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Key Players for the Baltimore Ravens Against the Minnesota Vikings

December 7th, 2013 at 7:30 AM
By Josh Michael

Day before gameday? That’s right, it’s time for our key players for the Baltimore Ravens as they prepare to take on the Minnesota Vikings in a need to win scenario.

Need to win? What we are saying there is that this is not a must win for the Ravens and their playoff hopes, but it is a game they need to win as their final three games set up to be quite difficult.

As we mention every week, there are always several important players in every game, but we try to narrow the focus down to the absolute key guys if the Ravens are going to win the game.

'Michael Oher' photo (c) 2009, Keith Allison - license:

Eugene Monroe/Michael Oher

Wait that’s two players? Yes it is and that is largely due to the game today in the NFL as both of these guys are grouped into one because they are going to be the ones responsible for blocking Vikings defensive lineman Jared Allen. Minnesota does not have a very good pass rush, but Allen is well known around the league as a premium pass rusher and he is the one guy that could really disrupt the Ravens passing game. Oher and Monroe will have to keep Allen away from quarterback Joe Flacco, and if they do that, it should be a decent enough day for the passing game.

Ray Rice

Media all around Charm City and even around the country are beginning (or continuing) to suggest that the Ravens think about making Bernard Pierce the feature running back and have Rice come on as the complimentary back. Obviously we have seen the Ravens stick with Rice, and largely due to the fact that Pierce is not setting the world on fire when he is in there, but Sunday is going to need to be a big day for Rice in order to put these thoughts to rest. Baltimore has a tough schedule over their final three games and will be in a situation where the Ravens are going to have to go with the hotter hand at running back.

Daryl Smith

Smith seems to show up on this list more than anyone over the course of the year, but he has been very good thus far and his performance continues to be a big factor in the win-loss column. The job for Daryl to handle tomorrow will be keeping Adrian Peterson from getting to the third level in the running game. We have already stated this week that Baltimore has to just contain Peterson and not stop him. He is going to get his yards, but if Smith can keep Peterson to three-five yard gains as opposed to 10-15 yard gains or even breaking off the big one, Baltimore will have a great chance at winning this game.

Justin Tucker

Yep, we have seemed to fall in love with putting Tucker on our key players list, but when you look at this offense, he has been the biggest weapon to this point. He has been named the Special Teams player of the week twice already this season and just over the Ravens last two victories, Tucker has kicked nine field goals during that span. Baltimore’s red zone offense has been struggling, but Tucker has at least guaranteed them three points and he has been huge for this team. Tucker will have to once again be on point for Baltimore tomorrow as he is going to get multiple opportunities and this offense needs points every chance they get.

These are our key players for the Ravens in tomorrow’s game against the Vikings. Who are yours? Did we leave an obvious player off the list? Let your voice be heard by posting a comment!


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Tags: Baltimore, Baltimore Ravens, Daryl Smith, Eugene Monroe, Football, Justin Tucker, Michael Oher, NFL, Ray Rice

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