Advertisement

Expect Chargers to follow Cardinals' script and blitz Ravens' Flacco Sunday

The Arizona Cardinals had success by bringing pressure and blitzing the Ravens Monday night, so it's a fair assumption that San Diego will try to use some of the same tactics Sunday afternoon at M & T Bank Stadium.

Of quarterback Joe Flacco's 40 pass attempts, the Cardinals blitzed him 20 times, which caused the Ravens problems nine times. Flacco was sacked three times and hit four other. The blitzing resulted in a an interception in the end zone by Flacco on a pass attempt to tight end Crockett Gillmore in the final seconds of the game, a 26-18 Ravens' loss.

Advertisement

It wasn't like the Ravens had not seen these tactics before. Pittsburgh brought a lot of the same pressures earlier in the season with blitzes and overloads to one side of the formation and the Ravens picked them up well.

But against Arizona, Ravens running backs missed a few assignments and the Ravens appeared to have no plays in the middle of the field where the Cardinals were vulnerable. Screens, draws and slant- ins are usually used to counter blitzing or pressure.

Because of a lack of speed, the Ravens don't have a player to make opposing teams pay for so much pressure.

"I don't think we really had any issues with what they were bringing," Flacco said. "They were hitting things quickly and happened to get to us. Yes, they were coming after us on our early downs and just happened to get on edges of people and find things. And then on third down, they had a couple looks that could be issues, but I don't really think they were at the end of the day. We should have been able to probably stand in there and get some things done with them."

The Ravens didn't, especially in the second half. They couldn't move the ball until the Cardinals went to soft defenses late in the game. The Ravens punted on their first four drives of the second half before they scored a touchdown, which was followed by Flacco's interception.

On defense, the Ravens were more aggressive than usual, blitzing on 17 of Carson Palmer's 29 pass attempts. The Ravens got pressure on Palmer eight times and recorded two sacks.

Advertisement
Advertisement