There have been two fears with the Baltimore Ravens defense that we have talked about all season. First, they have struggled to close out games and can let teams linger in the fourth quarter. More than that, they have feasted on bad quarterbacks in bad spots and have not always gotten the best of each gunslinger.
Did the Los Angles Rams expose the Baltimore Ravens defense?
That is why Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams were the perfect test for the Ravens' defense. The Ravens won the game, but the defense failed the test. They faced their biggest test at quarterback in Matthew Stafford; he was healthy, and he had his skill players. There would be no excuse this time if the defense shut him down. Instead, they opened the door that they only beat up on injured quarterbacks, backups, or teams missing key skill players.
Matt Stafford has three touchdowns and zero interceptions. Cooper Kupp had 115 yards, Puka Nacua had 84 yards, and Kyren Williams had 114 rushing yards; they did not shut down anyone or anything.
Worse than, the Ravens got them a lead with under 1:30 to go, and they allowed a field goal drive that featured a big catch to Kupp. This defense has allowed late scores to Joe Burrow, Gardner Minshew, DeShaun Watson, Joshua Dobbs, and now Stafford. They are lucky they won some games that they could not put away late.
This is a good reminder to this defense that they have not won anything and not beaten anyone yet. They will be tested even stronger than Matthew Stafford in the coming weeks.
Trevor Lawrence is not 100%, but he will be healthier next week than he was this week. Then, Miami and San Fransisco, the two best offenses in the NFL loom.
The Rams are similar in scheme and usage to the 49ers and Dolphins when you think of the coaching tree. Was this the perfect time to survive the Rams, and now know what is to come with those two teams?