The Baltimore Ravens come out of the bye week to take on the Los Angeles Rams, who are feeling good after two straight dominant wins. The Ravens sit at 9-3, but they will be challenged on their quest to the tenth win.
Which players will have to step up the most?
3. Will the Baltimore Ravens be able to defend the slot?
The Baltimore Ravens defense has transformed since Kyle Hamilton took over in the slot. Overall, the positives outweigh the weaknesses with Hamilton this close to the line of scrimmage.
His reach impacts passing windows, and his quick twitch affects the game more near the line of scrimmage. He also brings a lot to the table as a run defender and blitzer when that occurs.
However, in terms of man coverage against slot receivers, the Ravens have not been good. In recent weeks, they have faced some big-time slot wide receivers such as Amon-Ra St. Brown, Keenan Allen, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
St. Brown had 13 catches for 102 yards, Smith-Njigba had six catches for 63 yards, and Allen had 14 catches for 106 yards. All that the Ravens fans see are wins, but opposing teams see a weakness to attack.
Cooper Kupp runs 54% of his routes from the slot, and even Puka Nacua is at 35%. A lot of that is earlier in the year without Kupp, but in week 12, he also ran 38% of his routes in the slot. The Rams mix it up with both, and that means that Hamilton will have one of those two lined up across from him most of the night.
Will the Baltimore Ravens lean towards Arthur Maulet or Pepe Williams over Geno Stone and move Kyle Hamilton back to strong safety, or can Hamilton shut down the slot?