Will Suggs, Ravens Get Pressure On Henne?
Week 7: Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens
Sunday November 7, 2010 1:05 PM ET
Line: Ravens -5 O/U 41
Welcome back Ravens fans. Did you have a good break? Feel rested? Ready to get going on the final eight weeks of the season? Good! Now when we last saw our valiant heroes, they were struggling against the well rested and fired up Buffalo Bills. The Birds of Baltimore assumed it would be a cakewalk and got caught napping at the helm. The Bills made them pay early and often, but ultimately were unable to hold their lead and secure the season’s first victory. The Ravens limped into their bye week aiming to get healthy and get focused as the season turns the difficulty up a notch.
This week the first of many difficult opponents comes rolling into Baltimore. The Miami Dolphins are undefeated on the road this season, and look to become jut the first team in NFL history to win five times while failing to win at home.Standing in their way are the refreshed Ravens who look to hold their number one ranking atop the AFC north. With that, let’s take a look at this week’s keys to the game.
RavensGab.com Keys to the Game
Shut Down Brandon Marshall
Brandon Marshall is the number one receiving threat that the Dolphins will field. He is also one of the better wide receivers playing in the league. The first step in shutting down the Dolphins, and more over Chad Henne, is taking away the vertical threat. Limiting the field will allow the Ravens to bottle up Ricky Williams and the solid Dolphins running attack. Shutting Marshall down will allow the Ravens to dictate that course and flow of the game.
Bend Don’t Break
If there’s one aspect of the Dolphins offensive attack that is decidedly lacking, its in their anemic red zone package. Kicker Dan Carpenter has been called upon to put up ten field goals in two weeks. If the Ravens are to win this game, they will have to continue to rely on their bend don’t break defensive mentality and keep the Dolphins out of the end zone.
Run the Ball
The best thing a team can do when playing at home is establish the run game early. This allows the Ravens to set the tone of game, manipulate the clock, and generally dictate their type of football on the unwilling Dolphins. Running the ball will allow Joe to use his potent play action and will keep the defense honest when he does. It will additionally pull in the Dolphins blitz, which Joe is incredibly adept at picking apart.
Spread the Ball Around
Anquan Boldin is an absolute force. He has been everything the Ravens could have hoped for and more. Despite his dominance, the Ravens would do well to spread the ball around to keep the Dolphins off balance. With Donte Stallworth back and healthy, Joe Flacco has never had more options at his disposal. It’s time he started to use them more effectively. Eventually teams are going to key in on Boldin consistently and start limiting Todd Heap. Joe can ameliorate this by spreading it around Peyton Manning style.
Get Pressure on Chad Henne
The Ravens have struggled in this department consistently all season. For whatever reason they simply have not been able to get consistent pressure on the opposing QB. This has allowed unheralded QBs like Ryan Fitzpatrick to look like relative superstars. The Ravens have got to get to Chad Henne and take him out of the equation. They need the sacks like the desert needs water.
Win this Game Early
This week, an early victory has a certain element of necessity to it. Think about it. The Ravens have to play two of the better teams in football over the next five days. That is in no way, shape, or form an easy feat to accomplish. To put themselves in the best position for a sweep, they will have to put Miami away early and roll to a route. Doing this will instill confidence, will conserve energy, and will allow the Ravens to move on as rapidly as possible.
Ravens Gab Predictions
Jonathon Scruggs (6-1)
I looked past the Bills and so did the Ravens. I respect the Dolphins enough to think that they will give the Ravens a battle. Miami has been the ultimate road warrior team this season, but you can’t win them all, and certainly not five in a row.
Ravens 27 — Dolphins 24
Matt Jergensen (6-1)
The Ravens should be fresh and refocused coming off the Bye. The Dolphins have been road warriors this season but the streak will end here. While Miami has added some excellent pieces in Brandon Marshall on offense and some toughness on the defensive end the Ravens match-up well against them. A hot Joe Flacco should be able to keep the offense driving and should be enough to push past a good Dolphin team.
Ravens 24 – Dolphins 17
Gene Winner (5-2)
The Ravens coming off the bye week gives the team an advantage as Miami is facing their second road game against the AFC North. A key will be containing Brandon Marshall and getting pressure on Chad Henne. For the Ravens offense, they must start to find a way to get Rey Rice into open space. Flacco is on a roll and he should be able to counter Miami’s aggressive pass rush.
Ravens 29 – Dolphins 24