Ravens at Bucs Preview

Sports and Bets — October 12, 2014 at 12:23 pm by

After last week’s ugly loss, the Ravens (3-2) could really use a rebound performance in Tampa Bay (1-4). This is the second road game in a stretch of four road games in five weeks, and it looks to be the most winnable road game on the docket. These are the types of games that the Ravens must win if they have serious playoff ambitions. Tampa is hardly an intimating place to play, and as we all know, it will always hold a special place in Ravens’ history.

2014 Stats (per game)

Points – Baltimore: 23.2, Tampa: 20.6
Points Allowed – Baltimore: 16.0, Tampa: 31.2
Pass Yards – Baltimore: 247, Tampa: 205
Rush Yards – Baltimore: 125.6, Tampa: 90.4
Pass Yards Allowed – Baltimore: 269, Tampa: 292
Rush Yards Allowed – Baltimore: 91.4, Tampa: 120.2
Turnover Differential – Baltimore: 0.6, Tampa: 0.0

Baltimore Inactives

WR Marlon Brown
DE Chris Canty
DT Timmy Jernigan
T Eugene Monroe
G Kelechi Osemele
LB Arthur Brown
TE Ryan Taylor

Tampa Bay Inactives

CB Johnthan Banks
OLB Jonathan Casillas
G Kadeem Edwards
DE Larry English
FS Dashon Goldson
QB Josh McCown
T Kevin Pamphile

Ravens’ Offense vs. Tampa’s Defense
If there’s any defense that could help snap the Ravens’ out of their road woes, it’s the Bucs. The Bucs are equally vulnerable to both the run and the pass, so Gary Kubiak would be wise to orchestrate a balanced attack. If the Ravens run the ball 15 times today, I’m throwing my remote through the television. I’m hoping to see a steady diet of the Justin Forsett, Lorenzo Taliaferro, and Bernard Pierce three-headed monster, leading to taking some shots down the field to Steve and Torrey Smith. If Torrey can’t have a big game against the Bucs, he might not have one all season long. Owen Daniels could also be a key contributor given the Bucs’ struggles against tight ends. Through five games this season, tight ends have 33 catches for 336 yards and two TDs against Tampa Bay (Jon Meoli).

joe-flacco-owen-daniels-nfl-pittsburgh-steelers-baltimore-ravens-850x560

Even though Tampa’s defense is one of the worst in the league, they still have a couple players that could really give the Ravens trouble. Gerald McCoy has been rated by Pro Football Focus as the best defensive tackle in the league this season, and he’s coming off a 9.5 sack campaign. Linebacker Lavonte David is 4th in the league in tackles, and had one of the best all-around seasons you will ever see last year. David made 145 tackles to go along with seven sacks and five INTs.

Tampa’s Offense vs. Ravens’ Defense
The Bucs’ offense has been completely different since Mike Glennon has taken over. In Glennon’s two starts, the Bucs beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh and gave the Saints everything that they could handle in an overtime loss in New Orleans. In these two starts, Glennon has thrown for 551 yards, four TDs, and an INT. Tampa’s biggest playmaker is the 6’5” 10-year vet, Vincent Jackson. Jackson has posted three straight 1,000 yard seasons, and he seems to be clicking with Glennon under center. In Glennon’s two starts, Jackson has 11 catches for 176 yards and a TD. He’ll definitely give a Ravens’ secondary missing Asa Jackon and featuring a less than 100% Lardarius Webb some problems.

While Glennon’s performance has been a pleasant surprise, Doug Martin’s play has been a major disappointment. In three games, Martin has 37 rushes for 94 yards and a TD, which is 2.5 yards per carry. Ex-Raven Bobby Rainey has been much more effective at this point in the season. In five games, Rainey has run for 220 yards and a TD on 47 carries, which is 4.7 yards per carry. No matter who’s toting the rock for the Bucs, the Ravens should have the clear advantage in the trenches. Haloti Ngata, C.J. Mosley, and company shouldn’t have much trouble keeping Tampa’s running game at bay. I’m much more worried about the Ravens getting pressure on Glennon. The Ravens’ five sacks have them tied for 26th in the NFL, and Terrell Suggs only has 1.5 sacks over his last 13 games.

Ravens-dedicate-win-Ray-Rice

Rapid Fire Facts

• “In the Ravens’ three wins this season, they’ve run 99 times and passed 91. In their two losses, they’ve run 35 times and passed 100” (Ryan Mink). That’s especially ridiculous considering that neither of the Ravens’ losses were blowouts. Gotta show a bigger commitment to the running game this week.
• Tampa Bay’s kicker, Patrick Murray, is a rookie. The Bucs’ punter, Michael Koenen, is dead last in the NFL with a punting average of 42.5 yards.
• “In three starts at home, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has completed 63.9 percent of his pass attempts and thrown six touchdown passes and one interception. In two starts on the road, he’s completed 59.4 of his passes with one touchdown and two interceptions” (Jeff Zrebiec). Flacco can’t keep waiting until the second half of road games to start making plays. He needs to be accurate and poised from the start.

Let’s go Ravens!

cover pic: Bleacher Report
Daniels pic: Fansided
Mosley pic: CBS

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