Advertisement

Film Study: A look back at the Ravens win vs. the Bengals

Each week, Baltimore Sun reporters Aaron Wilson and Matt Vensel will look back at the previous game of the Ravens and their next opponent. The Ravens will play the Eagles at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.
Ravens 44, Bengals 13

Strategy:

Joe Flacco

orchestrated the offense out of no-huddle mode and the shotgun formation, frequently audibling at the line. Halfback draws to

Ray Rice

out of the shotgun kept the Bengals honest along with waggles, play-action and reverses. It was primarily fast-break football, but the Ravens didn't completely abandon their smash-mouth roots with

Vonta Leach

bulldozing pathways for Rice with isolation plays out of the I-formation. Remaining true to their 3-4 base defense, they were hardly vanilla as Dean Pees dialed up blitzes and stunts to create a pass rush for a defense bereft of

Terrell Suggs

.

Personnel:

The Ravens went no-huddle on 21 of 58 snaps, an indicator it's no passing fancy. They were in the shotgun 15 times. Tight end

Dennis Pitta

, who had a career-high 73 receiving yards, was on the field for 44 plays while

Ed Dickson

played 39 snaps. Often in double-tight-end formations and three-wide-receiver looks. Left guard

Ramon Harewood

and rookie right tackle

Kelechi Osemele

never left the field and held up solidly in starting debuts.

What went right:

Flacco collaborated with Ravens offensive coordinator

Cam Cameron

for a crisp tempo, keeping the defense off guard with unpredictable playcalling. Respect was paid to Rice on a play-action fake sold adeptly by Flacco, who connected with

Torrey Smith

in stride for a 52-yard pass on the first play from scrimmage. Rice generated 93 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, but could handle a bigger workload.

Lardarius Webb

was an ironman on defense, playing 62 snaps and recording seven tackles and a fumble recovery .

Haloti Ngata

exploited a mismatch over center

Jeff Faine

for two sacks.

Bernard Pollard

delivered some punishing hits, and a lighter

Ray Lewis

was extremely active.

What went wrong:

Interior defensive linemen

Ma'ake Kemoeatu

and

Terrence Cody

didn't build an adequate wall inside as

BenJarvus Green-Ellis

had 91 yards and a touchdown.

Paul Kruger

surrendered ground far too easily, getting manhandled by Bengals tackle

Andrew Whitworth

. Although Kruger played 61 plays, he had just one tackle and fellow linebacker

Albert McClellan

only had two tackles in 48 plays. The Bengals racked up 4.6 yards per carry.

Turning point:

After Webb's touchdown-saving tackle on a scrambling

Andy Dalton

held Cincinnati to a field goal in the third quarter when

Marvin Lewis

declined to go for it on 4th-and-1 at the Ravens' 1-yard line, Flacco marched the offense 89 yards on nine plays capped by a 10-yard touchdown pass to Pitta for a 24-13 lead. The game was never close again.

X-factor:

The Ravens look vulnerable on the perimeter defensively because the outside linebackers aren't setting the edge physically enough. That could be a major problem against the Eagles because of the multi-dimensional athleticism of quarterback

Michael Vick

and the elusiveness of speedy running back

LeSean McCoy

.

¿

Advertisement
Advertisement