“Irregardless of the fact, it's a moot point,” (insert 2-train hand movements, rolling of the eyes and a blank stare from on-lookers)
Easily one of the most contradictory and abused statements in the English language, this leads us to the Ravens visit to the Vikings (5-0) on Sunday. The fact is the Ravens must rebound from last week's deflating loss and start resurrecting their defensive prowess. And, it's a moot point whether or not the Ravens will be able contain and tackle RB Adrian Peterson with success.
Despite having Bengals RB Cedric Benson run up and through Organized Chaos, the Ravens D is ranked 4th in the league against the run through five weeks. However, the Ravens have had the advantage of a schedule against the likes of the Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns, both teams treading water in the abyss of the League. This Sunday's contest presents another formidable task of stopping Peterson. Peterson ranks 2nd in rushing yards and 1st in touchdowns, so the task will not be to stop the unstoppable but to contain him to the first line of defense. Peterson has chewed up teams for yardage with his cut-back running style and the Ravens must prevent him from getting past the linebackers because once this happens it will be a spelling bee watching his jersey from behind. Here's a lil skit:
Teacher: Domonique your word is “Petersoned.”
Domonique: Can you use it in a sentence?
Teacher: Fabian just got Petersoned for a 25-yard gain.
Domonique: “Petersoned, P-E-T-E-R-S-O-N-E-D, Petersoned.”
Teacher: Correct, thank you lil Domonique. Fabian your word is touchdown, as in Adrian Peterson just juked me for a touchdown.”
Fabian: uhhh…Touchdown, T-O-U-C-H-D-O-W-N, Touchdown
While containing Peterson is the equivalent of controlling Kanye West's shortbus outbursts, one part of the game they can control is in the penalty box. The Ravens are one of the most penalized teams in the League with an average of 8 for -65 yards per game. This game will be in the Metrodome where the noise can be overbearing by contributing to botched snap counts and frustration. The Ravens must stop donating downs and yardage like it's a tax write-off.
Joe Flacco is going to have plenty of chances to redeem himself in this matchup, but the Tubbies on the Line are going to have to account for Vikings DE Jared Allen. While the Vikings defense is ranked #1 in the redzone, only giving up 4 touchdowns in 13 possessions, they have also given up 384 yards to Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and 287 yards to both Rams QB's Kyle Boller and Marc Bulger. Flacco is going to have to capitalize on his long dimes and CC is will have to rectify blanking WR Derrick Mason with a donut last week versus the Bengals. CC will also have to figure out a way to get LaRon McClain more opportunities than just the checkdown option for Flacco.
Ed Reed was spotted singing and nodding his head to the tune of Rhianna's “S.O.S.” in the locker room after last week's final seconds crushing defeat. It is clearly evident that Reed is the superstar with no adequate help in the secondary and the distress calls are only getting louder with each passing week of CB's Domonique Foxworth, Fabian Washington and Chris Carr getting blown by like Jimmie Johnson passing the field in the NASCAR Sprint Cup. CB Samari Rolle in a neck brace might be a better option, but Matty is going to have to dial up the pressure on QB Brett Favre and make him eat turf with some much needed sacks and hurries.
This is the last game before the Ravens enter their bye week and best believe they do not want to amplify their troubles with a 3 game losing streak. And, best believe this game will come down to containment and tackling for the Ravens. Now spell it!
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Written by Lea Anderson