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A Tough Team To Beat

The Ravens, sitting atop the AFC North at 9-3 actually look vulnerable-and their fans know it.

And the Redskins are one of the hottest teams in he NFL right now.

They know that too.

Some analyse, some advise, some predict-all with varying perspectives. A bare majority thinks the Ravens will come away with this one.

One thing they all agree upon-the Redskins are now a tough team to beat.

We'll win. We'll rebound after a loss. Perhaps this is what we needed to go on to win the Super Bowl. You know, you always have challenges. We've won 9 games already. Sure, we didn't lock up the division, but we still control our own destiny. We beat the Broncos and don't lose any more games and we get the #2 seed again.

I just don't see how our D will stop RG3. I can see us losing to the Redskins.

Mr. Irrelevant
We cannot stop RG3, they dont have the D to stop Joe. Fair is fair right?

Its a road game, so Joe can stop Joe.

Yikes, with the way our defense was playing today? RGIII won't miss a wide open dude in the redzone. He's gonna be testing us downfield a lot. Those blown coverages we had today are sure TD's next week.

On the flip side, Joe needs to work on that accuracy...Redskins defense might be poor statistically but they have the playmakers to jump on errant passes. It's gonna be a tough one. Hope the pride kicks in..

I looked it up... and their opponents average 41.2 pass attempts / game - most in the NFL. Their D only faces 22.4 rushes / game - 2nd fewest. Yep, you're right - their run D looks better because everyone simply throws-throws-throws.

If you look at their record, they've won 3 in a row - all three to their division foes. One point win last night, 7 points over Dallas at Dallas, and they stomped Philly by 25 - but that ain't saying much...

They had lost the previous 3 games - including a loss at home to Carolina and a 15 point loss to the Steelers.

Pretty much, the point spread is pretty accurate - the Ravens are favored by 1... meaning, it's a tossup. Whether Cam figures out the right Rice:Flacco calculation, whether Morris and RG3 are hot, turnovers...

The only concern for me is - it's a road game - and that's a 50-50 proposition, during the Harbaugh era. Also, even though the Ravens need to sew up the division, the 'Skins are fighting for their playoff lives... (even though they have a less-than formidable schedule).

Yea, what Cam are we going to get? The one that sees that the Redskins can be passed on (and forces the issue). Or the one who wants to establish a good dose of the run to keep RG3 from feasting on our D. DeAngelo Hall was on crutches today. They also lost their nickelback. Cam is going to want to pass, hopefully we execute.

Ofrcourse if RG3 fumbles for a TD, we have no hope.

He got a reply...

He wouldn't be wrong to want to do that but I don't know how you go back to Flacco after 3 lousy games (minus the 4th and OT in SD) in a row. If I'm Cam I run the zone stretch on Oher's side all game long away from Kerrigan and Fletcher. Riley is an ok ILB but he's nothing special and Fletcher has a bum ankle with limited range right now.

If Cameron wants to get in a shootout with RGIII then he better damn well have a real game plan for Sunday. Not whatever in god's name he calls the last 3 weeks. If I'm Pees I game plan for the offense to leave me out to dry and play some small ball with a 3rd safety in a jumbo 2-3-6 package to get quicker on defense but not losing any grit with Ihedigbo. Ihedigbo will at least knock socks with FBs/HBs/TEs and RGIII if need be. I just don't know how having 4 LBs on the field in the likes of McClellan, McClain, Kruger and Upshaw will benefit us.

How do you counter RG3's ability to run? I don't think any of our guys, outside of defensive backs, are fast enough to go 1-on-1 and spy him (Maybe BA). DEs have to hold contain and try not to let him get outside. DTs, don't give him any running lanes, either. Of course, this sacrifices pass-rush.

I hope we see some safety/corner blitzes

Yeah, going to have to contain him. Bltzing a very mobile QB is not the way to go (though you have to try sometimes). We should have a game plan for this. We should know how to do this. It is the same way we play Ben because while he might not be a threat to run, he is elusive. The same technique will work. Close the pocket, don't let lanes open.

Purple_Ice 81
The triple option offense is soooo dangerous. Its pretty much an effective play action fake that works on 40/50 plays. It is so tricky to defend I was watching the Giants game and my own eyes were deceiving me lol It might be Morris, Rg3 passing to his plethera of receivers, or himself taking it to our most likely Suggless defense. It is going to be tough on our defense hopefully they are hungry. Yet again another challenge for our soggy offense to try and be the focal point...I just dont see how our defense is going to hold up against such a crazy offensive attack coming from Shannahan. I say we just the ball and let Joe throw when he needs to. I think we can win this if our offense steps the hell up for once, I say our defense is doomed no matter what. I might be over hyping the redskins offense a bit but it is a very crazy attack they have going.

The Ravens respond well coming off a loss, but this matchup is certainly very concerning on paper.

The Redskins read option run/play action pass based offense will test the Ravens' ability to hold the edge and stay disciplined at every level of the defense. If Suggs is out, we lose our best playside run defender and backside pursuer. The Redskins' pass catchers have the ability to exploit the middle of the field in a big way as well.

