At Sports Media 101, it doesn't consist of only one team, but all professional teams across all major professional sports. This week, we get the luxury of getting an inside scoop on the Green Bay Packers upcoming opponent, the Baltimore Ravens.
We sat down and spoke with Josh Michael, editor of Ravens101 to get some inside information on the Ravens, as the Packers will look to win their first road game of the season against the defending Super Bowl champions.
The issue with the Boldin trade is what happened after it. Baltimore was banking on the production of the talented tight end Dennis Pitta over the middle of the field, but the Ravens lost Pitta for at least the first eight weeks of the season due to a dislocated hip, thus his absence has hindered the passing game tremendously.
Smith has come out a man on a mission this season and is currently on pace to finish with just under 1,800 receiving yards this year. Although I wouldn’t label him a NFL number one receiver just yet, but he is very close.
GBP101: The Ravens defense was horrendous against the Denver Broncos in the NFL opener but have settled down since. Offensively, Green Bay has similar playmakers and a comparable style as the Broncos, so how will the Ravens adjust to defending the Packers with the Denver game in the back of their minds?
First, the Broncos have not just passes all over the Ravens, they have done it to every team they have faced thus far and are averaging over 45 points per game, so Baltimore is not alone there. In regards to defending the Packers, Baltimore will look to apply pressure on Aaron Rodgers with their fantastic pass rush (19 sacks already this season) and try to disrupt receivers' routes. This is certainly going to be a tough test for this Ravens secondary and (cornerback) Corey Graham is going to be the guy who will have to step his game up on Sunday.
GBP101: Reigning Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco has struggled through the first five weeks and running backs Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce have both been stymied by opposing defense's, so how do the Ravens find the same balance on offense which propelled them to a Super Bowl win in February?
Simple, the Ravens offensive line has to play better, plain and simple. The Ravens made their Super Bowl run largely due to the great improvement of play by the offensive line and all but one of the five linemen who started for Baltimore during the playoffs returned. Second-year center Gino Gradkowski took over this season for Matt Birk who retired at the end of last season and his run blocking has been dreadful this season, as well as the left side of the line. The Ravens are hoping the addition of (offensive tackle) Eugene Monroe will help solidify the line, but if Baltimore hopes to get their offense back on the level it was in last season's playoffs, the offensive line is going to have to play better.
GBP101: If the Green Bay Packers are going to win this game, they are going to have to do what?
Green Bay will have to try and establish the run in order to slow down the Ravens pass rush, and if they do that, it will open up a lot in the passing game for the Packers. Baltimore has one of the best redzone defenses in all of football, and have the past few years, the Packers will have to do much better in the redzone than they have thus far this season. If the Ravens hold Green Bay to field goals as opposed to touchdowns, Baltimore will have a good chance to win this game.
In addition, Green Bay will have to get pressure on Flacco, because if he has time in the pocket, he will find the open receiver, no matter who it is.
GBP101: Final Prediction?
Ravens 31 Packers 24
When the schedule came out, this was one of the games I had circled because of the excitement it should bring. If this game were in Green Bay, I would give the Ravens little chance to pull out the victory, but with it being in Charm City, Baltimore uses home field advantage as good as anyone in the league and the crowd is going to be crazy. The key to this game will be the Ravens redzone defense and their ability to get to Rodgers. Bold prediction of the game for you will be that Baltimore will get four sacks in this game as Green Bay will be forced to pass late in the game because they will be down by two scores.
Packers101 would like to thank Josh for taking time out of his schedule to give us the inside scoop on the Ravens. Be sure to check out Sean Tehan's inside scoop on the Packers at Ravens101.com!
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