Earlier this week I wrote that I feel a bit more confident about the Bengals playing the Baltimore Ravens than I did against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Obviously, it could be misplaced. The Ravens, after all, are in the top ten offensively and defensively. However, the Bengals have always matched up well against Baltimore. Before the 2008 season -- because not much good happened that season so it makes sense that we totally disregard it -- the Bengals had won six of the previous seven meetings. However, this isn't your same Ravens. Bruce Raffel, blogger at Baltimore Beatdown drops by quickly for a few questions -- including our mandatory situational questions.
Josh: What has been some of the biggest improvements in Joe Flacco’s game this year that’s made the Ravens the sixth best passing offense in the league?
Bruce: Head Coach John Harbaugh and Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron have taken the reins off of Joe and have him flinging the ball around to a bunch of receivers to use that rocket arm of his. His calm demeanor makes him virtually unflappable and the better o-line gives him time to find his open guys.
Josh: Aside from the Cleveland Browns, the Ravens’ three opponents have scored 20 points or more already. They gave up 20 points or more in only five games last year. What do you attribute for the increase of points allowed?
Bruce: Teams are quicker to decide to abandon the run against us and the number of attempts are probably up as well. However, facing two of the best passing attacks in SD and NE doesn't help and perhaps our secondary is indeed a weak point, and if we can't get a pass rush, well any NFL QB will find open receivers if they have time.
Josh: Here’s the situation. The Baltimore Ravens have the football, down by four points with three seconds left in the game. It’s fourth and goal from the three-yard line. Who do count on to win the football game?
Bruce: Got to put the ball in the hands of the guy who probably got us down there in the first place. I like Flacco to drop back and either look for McGahee out of the backfield or one of the receivers. Can't risk a run from the 3 yd. line.
Josh: The Cincinnati Bengals have the football, down by four points with three seconds left in the game. It’s the final play of the game and Carson Palmer just took the snap and took a five-step drop. Who are you looking to make the play and win the game for Baltimore?
Bruce:While I'd love to see Ray up the middle for the QB sack, something tells me that ain't happening on a pass play. However, Suggs to pressure Palmer, Ngata to push the o-line back and get his hand up and Ed Reed to read Carson's eyes and take it 107 yards to the house for the dagger. How's that!?
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