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Key Players for the Baltimore Ravens Against the Detroit Lions

December 14th, 2013 at 8:00 AM
By Josh Michael

Playoff chances, National stage, and Calvin Johnson are all things the Baltimore Ravens will be dealing with when they take on the Detroit Lions this week on Monday Night Football. Today we highlight the key players for the Ravens as the look to make it four in a row.

There are always several key players in every game, but we dive through them all to present you with the absolute key guys in order for the Ravens to come out on top.

'Pause Before the Storm' photo (c) 2006, Dave Hogg - license:

Daryl Smith

One of the key guys to the Ravens defensive effort every week has been Smith and this week is going to be no different. Detroit has all-purpose running back Reggie Bush in their backfield, who expects to be ready to play on Monday. Smith could find himself not only covering Bush in the passing game, but as the last line of defense in the running game before Bush breaks off a big one. Smith is going to have to keep Bush in the second level in the run game, and when he finds himself covering Bush in the passing game he will have to keep him in front of him to keep the gains short.

Dennis Pitta

It has finally come; Pitta is finally on our list as he made his return to the active roster last week, which included a touchdown against the Vikings. Now that some of the rust is gone, Pitta is going to have to become a heavily relied on option in the passing game. The return of Pitta marks the return of a legitimate threat over the middle of the field. No offense to Dallas Clark or Ed Dickson, but Pitta brings a unique set of skills and an on-field camaraderie with Flacco that those guys just do not have. If Pitta can give Flacco a consistent target over the middle of the field, it will not only help gain yards that way, but will also open up the outside of the field for Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones.

Matt Elam and James Ihedigbo

These two guys are going to be absolutely crucial to the Ravens pass defense on Monday. When Baltimore has to double team Calvin Johnson, Elam and Ihedigbo will likely be called on as the over-the-top help. Elam and Ihedigbo will have to help contain Johnson in the deep passing game as well as limit his crossing routes to short gains. If both Ihedigbo and Elam can prevent Johnson from having one of his out-of-this-world performances, it will go a long way in the Ravens’ chances at a win.

Ray Rice

Rice has not been himself this year, he would tell you that himself, but the Lions know they have a good rushing defense and will likely not put extra guys in the box to stop a Ravens rushing attack that has been abysmal most of the season. If Rice can find a way to have some success early in the game, Detroit would be forced to change their game plan a little bit and bring an extra defender in the box, which would open up the passing game that much more.

These are our key players for the Ravens if they wish to have a chance at a fourth straight victory come Monday Night, who are yours? Did we miss an obvious player? Let your voice be heard by posting a comment!


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Tags: Baltimore, Baltimore Ravens, Calvin Johnson, Daryl Smith, Dennis Pitta, Football, James Ihedigbo, Matt Elam, NFL, Ray Rice

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