Re: Can Flacco beat us with his passing game?
posted at 1/14/2013 10:15 AM EST
Well, if Talib can play man up the way he did this week, then there will be one less hole.
The Denver CBs really had their worst game of the season at the worst time.
Key here, though, will be safety and LBer play. They like to work the middle of the field passing into the seams.
Accounting for Pitta and Rice will be the challenge. NE allowed too many checkdown passes to RBs this week, and Rice is devastating (compare to Foster who is a power runner) in the open field.
Pitta nabbed some huge catches for the Ravens down the stretch.
So the onus is on Talib to match off his "guy" whether it's Smith or Bolden. And don't let them milk Rice/Pitta over the middle running and dumping it to the TE/RB. Get someone on Pitta and beat him up, leave on guy out there to literally shadow Rice.
Also, hugely important. I can't think of a worse starting QB with pressure in his face than Flacco, but given the number of weapons they possess he still has options. He has an 84 rating against the blitz and a miserable 35 rating under pressure.
Shutting down the deep passing will be as much about getting in Flacco's lanes as it will be about deep coverage. Cover-1. Give Dennard some help over the top, but let Talib battle it out. Bring one safety a few steps in to patrol the seams. That gives you the extra man to send, which can just alternate between Spikes, Mayo, and Hightower.