During the Ravens' 41-7 loss to the New England Patriots last week, there were a few major defensive breakdowns.
The Ravens limited quarterback Tom Brady to one touchdown pass and 172 passing yards, his second-lowest total of the season.
But running back LeGarrette Blount plowed ahead for 76 yards and two touchdown runs.
And there was a 34-yard pass interference penalty on cornerback Jimmy Smith that led to the Patriots' first touchdown.
"We were going to be a little more vulnerable to the run because we were not going to let Tom beat us down the field," defensive coordinator Dean Pees said. "And the only time really we didn’t get beat down the field was the interference call on Jimmy. I think that is the only deep ball, and that really wasn’t caught. I’d like to comment on it; I won’t.
Pees accepted responsibility for a coverage scheme breakdown during a 34-yard reception for Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola, on which he broke a tackle attempt by strong safety James Ihedigbo. It led to the Patriots’ second touchdown.
"They hit us on a little short route to [Amendola], and we ended up missing a tackle," Pees said. "I’m not going to take the blame on the missed tackle, but I will take the blame on the actual call. There were some things that I had done against Tom when I was at New England every day in practice, and just because we did them up there doesn’t necessarily mean they were going to be good here. And when you try to put something in that’s really pretty new, you’re not always going to get the formation that you practiced in practice.
"You can’t practice everything, and what happened is we got kind of a weird formation on a new call that I had put in. There were some communication problems between two guys, and all of a sudden, [Amendola] is free. That’s my fault. That’s me as a coach. I’ve got to do a better job of, if I know the whole thing is going to be hard for them to figure out all the formations, then I can’t call it. No matter how good it was back then and how good it was against him, it wasn’t good for us. In that case, to me, that one is on me.”
Back to basics
Unlike when the Ravens had cornerback Jimmy Smith shadow Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson two games ago, there’s no apparent plan to duplicate that coverage scheme against Bengals star wide receiver A.J. Green.
Smith is expected to line up at his customary right cornerback spot Sunday opposite left cornerback Lardarius Webb.
“No, I don’t think we’re shifting around this week,” Smith said. “I think we’ll just play it straight.”
Quiet season for B. Williams
A promising offseason didn’t translate into a productive season for rookie defensive tackle Brandon Williams, a third-round draft pick from Missouri Southern.
Williams missed the first three games with a toe injury and has been a healthy scratch the past five games, which coincides with the emergence of DeAngelo Tyson in the defensive line rotation. Williams has five tackles, one sack and a fumble recovery in six games.
“We’ve got great guys,” Williams said. “Whenever my time comes, I’ll definitely capitalize. I’m doing good, I’m feeling great. I think I’m progressing very well.”