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Ravens safety Matt Elam not happy with his play the past few weeks

The Baltimore Sun
Drafted in first round a year ago, Matt Elam has struggled for stretches this season.

With the exception of ripping the ball away from Indianapolis Colts running back Ahmad Bradshaw a couple weeks ago, it's been another relatively rough stretch for Ravens strong safety Matt Elam.

Elam allowed two receptions on two targets against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, including a touchdown pass to wide receiver Louis Murphy.

Elam has allowed 14 receptions on 17 targets this season for 249 yards, according to Pro Football Focus.

"No, I'm not pleased with the last couple of games at all," said Elam, who has 22 tackles, one pass deflection and a forced fumble this season. "I'm not pleased at all. That's why I'm working to get better every week to fine-tune the small things, so I won't have to say that about the next few weeks."

The Ravens' secondary faces a difficult challenge Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.

The Falcons' offense is headlined by quarterback Matt Ryan and one of the most dangerous receiving tandems in the NFL in wide receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones.

Jones has caught 40 passes for 552 yards and three touchdowns and is on pace to finish the season with 106 catches for 1,472 yards and eight touchdowns. White has 16 catches for 213 yards and three touchdowns.

"This is probably one of the best wide receiver tandems in the league," Elam said. "They've got the veteran guy who's crafty and a young guy who's explosive and one of the best in the league, probably one of the best to ever play in the league.

"These guys are a challenge. That's why you play in this league because it's a challenge to see where you're at. I'm excited."

Ryan has completed 65.3 percent of his throws for 1,850 yards, 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions for a 92.7 quarterback rating. He's been sacked 10 times.

"I'm expecting them to run a lot of quick game because of our defensive line and front seven getting pressure," Elam said. "We need to tackle these guys. We need to play up on them, don't give them a lot of room because our defensive line will get after them and Matt Ryan won't have a lot of time.

"We've got to be good tackling on the back end. It's going to come down to us because the defensive line is going to get their pressures and sacks. Our job is to play top-down coverage and make tackles when we're supposed to."

awilson@baltsun.com
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