Posted in Pregame Content

Why the Baltimore Ravens can’t be taken lightly by the Rams

By Chris Schisler

The title of this article may be grabbing your attention, so let’s talk about it. Is it ridiculous that the Baltimore Ravens pose a legitimate threat to the 11-4 Los Angeles Rams? The Ravens have lost four straight games. The Cincinnati Bengals destroyed them 41-21 last Sunday. The Rams didn’t lose a game in December, and the new year is an exciting thought for Sean McVay and company. The title is bonkers right?

Here’s the thing, it’s not. The Baltimore Ravens can beat the Rams. This doesn’t mean they will, it should just be noted that it’s very possible. The Baltimore Ravens were a shell of themselves last week because the Covid reserve list and injuries put them over 30 players down. The Ravens won’t be healthy against the Rams, but they’ll be much more equipped than they were against the Bengals. Basing anything on that game is a dangerous practice, but I’m not your typical talking head so what do I know… right?

Look this is a game in Baltimore. The Green Bay Packers thought the game was going to be an easy breeze through the Charm City. They got an amped-up crowd and a game that went down to the two-point conversion. John Harbaugh has gotten the Ravens to fight their wings off this season, and if you think the purple and black are just going to lick their wounds and get the Rams a cupcake before the playoffs you don’t know this team.

The Ravens have reportedly been getting a lot of players back from the Covid Reserve list. Most recently, it’s been Tyler Huntley, Justin Madubuike, and newly rejoined with the Ravens, Tony Jefferson, Tyus Bowser, Justin Houston, Geno Stone, Chris Board, and Kristian Welch are back from the Covid list. Defensively, this team has a lot more working for it. Are they still a bit strapped at cornerback? Yes. But the Ravens are in a much better position going into this game.

The Ravens have been close in desperate situations on a weekly basis. The Bengals game was the exception, and the situation dictated that. Does anybody want to realize that the Ravens went to Josh Johnson at quarterback and still had a productive day on offense? The Ravens game against the Bengals went the way it did because the defense couldn’t get one stop. We saw against the Packers that the defense doesn’t have to be immaculate, it just has to get a few key stops.

Nobody expects Don Martindale’s unit to hold the Rams under 20 points. They don’t really have to, though it is worth noting that the Rams have scored 20 or fewer points four times this season. If the Ravens can keep the Rams under 30 points they can win the game. Remember the Packers got 31 points on a day where Aaron Rodgers could do almost no wrong. This is in the realm of possibility.

Lamar Jackson returned to practice on Wednesday, but it;’s looking more and more like Tyler Huntley. Well, that’ll work. Huntley made things interesting against the Browns and Packers. If nothing else, Huntley is a fun quarterback to watch. Having either Jackson or (most likely) Huntley back is a huge boost to this offense. This offense is also designed well to frustrate the Rams.

The Rams’ run defense isn’t their strength. When teams can run the ball on the Rams, they have a lot of success. It’s why the Rams struggled so much against the San Francisco 49ers, In that NFC West clash, the 49ers provided a decent blueprint to stopping the Rams. The Rams gave up 159 yards on the ground, and dominated the time of possesion. This tired out the Rams defense, nullifying Aaron Donald and Von Miller. It also prevented Matthew Stafford from finding a rhythm. Stafford is a player that needs to find his groove to have a big day and the 49ers said no.

While the Ravens offense called by Greg Roman isn’t exactly like Kyle Shanahan’s offense is in San Fransico, the Ravens can provide similar challenges for Los Angeles. On so many levels this is expected to be another bad week for the Baltimore Ravens. It doesn’t have to be. Some of the key ingredients are there for an upset.

NEXT POST: Baltimore Ravens vent session: A tough month

So Baltimore has a chance. The game got moved back from 4:25 to 1:00. The joke will be on Fox if they televise the top upset of the NFL season. Will it happen? We’ll see. The moral of the story is that there is a reason to watch this game, there is hope.


I am Chris Schisler. I am the owner and lead writer here at the Nest! Football is my passion and I'm very happy to share it with the Flock!

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