Posted in Pregame Content

Baltimore Ravens battle the Chiefs: 3 keys for the offense

By Chris Schisler

The Baltimore Ravens are up against it. That’s what it feels like. They have to take on the team that has represented the AFC in the past two Super Bowls, without Ronnie Stanley (On top of all their other injuries). The offensive line already seemed too problematic. Now it feels like a crippling blow.

No game in the NFL is a gimme, so the Ravens have to take this seriously. What are the keys to the Ravens’ offense in this game? Their job is to make it work, so how do they honestly go about their job? Here are three keys to the game.

1. Use Jackson’s athleticism to counter the offensive line issues:

The Baltimore Ravens have Alejandro Villanueva playing left tackle on Sunday. After seeing Villanueva struggle against the Las Vegas Raiders, that’s a seriously tough ask of Villanueva. It looks like Pat Mekari is the right tackle -after the injury of Tyre Phillips, there aren’t many other options. This offensive line isn’t going to function smoothly. There is no evidence to suggest that this offensive line can work together in unison. Jackson can’t stay in the pocket all day. He has to be an ever-moving target for the Chiefs.

Any play that allows Jackson to roll out and move the pocket is a good thing. It’s almost inhumane to leave him behind this offensive line in the pocket. He’s going to be running for his life all day anyway, there’s no getting around it. Jackson is going to have to get involved in the running game and he’s going to have to be able to move out of the pocket as a passer.

If Jackson doesn’t rush for 100 yards in this game, the Ravens will have problems. Does Jackson want to show that he can do it from the pocket against the Chiefs? You know that he does. If you’ve been paying attention, you know Jackson can do that. The only thing that matters is keeping Jackson upright the whole game. To do that, Jackson has to be a moving target. His athleticism has to save the day by design rather than out of desperation because the play broke down.

2. The Baltimore Ravens need to run the ball like the Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They can’t keep the defense on the field too much against Patrick Mahomes. Even with a valiant effort, the defensive dam will break. They might not want to attempt long drives that can expose this offensive line but they have no choice. They need to win the Ravens’ way. I’m talking about an elite running game and drives that suck the life out of the other team’s chances.

The good news for the Ravens is twofold. First, Patrick Mekari is a good run blocker. If he is going to be the right tackle, that could work for the ground attack. Secondly, the Chiefs couldn’t stop the run against the Browns. While the Kansas City defense seems to step up when they need to, they have a ton of problems defensively.

A lot of Ravens fans may not want to hear this, but they need to go full Greg Roman to win this game. They need a creative and nontraditional offense focused on the running game. They need to stick with it too, no matter what. Otherwise, Jackson is in a very unfair position behind an offensive line that is the pass blocking equivalent to asking the Powerpuff Girls to stop the Avengers. If a running back gets a hot hand, stick with that running back.

3. Tire out the Chiefs and negate pass rush with play-calls

The Ravens need to get some screen passes going in this game. How about some wide receiver screens? I’m thinking a pop pass to Mark Andrews when it looks like he’s going to be a blocker initially. I’m thinking about a jet sweep to Tylan Wallace and a fake built off of it. If you want to see if Marquise Brown or Sammy Watkins can throw a pass, it’s not a bad time for a trick play. The point is that the Ravens need to keep the Chiefs guessing and chasing.

Short passes out to the receivers with some blocking built-in will get the Chiefs chasing speed. Screens are also a timely call that negates blitzing and nullifies weakness on the offensive line.  The run game will tire out the Chiefs if the Ravens do what they need to do in this game. As bleak as it looks, the Ravens have enough talent on offense to make this work. If they come into the game with the plan of attack they had for the Raiders though they’re in trouble. They need to get creative and do things to get play-makers in space.

NEXT POST: Baltimore Ravens vs. Kansas City Chiefs: The psychology of the game

The injuries don’t need to be an excuse. Let’s see how creative the Ravens can get. Should the Ravens answer the call, it may work out in a surprising fashion. If the Ravens don’t have fun with it and don’t do some of these things it could be a long day. That’s the bottom line, if the Ravens are inspired making some fun changes on the offense could help overcome injuries and throw the Chiefs off balance defensively.





Posted in NFL News

NFL Week 2: Picks for every game on the NFL slate

By Chris Schisler

It’s time for the second week of the NFL season. Here is a look at my picks for the full slate. In week 1 my picks went 9-7. Like with all predictions, take it for whatever it’s worth. Each predicted NFL winner will be highlighted in Purple.

