Attack Atlanta’s Secondary
Atlanta Falcons rush defense ranks 6th in the league, allowing 95.6 yards per game. The good news for the Baltimore Ravens is that RB Ray Rice may be hitting a hot streak, as he had a breakout game against Miami this past Sunday. Some other promising news is that the Falcons pass defense ranks 26th in the league, allowing an average of 250.5 yards per game.
Atlanta’s Blitzes & Secondary
As pointed out by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “The Falcons have been blitzing more frequently on defense this season with mixed results: Over the past three games, the defense has given up touchdown passes of 58, 64 and 83 yards.” They also noted that Atlanta’s pressure packages have enabled them to compile 13 interceptions by 10 players and 16 sacks from 9 players.
What to Look For:
Attack the Blitz
Ravens QB Joe Flacco will need to get rid of the ball quickly. Fortunately, he usually does a good job of that when he makes quick, decisive decisions. If the Falcons come with the blitz, Flacco will need throw to his “hot reads.” T.J. Houshmandzadeh may be a big factor in this game on third downs because he has the ability to get open quickly.
Look Down Field, Looking off Coverage
Another good sign is that Flacco isn’t tipping his hand. On the screens and designed check downs last game, Flacco looked down the field first, which directed Miami’s secondary deep, opening up space for Ray Rice underneath. Look for Flacco to continue this strategy.
Find The Playmakers
The Ravens offense has become a dangerous unit with Boldin, Mason, Housh, Heap and Rice. Joe Flacco has looked great ever since his poor performance in Cincinnati on Week 2. The offense is now ranked 15th in points scored (21.9 per game). With all these playmakers, Flacco just has to deliver— which he has done a great job of already. In particular, Flacco has developed well with Anquan Boldin, and Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron has been going for the deep pass more often with this combo.