When the Seattle Seahawks take on the Baltimore Ravens, it will be a great test for a 6-2 team to take on a 5-2 team. The Ravens are favored to win this game, and they have some matchup advantages that could lead to a win. What can the team do to make this happen?
3. Can the Baltimore Ravens defensive scheme get to Geno Smith?
Geno Smith has proven that he belongs in the NFL, and he is a solid starting quarterback. However, he can be known to carve up some bad defenses and struggle when the competition gets ramped up. This year, he has some pretty notable splits under pressure. Per PFF, he ranks 31st out of 34 qualified quarterbacks in big big-time throw rate, and he ranks 10th in turnover-worthy plays under pressure. When he is kept clean, his turnover-worthy throws drop from 5.4 to 3.2, and his big-time throws go up from 1.1% to 6%.
What is interesting to note is that he struggles under pressure, but not the blitz. Against the blitz, he ranks 9th in big-time throws and 10th in turnover-worthy throws. So, teams have to get home without blitzing. The Ravens blitz some of the least, but because they mix up who is coming, they are one of the best at getting pressure without blitzing.
More than that, Geno Smith is much better against zone coverage than man. The Ravens are nice because they are more multiple than most teams, but they lean towards man coverage. Brandon Stephens is currently in the top five in man coverage snaps, and they should be deploying this heavily against Geno Smith.
If you can get home without blitzing and lock up the receivers in man, you can beat a lot of teams, and Geno Stone is no exception. The Ravens are good at both, and that is why they are 6-2.