NFL Picks from PBN

Giants @ Washington

This is a game I would stay away from in terms of a betting perspective. That being said, Joe Judge and the Giants don’t inspire any confidence. I see Daniel Jones having a lot of problems in this Thursday Night Football game. Look for Chase Young and company to have a dominant performance against a Giants offensive line that seemingly can never get right.

Patriots @ Jets

The Patriots are a better football team than the Jets. The Patriots lost a close one to the Dolphins in the first week of the season. Mac Jones was very efficient in his debut as the Patriots quarterback. I think the Patriots play a rather conservative game offensively and it grinds out a win. Bill Bellichick wins this one and gives Zach Wilson a rough second game.

Broncos @ Jaguars

The Broncos were supposed to beat the Giants. They think they have something going. Their defense was smothering in week 1. Their offense has just enough going for them with Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback. None of that matters though. The Jaguars are awful and Urban Meyer will continue to show he’s not suited to be an NFL coach.

Bills @ Dolphins

The Bills looked awful in their opener against the Steelers, something we’re not very happy about at PBN. Look for the Bills to get right in this game. They need to find a little balance with their offense. Meanwhile, their defense should be able to keep the Dolphins under 20 points. That should do it.

49ers @ Eagles

The 49ers showed me something in week 1 and it wasn’t good. They should have cleaned the clock with the Detroit Lions. Instead, the Lions almost finished an amazing comeback. The Eagles looked good. Devonta Smith is the real deal, Jalen Hurts looks confident and most importantly should be a bigger difference-maker than Jared Goff.

Rams @ Colts

The Colts looked awful at home against the Seahawks, so home-field advantage doesn’t quite matter here. Matthew Stafford should have his way with the Colts defense. The Rams defense should stop a Colts offense that is searching for answers.

Raiders @ Steelers

A week ago, I probably would have rolled with the arch-enemy Steelers in this one. Now, I see the Raiders as the worst possible week 2 matchup for a Pittsburgh team that has similar issues on the offensive line as the Ravens. The Raiders defensive front is going to take over this game. Derek Carr will be ready to make some big plays off of Ben Roethlisberger turnovers. Plus, keep in mind the Steelers have a weird history of losing games they shouldn’t to the Raiders.

Bengals @ Bears

Joe Burrow will put up more points than Andy Dalton. Hopefully, one more loss pushes Justin Fields onto the field as the starter for the Bears. The Bears are not done being done, the Bengals are going to put up some points with a young quarterback with plenty of weapons.

Texans @ Browns

Next question. This doesn’t need much explanation. The Browns are contenders, the Texans beating up on Jacksonville proved nothing. The talent level isn’t even here. Browns win big.

Saints @ Panthers

Anything the Saints can do to the Packers, they can do better to the Panthers. Christian McCaffery can’t do everything, and Sean Payton and Jameis Winston seem to get each other. Give me the Saints. Who Dat!

Vikings @ Cardinals

Kyler Murray looked great last week. The Cardinals defense had their way against a Titans team that was supposed to be high-powered. Give me the Cardinals here. The Vikings lost a tight one to the Bengals last week, and they have to play much better to compete in this one.

Falcons @ Buccaneers

NEXT! I can’t take analyzing this one seriously. The Buccaneers are the defending champions. The Falcons just got embarrassed by the Eagles. NEXT!!!

Titans @ Seahawks

Even if Ryan Tannehill puts some points on the board, can the Titans stop Russell Wilson? Kyler Murray and Wilson have a lot in common. I think it’s going to be a very similar story two weeks in a row for the Titans.

Cowboys @ Chargers

Get ready for a shootout ladies and gentlemen. Get ready for a shootout. Justin Herbert vs. Dak Prescott. This should be fun, the Cowboys’ offense will just be too much for the Chargers.

Chiefs @ Ravens

The Chiefs are good. I’d absolutely love to be wrong. The Ravens have nothing going their way and now will be without Ronnie Stanley. Much more is on the way about this game. I can only be so confident after Monday Night Football. I can’t bet against the Chiefs here. That’s the pick that hurts the heart but makes sense to the mind.

Lions @ Packers finish the NFL week

Do the Packers get right on Monday night? Against the Lions, they better.

NEXT POST: Baltimore Ravens vs. Kansas City Chiefs: The psychology of the game

Have fun, bet responsibly and get your football on.