This is a good week to get Joe McKnight incorporated into the offensive game-plan. The Ravens are big and they're strong up the middle. What, with the likes of Cody and Ngata and Ray Lewis. So its safe to assume that slamming Shonn Greene straight up the gut is probably not going to be an effective game-plan. We have to attack the edges in the running game, and the effects of this will be two-fold:
1) It will help to gass the bigguns in the middle. The last thing we want is for Cody and Ngata to leverage their bull rushes. We have athletic tackles that are good in space, lets use them that way.
2) It'll keep their OLBs, and Suggs in particular, from pinning their ears back and attacking down field. Lets keep those boys honest in the run-game. If we can crease a couple, we can start getting them to flow out of their gaps a little easier and nail them with a couple of those inside traps and counters that worked well last year.
Now this isn't likely to be all that successful because we were decently successful running off-tackle last week, so the Ravens are likely going to be game-planning to stop this as well as the screen game. But thats fine. As long as those guys aren't busting it up field, the purpose getting those bigguns moving laterally and keeping the OLBs at home is served.
The next part of the game-plan involves getting Keller and Josh Baker involved. Keller should be the main staple of the offense every single week, and this week in particular. The ILBs and safeties HAVE to be concerned about Keller on every single play or risk being demolished. I want to see lots of creativity with Keller. Line him up in the slot, motion him from FB, put him on the outside... Make them play "Where's Dustin?" on every down. I also want to see Baker involved.
Baker doesn't need to catch any/many balls, he just needs to occupy a LB and/or a safety. He has a unique skill-set that's easy to weaponize. He's very familiar with the H-back role and we should use that. Put him in the slot and motion him out of the FB position in our base I-formation. Particularly, I'd like to see him motioned to DK's side. With the two of them side-by-side, the safety and the inside backer to that side can both be considered occupied. Which opens up all kinds of things for us.
This likely leaves Ed Reed in deep center field and easier to control. So we can send DK straight at Reed to keep him home, while working their weak-ass corners on the side lines. This very well could be a huge week for Plax and Holmes on the outside, doing the things that they're good at: working the sidelines with double-moves and fades and backside slants. This also is likely to leave a backer solo'd up on our RB in coverage. If a backer is solo on Tomlinson or McKnight, we'll go to town.
I like McKnight to steal some of Greene's touches this week. The outside runs and ability to be a pass catching threat will be crucial against the Ravens. McKnight and Tomlinson should be the featured backs for this one. All it takes is one explosive play to make or break a game. We should position ourselves accordingly.