By Chris Schisler
The Baltimore Ravens are about to do battle with the Colts. The excitement of game day is starting to kick in and we still have some analyzing left to do. Here is what the offense needs to accomplish against the Colts. It’s time to give the Irsay’s a loss Baltimore!
1. Keep pass protection in mind:
The Baltimore Ravens have to keep pass protection in mind. Alejandro Villanueva left the Denver Broncos with the knee issue that’s been bothering him. Villanueva is listed as questionable. If he doesn’t play the Ravens have to figure something out at left tackle. If he plays and he isn’t 100 percent, we’ve already seen how ugly it’s been when he’s not feeling it (Ex. loss to the Raiders).
The Ravens have to keep pass protection at the forefront of all their play-calls for the passing game. This is a game where the Ravens shouldn’t utilize a lot of empty set looks. This is a game where it may pay for Patrick Ricard to be in the backfield or on the line of scrimmage more often than not.
Get Mark Andrews to chip block before releasing for his routes, ask the tight ends behind him to imitate Nick Boyle the best they can. Do it all. Protecting Jackson is key. If Jackson has time to throw the football without running for his life Indianapolis is in trouble.
2. Keep the deep shots going:
The Baltimore Ravens are all of a sudden attacking the entire field. This season has seen at least one or two shot plays in every game. The overall aggressiveness of the Ravens has been on display and it’s usually more like a handful of deep bombs from Jackson. The Ravens need to keep putting these shots on film. The more the Ravens make you think you can’t crowd the box and go bananas against the run, the more they can abuse you with their running game. People in the NFL weren’t ready for this Ravens passing attack and it’s showing on a weekly basis.
If the Ravens can loosen up the defense, they can abuse the Colts all night long. That’s the path to the rushing record the Ravens want badly. If the Ravens come out firing shots down the field it changes how the Colts want to play this game.
3. Let Lamar Jackson spark the run game:
The Ravens run game has been hit or miss this season despite keeping their 100-yard rushing game streak alive. The one running Raven that hasn’t been inconsistent is the quarterback. Lamar Jackson has 279 yards on the ground. That’s 115 more yards than Ty’Son Williams, and Williams didn’t play the last game. Jackson is averaging 6.6 yards per rushing attempt.
If the run game isn’t going the Ravens can’t be afraid to get Jackson going on the ground against the Colts. The passing game has done the heavy lifting the last couple of weeks for the Ravens, but getting away from the run game is a bad idea. The fact of the matter is the Ravens finally have balance to the offense. If the Ravens run game steps down a notch, the progress in the passing game means less.
If Latavius Murray is only averaging three yards and some change, and Le’Veon Bell is averaging a bunch of nothing, Jackson has to get the run game going. Jackson’s impact on the run game is essential. The success of the running backs is dependent on Jackson’s ever-present threat of being a runner. This is especially true in a world without J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards.
These are your keys for the offense. Now it’s time to go get it.