Ravens vs. Rams Preview

September 25, 2011 | Michael Schwartz

The Ravens travel to St. Louis and try to bounce back from a subpar Week 2. They came off of a great Week 1 versus the Steelers and then they came out and were dominated by the Titans. The score didn’t show how bad they were dominated by the Titans.

The Rams haven’t started the year as they wanted to, 0-2. They have a very good young quarterback, Sam Bradford, and a Pro Bowl running back, Steven Jackson. Jackson got injured in Week 1 and didn’t play Week 2. It is unclear if he will play versus the Ravens. The Rams backup is Cadillac Williams who had great potential coming out of college, but hasn’t lived up to the potential yet. Their defense is not great against the run and not great against the pass, so overall they have a weak defense.

The Ravens have many injuries on offense and defense. On offense they lost David Reed for 3 weeks. Lee Evans has a nagging ankle injury so his health is unsure. They may be playing without Pro Bowl left guard Ben Grubbs. On defense they are missing rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith and cornerback Chris Carr.

The two starting cornerbacks are Cary Williams and Dominique Foxworth. Foxworth is coming off of a torn ACL which kept him out all of the 2010-2011 season. Cary Williams has never been a starting cornerback and he is not a proven corner. Neither one of these guys could stop Kenny Britt. Britt had catch after catch and these guys weren’t even near him. Neither is physical at the line, so they play 8-10 yards off of the ball. The Ravens got no pressure on Hasselbeck, so the corners looked worse than they really are. Versus the Steelers, the Ravens got enough pressure to make the secondary look pretty good.

The Ravens secondary needs to play a little closer, maybe 5 yards off of the ball, and then the opponent can’t do so many quick screens. The defensive line also needs to get pressure. Suggs is getting paid big bucks but only performs against the Steelers. Haloti Ngata is playing like he’s the best defensive tackle in the NFL. Overall the Ravens got pressure versus their rival Steelers but couldn’t get pressure versus the Titans.

The Ravens need to keep their defense off of the field. They don’t want the defense on there for 40 minutes of a game. The Ravens need to control the ball and win the time of possession stat. The Ravens need to stop Sam Bradford since he is one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL.

The Ravens passing game is going to depend on the deep ball. Can Lee Evans get open and catch the ball? We haven’t seen him catch a real deep ball. The reason the passing game worked against the Steelers was because they were very afraid of Lee Evans over the top. The short passes to Boldin and Rice were working because of the decoy. Evans has a hurt ankle, can the young receivers step up and make a play. That will be the key to the Ravens success.

Prediction- 27-10 Ravens