By Samuel Njoku
The Baltimore Ravens just finished dismantling the Tampa Bucs and will now head home for the first time in 2 weeks to battle the Atlanta Falcons. The storyline between Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco is clear, but there is plenty of other interesting tidbits in this game.
Falcons on Offense:
The Falcons have the 3rd overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft under center for them. Matt Ryan is one of the better QB’s in the NFL who has the ability to make all the throws asked of him. He’ll be compared to Joe Flacco for the majority of his career as both were taken in the same round of the 2008 draft, albeit he was taken 15 minutes prior. In comparison, you’d have to say Flacco has had the better career as he’s been the only one to win a Super Bowl. But to underestimate Ryan would be a huge mistake.
Expect the Ravens gameplan to focus on keeping Matt Ryan guessing while also uncomfortable in the pocket. If given time, he’ll make you pay with deep passes to Julio Jones. Baltimore is used to playing a receiver with Jones’ skill set as they play A.J. Green twice a season. You’ll likely see Jimmy Smith all over Julio Jones for most of the game. It’ll be an interesting matchup to say the least.
Falcons on Defense
The Falcons defense possess the same issues that seem to plague the Ravens from time to time. They give up way to many big plays. That’s bad news for Atlanta and good news for guys like Torrey Smith whose skill set makes it easy to exploit defenses such as Atlanta’s. The Falcons gave up 8 big plays for over 231 yards against the Bears on Sunday. That is an unbelievable statistic. If the Ravens can keep Flacco upright for the majority of the game, it’ll be a long day for the Falcons at M&T Bank Stadium.
Mike Smith has been the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons since 2008. The same year John Harbaugh was hired as the head coach of Baltimore. Both coaches have been partnered with their quarterbacks the entirety of their careers. Coach Smith holds a record of 62-40 and Atlanta is 2-2 All-Time against the Ravens.
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Samuel Njoku was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and is a graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Samuel has covered the Ravens for Examiner.com since 2010. Prior to 2010, Samuel was an avid blogger and radio personality in Salisbury, MD. Samuel Njoku is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @Ravens_Examiner.