Last week the Ravens lost to the Bengals 23-17, here is an overview of what occurred and how the team played:
It was more of a rest week for the guaranteed playoff bound AFC champions. Ray Rice and Joe Flacco were only allowed to play the first two series of the game while veteran Ed Reed sat out the entire game. The Ravens needed to rest these key players to make a solid run in the playoffs. It was smart of the coaches to decide this, making sure to prevent injuries that could have occurred.
With Flacco only playing two series, second year quarterback Tyrod Taylor was in control for the Raven’s offense. Taylor was 15 for 25, throwing for 149 yards and 1 interception. Rookie Bernard Pierce had the majority of touches at running back, carrying 22 times for 89 yards. Tyrod Taylor was the team’s second best rusher of the game, racking up 65 yards on only 9 carries. Both Taylor and Anthony Allen had rushing touchdowns in the game. All together the offense racked up 352 yards on offense, a good number of yards compared to what the offense has been putting up in previous games.
The Raven’s defense only allowed the Bengals to rack up 189 net yards on Sunday. They also held them to only 1 offense touchdown during the game and 3 field goals. The defense was also limiting their veteran players in order to rest them for the playoffs. Overall it was a great day for the defense players.
The special teams unit for Baltimore had a pretty solid day. Every phase executed their jobs with nothing overly exciting happening. The only mishap on the day was Justin Tucker’s missed field goal attempt from 45 yards out. This was one of the few field goal misses Tucker has had this season. He later redeemed himself by making an attempt from 49 yards out.
This week’s playoff game will be an important deciding factor for the Ravens. They will be facing the Colts on Sunday at 1 PM. Luckily, the Ravens have home field advantage, playing at M&T Bank Stadium. The two teams are closely tied together through Colts head coach Chuck Pagano coming from the Ravens and Ravens Offensive Coordinator Jim Caldwell coming from the Colts. The men from both sides know each other very well and it should turn out to be a great game. If the Ravens come out and play like they were playing in the beginning of the season they should have no problem defeating the Colts and moving on to the next stage in the playoffs.
The Ravens will have to rely on the arm and decision making abilities of Joe Flacco to lead them to victory against the Colts. If the Joe Flacco from week 16, who easily defeated the Giants, shows up, a victory should be in the works. Look out for the explosiveness of Ray Rice to help out the offense as well.
Turnovers will be a key statistic in this game. The young Andrew Luck has had 17 turnovers this season. Veteran safety Ed Reed will definitely be on the lookout to increase Luck’s turnover rate. To help Reed out with that, the defensive line needs to put a lot of pressure on Luck and force him to make quick decisions.
The entire special teams unit needs to outperform the Colt’s special teams. This phase of the game can and will be a decisive factor of which team comes out on top. Watch for Jacoby Jones to make an impact on kick returns and rookie kicker, Justin Tucker, to add points for the offense.
It should be an exciting game against the Colts!
About the Author
Written by Brandie
Brandie is a graduate from Utah State University where she competed as a Division 1 gymnast. Growing up in the DC area Brandie has always been a fan of the Baltimore Ravens and is honored to have the privilege to write about them.