The Baltimore Ravens return to action tomorrow as they host the Green Bay Packers in what could be the best game of the weekend, putting two top caliber conference contenders against one another. Today we will take a look at the key Ravens players to watch for in tomorrow's game.
There are always several keys players in a game that help determine the outcome, and we have attempted to narrow it down to the absolute key Ravens to watch for tomorrow.
Baltimore sent a fourth and fifth round draft pick to Jacksonville to acquire the talented left tackle, and tomorrow he will see his first action as a Baltimore Raven with Head Coach John Harbaugh stating yesterday that Monroe will start at left tackle barring any unforeseen circumstances. Although left tackle was not the worst position on the Ravens offensive line, Monroe still provides an upgrade (on paper) over Bryant McKinnie, so his play is going to be even more scrutinized tomorrow than a left tackle's performance normally is. Monroe will also need to help keep this Packers pass rush at bay, which is ninth best in the league averaging three sacks per gam.
Some people suggested that Rice returned to his old self last week rushing for 74 yards and two touchdowns, but you have to keep in mind that it took 27 carries in order to get Rice to the 74 yard mark, so it is not as if he boasted a high yards per carry ratio. Rice will need to show up in this game on two fronts and be the duel threat back that he has been over the past few years. Ray must rush the ball effectively and efficiently as well as make himself available as a check down and break some big plays. Rice has been one of the best big play running backs in football the past few seasons and he needs to return to that form in order for this offense to be as potent as it can be.
The 2011 NFL Defensive Player of the Year appears to be returning to that form after struggling in 2012. Suggs has recorded seven sacks already this season and has at least one in every game the Ravens have played. If he gets a sack tomorrow, he will become the first Raven in franchise history to record a sack in each of the team's first six games. Although it may not be necessary for Suggs to get a sack, it is necessary for him to consistently put pressure on Aaron Rodgers. If Rodgers has time in the pocket, he is going to find someone open. He is one of the best quarterbacks in the game and if you give him time, he will beat you almost every time. Suggs ability to apply pressure on Rodgers and force him to get rid of the ball quickly, will go a long way for the Ravens secondary as they will not have to try and stick with the Packers' talented receivers as long.
Brown, who is likely to return tomorrow from his thigh injury that kept him out of last week's game, is one of the most important players on this Ravens offense this week. Torrey Smith has proven thus far this season that he is a force to be reckoned with as he is currently on pace to finish with just under 1,800 yards receiving this season, but if Brown or another Ravens wide receiver can prove they are a force in the passing game as well, it will help Smith avoid double teams the entire game and some double teams with safety help as well. Brown has shown he can make the big catches, but tomorrow will provide him with an opportunity to prove that opposing defenses need to know where he is at all times.
We all know how talented and skilled the Packers wide receiver core is, and let's face it, they may be just as good, if not better than the Denver Broncos' group of receivers that torched the Ravens on Opening Night. Graham is the key man here as he is going to be going up against Jordy Nelson or Randall Cobb much of the game, and his ability to at least slow down either guy will go a long way in this football game. We have seen that any wide receiver for the Packers can have a huge game on any given Sunday, so keep an eye on Graham to see if he can keep that guy from being the one he is responsible for.
These are our absolute key Baltimore Ravens to watch for in tomorrow's game, who are yours? Let your voice be heard by posting a comment!
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