The Ravens had a character win against Miami on Sunday. Because of injuries, they were low on receivers as well as offensive linemen. They were playing in heat and had not won a game on the road this season.
But there are still problems that need to be addressed. The running game has to get better and the pass protection needs to improve. Maybe the top priority this week is fixing coverage in the secondary, especially stopping big plays.
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Against Miami, the Ravens gave up receptions of 49, 46, 30 and 45 yards. That was against Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill. If the Ravens give up those kinds of plays against the Green Bay Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Sunday, they could get blown out.
Rodgers is the best all around quarterback in the NFL.
"We have a huge, huge game next week with A-Rod coming in," said Ravens rush linebacker Terrell Suggs, "and we're definitely playing against one of the best quarterbacks in the league. We have our hands full again next week."
Rodgers can beat a team as a drop-back passer, but he is also accurate throwing on the run. He has a quick release and no fear.
"We will work hard on the extended coverage where the quarterback scrambles," Ravens John Harbaugh said. "It has always been a big emphasis for us, always will."
Suggs said: "Like I said, we have the Green Bay Packers next week and then we all know who we have after that."
Protecting Jacoby Jones
Receiver Jacoby Jones is expected to practice again this week and Harbaugh didn't hesitate saying he would insert him as the returner if he is healthy even if current returner, Tandon Doss, is playing well.
If Jones returns, it would give the Ravens instant offense as well as help in the field position battle. Jones can turn a game around in a second. Doss has occasional big play ability, but is limited compared to Jones because of Jones' great speed.
"It's the kind of question we have been asking ourselves," said Harbaugh of Jones playing. "It depends on how he looks in practice. If he looks good, we'll put him out there. If not, then we'll have to protect."
Have patience with McKinnie
Left offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie didn't play well against Miami, and there is speculation the Ravens might cut him if Eugene Monroe is ready to start this week.
Patience is suggested here.
McKinnie played poorly, but Miami does have a strong defensive line. Speed and quickness have never been assets of McKinnie. The Ravens should make a decision based on McKinnie's attitude.
If he is sulking and doesn't want to practice once Monroe becomes the starter, then cut him. If not, then keep him on the roster as a backup. McKinnie's experience is invaluable and could be helpful in the postseason.
Right now rookie Rick Wagner would replace Monroe if McKinnie leaves. The kid isn't ready for the speed that comes off the corner yet.
Running game is back?