3 & Out: Ravens need to improve pass rush
Three-and-out with the Ravens
1. The Ravens’ pass rush can’t afford to have games like Sunday in Chicago.
Neither Terrell Suggs nor Elvis Dumervil registered a sack in Chicago, and Bears quarterback Josh McCown was only sacked twice. The Ravens’ pass rush has been one of the best in the NFL. However, Suggs hasn’t had a sack in two weeks, and neither he nor Dumervil had much impact on Sunday’s game. If Suggs is starting to wear down, he needs to find a second wind before facing the Jets on Sunday. Rookie quarterback Geno Smith is coming off a dreadful game against the Bills with four turnovers. Smith can be rattled by the Ravens’ pass rush. But he can also be effective if he has time to throw.
2. Left tackle Eugene Monroe needs to step up
Monroe had his worst game with the Ravens in Chicago, beaten three times for sacks. Joe Flacco’s blindside was supposed to be better protected once the Ravens traded for Monroe and shipped Bryant McKinnie to the Dolphins. But Monroe’s performance Sunday raises concern moving forward. Monroe is in the final year of his contract and he is only 26 years old. Assuming he is their left tackle of the future, the Ravens still have to decide how much they are willing to pay him. Monroe’s performance Sunday is not the way to convince the Ravens he is worth top dollar, nor will it keep Flacco from taking more punishment. Monroe needs to play better, for himself and for the Ravens.
3. Ravens must be ready for Rex Ryan’s blitzes
Jets coach Rex Ryan is known for dialing up exotic blitzes that are well disguised. Pickup up blitzes has been a problem for the Ravens’ offensive line all season. That could be a bad combination for the Ravens. The Jets have issues, but the defensive line featuring Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, and Damon Harrison is the strength of their team. For the Ravens to become more consistent offensively, they will have to improve their blitz protection. The Jets will provide a good litmus test.
Extra point: Ed Reed hopes Sunday’s visit to Baltimore goes better than his last trip.
Reed will be back in M & T Stadium on Sunday, this time playing safety for the Jets. The last time Reed was in Baltimore, he was with the Texans in Week 3, and the Ravens pounded Houston, 30-9. This has been a rough season for Reed, but losing twice to his former team would only make it worse.