With it being Thursday of game week, time to look ahead, and go “inside the film room”. Each week, we take a look at a drive from our opponent, see how it played out, and take a look at the best way to attack it. So tonight, with the Baltimore Ravens up next for the New York Jets, we are going to look at a drive from the marathon.
The marathon being the Ravens vs. Bears game from last week, with the extended weather delay. We are going to take a look at a touchdown drive from the second quarter of the game, one that was quite balanced, so it seemed to be one worth reviewing, so here we go:
First and ten from the Ravens’ 20
Flacco lines up under center with two backs behind him. Flacco hands to Pierce, who tries the right side, but is stopped for no gain.
Second and ten from the Ravens’ 20
Flacco opens up the tempo here, taking the team no-huddle to the line in the shotgun. Ray Rice is back in there, lined up next to Joe. Joe takes the snap, looks downfield, can’t find anyone so settles for a one yard pickup to Ray Rick in the flat.
Third and nine from the Ravens’ 21
Again no huddle, from the gun, Joe Flacco takes the snap, and can’t find anyone open. He steps up in the pocket and finds Ray Rice, who takes the short pass and takes it 12 yards for the conversion.
First and ten from the Ravens’ 33
Keeping the tempo moving, Joe Flacco leads the Ravens to the line in the no-huddle. Tandon Doss is lined up to Flacco’s left in the slot. Flacco has plenty of time, and hits Doss down the field for 16 yards and another first down for the Ravens
First and ten from the Ravens’ 49
Flacco is still in the gun, but this time, it’s a run. Pierce is lined up next to Joe in the gun, and he takes the delayed handoff, tries off tackle to the left, and picks up seven yards.
Second and three from the Bears’ 44
Joe Flacco takes the shotgun snap, finds nobody open, as the Chicago pass coverage is quite good. He scrambles, slides feet first at the 40 yard line for a four yard game. However, Flacco takes a hit, which turns into a 15 yard penalty, and the Ravens are in the driver’s seat.
First and ten from the Bears’ 25
They have had continuous success in the gun, so they stay with it on this play. Flacco takes the snap, has no pass rush on him. He steps up and hits Torrey Smith coming across the middle from the right for a 13 yard gain and a first down.
First and ten from the Bears’ 11
This time the Ravens run it from the gun, as Flacco takes the snap and hands to Ray Rice, lined up directly to his right. Rice takes the ball up the middle for a seven yard gain.
Second and three from the Bears’ 5
Flacco again takes the snap, faces no pass rush. He looks left, and hits Torrey Smith on a quick hitch route for the touchdown:
A couple of things can be gleaned from this drive.
One, NOBODY LAID A HAND ON FLACCO. Throughout this entire drive, he was given carte blanche to carve the Bears into little bits and pieces. Any quarterback given that kind of time will get the job done.
Secondly, the guys have to stay fresh, as best as they can. The Ravens like this no-huddle offense, designed to tire out the opponent. When the Ravens start running their drives like this, coach Ryan and company are going to have to be creative to keep their guys fresh while they are stuck on the field.
Finally, don’t let Ray Rice into space. There were a couple of plays in that drive where he was stopped. He can be, but if they let him roam, it’s going to be problems for them on Sunday.
Hopefully the Jets can right the ship.