Behind Enemy Lines: with JoeCNC, Ravens Edition
This is the first part of out installment in Behind Enemy Lines showcasing the Baltimore Ravens, I enlisted the help of Ravens diehard JoeCNC, who is actually the editor of Chop N Change a blog devoted to the Atlanta Braves. Secretly he is all for the Ravens and gave some good insight on an impressive Ravens team.
Is Joe Flacco the only issue from the Ravens getting to the top?
Personally, I don't feel like Flacco is that much of a liability. He's not going to be an All-Pro year after year, but he needs to manage the game well enough where his play isn't the reason why the team lost a game.
How have ex-Texans Bernard Pollard and Vonta Leach contributed to the season so far?
Pollard doesn't done a ton so far, with Tom Zbikowski winning the other starting safety spot during the summer. He's done some contributing on special teams and logged some big hits, but isn't a huge part of the defense. As for Leach, he's been great so far opening up holes for Ray Rice, and Flacco is even using him as a safety valve every so often.
Rookies Jimmy Smith and Torrey Smith were considered solid picks for the draft, how is their adjustment going to the NFL right now?
Jimmy has played one play this year, spraining his ankle 15 seconds into the Steelers game. As for Torrey, he wasn't a factor in the first two games, but broke out big time in the Rams game. Flacco targeted him a lot in the Jets game, but he was on Revis Island for most of the game.
With Kelly Gregg leaving for the Chiefs, has Terrence Cody stepped up?
Cody hasn't logged a lot of tackles, but his size is really clogging up the line and letting Haloti Ngata create a ton of havoc.
Who is most important to the Ravens D, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed or Haloti Hgata?
Right now, I'd say Ngata. He's been the biggest game changer so far this year. While Reed and Lewis are doing what they do, Ngata is constantly putting pressure on the QB and forcing him into making decisions that Lewis and Reed are taking advantage of.
Is Terrell Suggs a product of the players around him or is he in the same class with the big three?
Suggs has far and away been the team's best LB, mostly because the team uses him as a DE a lot of the time. He's really not getting nearly enough publicity for as good as he is.
If there is an issue with the Ravens D, where is it?
There...really isn't. The only issue is the corners, but Lardarius Webb and Cary Williams have been much better than I expected this year.
Seems like the Ravens are going to push for the AFC Championship, what do they have to do to get there as a team?
If this team manages to beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh next month, I don't think they can be stopped. If the playoffs are running through Baltimore, the Ravens will be tough to beat.
Who are some not household names will make an impact on Sunday's game.
Lardarius Webb has really become a fantastic corner and punt returner, and you never hear his name mentioned. Also, LB Jarret Johnson has been consistently solid for his whole career, and falls between the cracks.
Has Ray Rice pushed himself into the elite class of runningbacks?
Yep. He can run and he can catch the ball too...he's a true double threat out of the backfield, and is a lot like Chris Johnson, minus the huge workload.