When the Ravens faced this offense against Washington this season, they allowed 359 yards of total offense, including 186 rushing. But most of the damage came in the Redskins' first two possessions.
After that, the Ravens settled down and controlled the game. Outside linebacker Paul Kruger, safety Bernard Pollard and end Arthur Jones played well. The Ravens this season also faced Philadelphia's Michael Vick, another mobile quarterback.
“Hopefully we try to eliminate some of the negative things that we did in both of those games,” said Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees. Vick “probably is a good analogy. He is probably a good combination of both of those guys in some ways. He's not exactly like either one of them, but he has traits that are similar to both.
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“I also felt like we weren't as disciplined as a football team defensively as we needed to be early on either. There were some times that we had chances to make plays, and our eyes weren't in the right spot, or we weren't in the right position — not as good of a discipline. We corrected that and got a lot better at that.”
San Francisco is more talented than Washington and Philadelphia. The 49ers have a physically dominating offensive line and a tough runner in Frank Gore. Kaepernick likes to throw long and has two clutch receivers in Michael Crabtree and tight end Vernon Davis.
Whether the Ravens succeed Sunday or not, there is one thing certain with The Pistol offense: It's going to be around for a short while.
“The Wildcat was a component of an offense, another form of attacking a defense,” Duffner said. “It was just built around the running back. This is an offense that features your quarterback, running back and receivers. I think it has more shelf life than the Wildcat.”
Added Lewis: “It's here and now I think you will see more defensive coordinators spend more time during the offseason working on it and getting more players on board as far as stopping it. Once that happens, I think it will go the way of the run-and-shoot. Plus, I'm not sure everybody wants to see their quarterback take the beatings every week.”
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