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Defensive Strategies: Bills vs. Ravens

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DEFENSIVE STRATEGIES

Advantage: Ravens Defensive Line

The Buffalo Bills offensive line has struggled this year, which is not good when they have to face a testy Ravens defense. To compound matters for the Bills, their starting right tackle Cornell Green is out indefinitely with an undisclosed injury.  The likely replacement will be undrafted rookie Cordaro Howard who has seen only minimal playing time this year.  The Bills rank 31st in the league in offensive passing yards (144.6), and one of the reasons why they rank last in this category is lack of pass protection.

As described by ProFootballWeekly.com,

“The team’s offensive line has been a mess in 2010, especially in pass blocking, and there is little sign of improvement the rest of the way. Bills QBs have been hit 28 times (second most in the league) and taken down for 11 sacks through Week Four… The switch to Ryan Fitzpatrick under center was a smart one, as Fitzpatrick is more mobile and gets rid of the ball faster than previous starter Trent Edwards did.”

What to look for:

  • The Ravens will test the Bills offensive line in passing situations with a fair amount of blitz or pressure packages.  You can bet the Ravens will bring pressure off the edge with a rookie starting at right tackle.
  • The defense can also be more aggressive when playing the run with FS Ed Reed back in the lineup. With Reed lurking in the secondary, the corners can be comfortable enough to press the box (play the run) more often then they have been this season.

OFFENSIVE STRATEGIES

Advantage: WR Derrick Mason

It looks like Bills cornerback Terrence McGee is doubtful this Sunday after missing Wednesday’s and Thursday’s practice. McGee is still recovering from a knee surgery that was expected to heal by now.  In 3 games versus the Ravens, McGee has 14 total tackles and 4 pass deflections.

  • If the McGee can’t play, then the Bills will have either Leodis McKelvin or Reggie Corner to sub in and cover Derrick Mason. This could prove to be a favorable match-up for the Ravens offense, especially for Mason.