I expect the Ravens to come out playing a lot of soft zones, giving up a ton of yardage, with a hope and a prayer of stiffening in the red zone. As the field gets shorter they will try to ask RGIII to throw the ball into the endzone. Even if their gameplan works I don't think they can stop the Redskins' scoring unit.

On defense, the Redskins are not great overall, and they're particularly weak at rushing the passer on the edges with Brian Orakpo out. They do have the ability to get some pressure from the interior line and their linebackers are playing okay in run support. London Fletcher is still a force covering the short zone in the middle of the field but the back end of the defense is not good at all with some of the worst safety play in the league at this point. Their corners are similar, playing well in short zone coverage but susceptible to getting burned by double moves on the outside.

Jim Haslett is an excellent defensive coordinator who will show some unorthodox coverages and zone blitzes. He's not quite LeBeau, but the Redskins run a very similar system that can really confound a quarterback. Flacco's seen this kind of defense many times before so at least he's not in totally unfamiliar territory.

I expect the Ravens to go with a play-action heavy, run-run-pass-punt game plan. As usual after a poor performance by Flacco and par for the course with their play on the road, they will try to contain and restrict Flacco, relegating the passing game to deep sideline shots off play action, short patterns to Boldin and Pitta, and dumpoffs to Ray Rice. I do expect Rice to get a lot of touches; he could have a great game but the Redskins aren't bad against the run (12th in YPC) but that may be a function of teams emphasizing the pass since that's their weakness. If I were coordinating the Ravens' offense, I would exploit the intermediate and deep middle of the field all day long, but I don't expect the Ravens to do that.

All in all, the Ravens are going to need to put up points to win and I don't see them doing that if they go ultra-conservative. I think they'll go into the 4th down 21-17, and at the end of the game the scoreboard will read 28-20 Redskins.

Our offense has yet to score more than 23 points on the road. It won't be enough. 27-23 Deadskins.

Agent 47
Griffin will obviously be a problem in this league for a long, long time. I'm sure he'll break off his fair share of great plays Sunday, maybe even a couple of did-you-see-that moments.

But crazy as it sounds (given that this is a 9-3 team), the Ravens are kind of up against it...this is a real gauntlet they're about to go through this next month. No "bye" games, no teams that have quit. And when their backs are against the wall, more often than not they manage to respond in a big way. And I'm not about to doubt 'em now.

Won't be easy - is it ever with this bunch? - but I think they get out of FedEx (which frankly, should have just as loud Raven fans as Redskin ones) with a hard-fought W, 30-24. (BTW, it would really help their cause if they found a way to exploit those safeties...not exactly prime Lott/Reed back there.)

Ravens will come out with a chip on their shoulder and get it done.

Ravens 30
Redskins 24

Boredom. Ravens 19-16, many FG's.

The Redskins represent exactly what we need right now. Their secondary is historically bad, and they are on a pace to end up in the Top Ten passing yards allowed in a season... ever. Cam loves to throw, throw, and throw some more, and this would seem to be the ideal opponent for such a philosophy. Joe should put up 350+ yards vs. these scrubs.

Ravens: 34
Skins: 27

23 - 16


We just don't have the defense to stop RGIII, and our coaches are too clueless to realize it. Since we're on the road AND Flacco had a bad game, they're going to continue to rely on their risk adverse gameplan on offense. And the Redskins will be ready for it.
Our coaches are about to get outcoached again.

I was concerned about the Steelers game and I am very concerned about the Skins game..

Me too. It seems like we celebrated the Chargers victory all week and forgot a desperate Steelers team was coming in. But we got beat at home by a 38 year old Batch. I predicted a loss to the Skins, mostly because of the emotions were still running high. I've cooled down a bit and I'm going to change my prediction, mainly because I can't see Harbs letting these guys sleepwalk through another game. I think he kicks their asses all week in practice and we go into Fedex and come away victorious, 28-24. (I mean, we can't lose to a rookie qb, can we?)

I was more than concerned about Pitt because they lost to the freakin browns the week before (2nd straight divisional loss). I really felt like they'd find a way to get the 'must win' and they did.

I don't feel that way this week. Skins are still partying over their monday night win against the Gmen.


RG3 and the read option only works if you have a good pass rush.....our inability to collapse the pocket might actually benefit us lol........RG3 is gonna have to stand their for 10+ secs to read the Defensive end lol

One of the most insightful comments I read.

Militant X 1
i don't know how many times this has to be said. imo, running the ball sets up everything else (i.e., play action, slants, screens, curls, drags, in and out routes etc.). establish the run game...stay true to your "identity" and great things will happen. that is what we saw last night from the redskins. they are a pistol - zone read/option team! and they played to their identity no matter what the giants threw at them. the Ravens need to do the same thing....establish Rice, Pierce and Leach on the ground and then....light it up in the air with Q, Torrey, Jacoby and Pitta.
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