Five Things to Watch in Ravens vs. Redskins
As the Ravens (9-3) square off with the Washington Redskins (6-6) on Sunday at FedEx Field, here's a checklist of key areas and people to watch.
-- Aaron Wilson
-- Aaron Wilson
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1. How will the Ravens defend Robert Griffin III?( U.S. Presswire / December 3, 2012 )
Defending strong-armed, speedy Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III represents a supreme challenge for the Ravens injury-riddled defense.
How do you slow down a gifted, elusive quarterback who's accurate, smart, athletic, tough and riding a wave of momentum?
Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees seems to have a sound plan.
The Ravens want to keep Griffin contained in the pocket, not be overly aggressive at reacting to ball fakes and the constant backfield shifts of the read-option oriented pistol offense and play their coverage techniques.
What typically happens is defenses overreact to Griffin, get flustered and he buys so much time that the secondary breaks down and one of his fast receivers is wide open.
The Ravens have to be patient, be prepared to cover for a long time while Griffin attempts to throw on the run and tackle crisply in the open field.
They have to try to confuse the Heisman Trophy winner from Baylor and exploit his relative lack of experience.
Skeptics will accurately point out that the Ravens just failed to stop a 38-year-old journeyman Pittsburgh Steelers third-string quarterback Charlie Batch.
An X-factor for the Ravens is free safety Ed Reed.
Reed is adept at baiting young quarterbacks into miscues.
However, hes also prone to risky gambles that occasionally backfire on him and the Ravens defense.
This is a time when the Ravens need Reed to have an impact game that walks the fine line between playing it safe and overplaying his hand.