Forcing a change
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The second method involves running the football. If a running attack led by Ray Rice and Ricky Williams can gain yards on the ground, Cincinnati could be forced to drop a safety into the box and abandon the cover-2.
"The best way to get somebody out of a Cover-2 is to run the football," Theismann said. "Ray Rice touching the ball five times in the running game [as he did in Sunday's loss to the Seattle Seahawks] is not going to get it done against the Cincinnati Bengals. And Joe Flacco throwing it over 50 times [as he did Sunday] is not going to get it done either."
Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, who will call the plays this Sunday, disagreed with the theory that the pressure is squarely on Flacco this week.
"It's really like any other week," he said. "But it's been a couple years now where people have quit putting the safety in the middle of the field. They've done that to a lot of quarterbacks this year, a lot of young quarterbacks or guys they thought couldn't beat them outside. So there's no doubt. We'll come out and we'll see what most people do to us: give us a [cover-2] shell and try to disguise what they're doing."
Baltimore Sun writer Jeff Zrebiec contributed to this article.