Oakland Raiders: Keys To Victory Over Baltimore Ravens

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Sep 3, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) sits on a bench against the Atlanta Falcons in the third quarter at the Georgia Dome. The Ravens defeated the Falcons 20-19. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Stay In Flacco’s Face

The only Raiders’ defensive back – Charles Woodson notwithstanding – who played worth a spit against the Bengals last week was Travis Carrie. The second year corner virtually shut down one of the NFL’s top receivers in A.J. Green.

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  • According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required) Carrie – primarily matched up with Green – gave up just two catches for positive yards over the course of the game. D.J. Hayden on the other hand, was as much of a dumpster fire as he has been over the course of the exhibition season and in week one. Hayden gave up first downs on short yardage passes primarily because he was giving too much of a cushion, and on a touchdown to tight end Tyler Eifert, Hayden never even turned his head to track the ball.

    With Nate Allen out, and with Woodson presumably out, the Raiders are going to be relying on Carrie, Hayden, Neiko Thorpe – who had a relatively solid game all things considered – perhaps Keith McGill, Larry Asante and perhaps the recently re-signed Taylor Mays in the secondary.

    Simply put, that defensive backfield is going to need some help. A lot of help.

    That help can come in the form of an all out attack by Oakland’s defensive front. They have to be turned loose to create as much havoc and panic in the offense’s backfield as humanly possible. The Raiders need to blitz from every conceivable angle, load up the line and send the house, and make life as uncomfortably miserable for Joe Flacco as they can.

    With a secondary as thin as they that is struggling as badly as they are, the solution is to get in Flacco’s face and stay there. They need to hit him early and often. They need to make sure he’s having to pick himself up and dust himself off after every single play. They cannot let him get into a rhythm, they can’t let him sit comfortably back in the pocket and pick them apart. They have to get after him from the opening snap.

    To cover up for the deficiencies in the secondary, they have to be drop the hammer on Flacco.

    Next: Keep the Chains Moving