boykin. If they miss, they miss. I’d also be in favor of some stem routes by Nick Boyle, and some shots at Willie Snead on crossers. The Ravens can’t just run verticals down the middle of the field and expect a ton of success.
But they can find success by trouncing the Eagles’ front with the run game, turning over the ball with their play-makers and tossing to their play-makers when afforded opportunities.