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Baltimore Ravens: 3 Keys To Success vs Oakland Raiders


As we get ready to take on week four in the NFL, here is a few keys to success for the Baltimore Ravens as they get set to host the Oakland Raiders.

Offense

Last week the Ravens moved the ball early on and put up points. Besides a sketchy run game, Joe Flacco was able to run a touchdown in himself and get the team into field goal range for Justin Tucker. He made four field goals in that game, reminding us of his hefty pay-day not too long ago and that he is more than well deserving of it.

It would be nice for the offensive unit to score more touchdowns. It’s wonderful when you have a clutch kicker like “Legatron,” but when he has to kick a surplus of field goals every week, things won’t always be candy and apples. Sometimes kickers’ miss, even one like Tucker.

They’ll be facing a Raiders defense who started off the season looking out of character. Though they have tightened up this past week, there is the reason to believe that points might not be that difficult to come by. Don’t read a book by its cover! The Raiders are very talented on defense. They are going to load up and stuff the Ravens run attack and force Flacco to air it out.

If they can run the ball well, they will win the game. They have been downright awful in this area. It’s beginning to concern a lot of people, and it’s something they need to fix. If the return of Kenneth Dixon makes a difference, things could look much better. They’re a 3-0 team, just not a very good one. They’re getting there!

Defense

Baltimore has held the number two overall defense in three games so far this season. Though they haven’t faced a top offense or playoff-caliber team, it’s a good sign. The unit looks much improved from last season. The addition of Eric Weddle and converting former CB to Safety, Lardarius Webb, is working out well.

They need to be prepared for this Raiders offense. If anything, their offense is solid. Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree are key pieces to that offense. QB Derek Carr is versatile in that he can carve you up in the air or with his legs. For Baltimore to succeed defensively, they need to g pressure on Carr without letting him slip away! If they can shake him up, it will make things easier for the secondary, but more importantly, they might be able to force some turnovers which could be the difference in this game.

Keep your eyes on C.J. Mosely and Eric Weddle. These two guys are going to be all over the field Sunday, and either of them could grab an interception, or two. They have been key parts of this defensive unit, and I suspect they will continue this trend. We all know Flacco is susceptible to throwing picks, Carr can be too. This game might just come down to that one turnover.

Special Teams

I think the most impressive part of this Ravens team so far is their special teams unit. After blocking two field goals in back to back weeks, and as mentioned above, Tucker’s significant impact, it’s obvious that this unit is crucial to the overall success of the team. You might be thinking, “well duh.” The thing is, many successful teams get by with sub-par special teams. Usually, a clutch kicker is part of the winning formula, but not always.

Do we want this game to come down to Tucker’s leg? Hell no!

You know, we do trust him, a lot.

At least I know I would rather depend on his leg over any other kicker in the league. He’s a true stud, and one of the best kickers in the history of the NFL. With that kind of talent, it’s too easy not to depend on him to win games and put up points. If this unit can keep showing up and making big plays, the team will have great chances of coming out on top.

Bold Prediction

What starts off flashy and quick, turns into a slow and gut-wrenching shootout, between the Ravens and Raiders. It might look like a high scoring affair at first but don’t be fooled! This game will change direction multiple times. Right when you think one team has it, the other will sway things around. In the end, the Ravens will find a way to win, even if Justin Tucker has to get things done.

Ravens win 20-17.


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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]