Hope You’re Ready for Big Boy Football
Baltimore’s offense has looked really good. They’ve only turned it over once. Lamar Jackson’s only been sacked twice. They’re averaging right around seven yards a play, which is number one in the league right now. Lamar Jackson threw the football very well last week.
The Ravens come out, they’re going to be in 22 personnel, they’re going to be in 12, they’re going to be in 21. They make you play big boy football, but not only do they make you play big boy football, then they’ll break formation and give you multiple formations to defend, including empty. And oh, by the way, you always have to defend Lamar as a runner. The only negative with this offense is they’re only converting 35 percent of their third downs, and that’s what hurt them last week — Koetter
It’s Been Awhile
Week 10 of 2020 was the last time these guys played each other. New England beat Baltimore 23-17, and they did a really good job on defense. Belichick is gameplan-specific, and he’s going to give Baltimore something different. I would expect the Ravens go back and look at that tape and see exactly what Belichick and that defensive staff did in that game, because they contained Lamar. — Pagano
Too Much Shotgun in New England
New England is in the shotgun every play with Mac Jones directing everything, waving his arms around like a traffic cop back there. You can see the Patriots want to play slow on offense, keep it close, and win with their defense and special teams. And I was impressed with Mac Jones, but he was inconsistent. They’re putting a lot on him at the line of scrimmage.
They’re always in shotgun in their run game, and that makes it tough on their running backs. I’d like to see them get under center more. When you’re under center, not only your run game, but your play action game is going to be better. When you don’t have a running QB, being in the shotgun as much as they were might have hurt them in the first three quarters [last week]. But it’s obvious they want to slow the game down. — Koetter
Right now, this is not a typical Baltimore Ravens’ defense that we know and are used to. They’re last in total defense and against the pass, and 29th in red zone defense. The Ravens are really struggling on the back end in the secondary. We saw all the busted coverages and the big plays that led to that comeback last week from Miami. I think they bounce back in this one. — Pagano
Keep It Simple
The Ravens have Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey, who are coming off of season-ending injuries. They’re just very young behind those guys, and are trying to figure things out. New defensive coordinator, new calls, trying some different things. I think they simplify in this one. They’ll load up and stop the run, and get these guys [New England] in some third down situations, and just try to calm things down on the back end.
They do so much of that exotic stuff, and that got them in trouble. They’re trying to figure it out and aren’t on the same page. I think the Ravens just have to simplify on defense, and give those defensive backs a chance to let the guys up front impact the play. — Pagano
A Targeted Approach
New England is going to take away Baltimore’s top guy. They’re going to take away Mark Andrews, they’re going to take away the run on early downs. Then they’re going to make Lamar beat them throwing the football, and they’ll hope to get Baltimore in 3rd & 7, 3rd & 8+ situations. Even if Baltimore does move the ball and get down the field, which they’re going to, Lamar is going to make some plays, the Patriots are third in red zone defense, and they’ve always been really good there. It’ll be tough sledding for Baltimore to put points on the board. — Pagano