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Defensive Strategies: Dolphins vs. Ravens

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Defensive Strategies for the Baltimore Ravens:

Key for the Defense:

Stop Miami Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall.

Marshall has been an effective weapon for the Dolphins: he has 47 catches, a 12.5 average and 1 touchdown.  He is physical and gains big yards after catch. However, the key is that he has only 1 touchdown.

Miami’s Strategy:

The Dolphins will make a concerted effort to get Brandon Marshall the ball in the red zone.

Marshall will likely be the point of emphasis since Miami has struggled to find the end zone. In the past 2 games, the team had a total of 2 touchdowns.  Over that time, Dan Carpenter kicked ten field goals.  One of the reasons for this touchdown shortage, as The Miami Herald points out, is that “the team cannot find Brandon Marshall in the end zone.

What To Look For:

So we know that in Sunday’s match-up, the Dolphins will try and get the ball to Marshall when in position to score. A question for the Ravens is who will cover Marshall?

CB Fabian Washington was benched late in the game against the Bills in Week 7 after a poor performance.  If the Ravens decide not to start Washington, they have the option of using Josh Wilson, Chris Carr or even Lardarius Webb.

No matter who is assigned to cover Marshall, you can bet that the defense will shift coverage his way.  FS Ed Reed will also be lurking as he knows Miami wants to get the ball to their playmaker, Marshall.

For what it’s worth, when Marshall faced the Ravens as a Denver Bronco last year, he was a non-factor— finishing with just 4 catches for 24 yards.