CLEVELAND, OH – OCTOBER 07: Alex Collins #34 of the Baltimore Ravens runs with the ball during the game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 7, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Browns won 12-9 in overtime. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The Baltimore Ravens are traveling to play the Tennessee Titans this week. Both teams find themselves in very similar situations. Their kickers have had fantastic years. The defenses have looked very good all season, with only occasional missteps. Both team’s quarterbacks have looked better than last year in some games, but have still tossed out a couple stinkers. Then there is the record. The Titans and the Ravens both sit at 3-2 in a more competitive than expected AFC. Although it is still early, a win in this game will get you to 4-2, and sitting pretty in the playoff picture. Let’s jump in and look at the Baltimore Ravens keys to victory.

Establishing a Ground Game

For the Ravens passing game to hit its full stride, the team is going to need to establish a ground game early on. For the first time all year, the Ravens averaged over 3.4 yards per attempt in a game last week against the Cleveland Browns. They actually looked like a good ground team, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. If they can do so early against the Titans, this should open up the passing lanes, especially deep for John Brown. Javorius “Buck” Allen has been struggling lately and is averaging under 3.0 yards per carry this season. Look for Alex Collins to carry the load after an impressive 12-59 showing against the Browns.

Getting Pressure on Marcus Mariota

One of the keys to Tennessee this season has been the health of Marcus Mariota. He looks to be recovering from the ulnar nerve issue in his throwing elbow, as it still affects his throwing ability. The Ravens have been able to get a decent amount of pressure this season, racking up 15.0 sacks so far. They are tied for sixth in sacks and all that pressure has led the secondary to a league-leading 39 pass deflections. With Taylor Lewan either missing the game or at only partial health, Terrell Suggs should have a great game. Baltimore will look to get consistent pressure on Mariota and his less than healthy elbow. If they do, it should lead to plenty of turnover opportunities and good field position.

Joe Flacco’s Decision Making

A huge Baltimore Ravens key to victory will be Joe Flacco and the need to make smart decisions. For the majority of the game earlier this season against the Cincinnati Bengals, Flacco and the Ravens were the better team. Unfortunately, Flacco had a miserable first quarter that put the team at a severe disadvantage. Two of the Titans starters look to be out, with Kenny Vaccaro already listed as out, and Wesley Woodyard likely to miss the game. If Flacco can avoid the big mistakes, he should be able to put together his third 300 yard game of the season.

Block for Justin Tucker

This one is a little bit of a joke, but at the same time, it has been an issue. Justin Tucker is 12-14 on field goals this year, with his only two misses coming from blocked field goals. It potentially cost the Ravens a win against the Browns as well, as they lost 12-9 in overtime. Tucker is the most accurate kicker in history, and doesn’t deserve to have his accuracy record tarnished because the team can’t seem to block for him. With how often the Ravens kick field goals, they should be able to block a little better for Tucker.

Last Word on Baltimore Ravens Keys to Victory

If the Ravens can succeed for the most part in these areas, they should win this week’s match-up against the Titans. Although the game is in Tennessee, Vegas has the Ravens as around a three-point favorite. If they can accomplish these keys to the game, the Ravens should be able to secure a victory and bring themselves to 4-2 on the year.

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