It's gameday Ravens Nation and you know what that means, it's once again time for Ravens101's key matchups to watch for and today we will take a look at the matchups that will determine today's game between the Baltimore Ravens and visiting Green Bay Packers.
Ravens O-Line vs Packers D-Line
Baltimore has struggled thus far this season in holding opposing pass rushes at bay as quarterback Joe Flacco has been hit much more frequently than the Ravens or Flacco himself would like. Green Bay comes in ninth in the league averaging three sacks per game and this revamped offensive line with Eugene Monroe getting his first start as a Ravens has to protect Flacco today in order to give him time to pick this struggling secondary apart. Baltimore's offensive line has allowed 2.8 sacks per game so far this season, and that number needs to come down.
Ravens Front Seven vs Packers O-Line
On the flip side of things, Baltimore's front seven has combined for the second most sacks in all of football, just trailing the Kansas City Chiefs. The Ravens ability to get to Aaron Rodgers today is absolutely critical to their chances in the game. Green Bay is tied with Baltimore in allowing 2.8 sacks per game of their quarterback which is 11th most in the league, and Baltimore's front seven could be set up to have a field day. If the Ravens can get to Rodgers and force him to get rid of the ball quickly, it will help Baltimore's secondary in that they will not have to try and keep up with the talented Packers' receivers as long as they otherwise would.
Corey Graham vs Jordy Nelson/Randall Cobb
Graham is the key in the Ravens secondary today. Lardarius Webb has played well this season and Jimmy Smith has been up and down, but overall has played better than Graham. Corey is going to have a tough task today as he will be lined up against Nelson and Cobb most likely for most of the game and his play is going to be crucial for Baltimore's chances at winning the game. The Packers wide receiver core is just as good, if not better than that of the Denver Broncos, and we all remember what they did to Baltimore on Opening Night, which Graham struggled mightily in that game, so he will have to be better today.
Ravens Rushing Attack vs Packers Rushing Attack
OK, so this is not a matchup where they actually face each other, but both team's rushing defenses are fantastic holding opponents to fewer than 90 rushing yards per game. Green Bay's rushing defense ranks fifth in the league, while Baltimore's ranks sixth. Whomever's rushing attack can break through and have a good game against a tough rush defense, that may be the team that pulls out the victory.
Ravens Redzone Defense vs Packers Redzone Offense
The Ravens have been one of the best redzone defenses in the league for the past few seasons, and this year is no different. Baltimore ranks third in all of football in redzone defense this season as they hold opponents to just a 33.33% touchdown percentage in the redzone. This is key in today's game as Green Bay has struggled in the redzone thus far this season scoring a touchdown on just 56.25% of their trips, which is still good for 14th in the NFL, but when you compare that to their league leading 68.52% in 2012, it has been a struggle thus far. If Baltimore holds the Packers to field goals as opposed to touchdowns when they venture into the redzone, the Ravens should have a very good chance to win today's game.
So those are our key matchups to watch for in today's rare contest between the Packers and Ravens. What are yours? Is there something you can't believe we left off the list? Let your voice be heard by posting a comment!
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