When you dissect the game of football, it’s more than just brute strength and speed. It’s also about tactics and strategy. One of the most striking evidence of this in the 2023 NFL season is the performance of Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens’ revamped passing attack against different defensive coverages.
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Against man coverage, their stats tell a story of struggle. They rank a disappointing 30th in EPA per attempt when faced with zone coverage. However, they’re a force to be reckoned with when the defense uses man strategies, landing them at 10th in EPA per attempt. And here’s where things get even more interesting: the Tennessee Titans are known for their penchant for zone coverage, clocking in as the team that plays the seventh-most zone in the league. This strategic choice by the Titans may inadvertently play into the Ravens’ strengths, especially with Jackson’s ability to throw deep balls.
But there’s more than just the air game to consider. The ground game could also tilt in the Ravens’ favor. A key factor? Teair Tart, a cornerstone of the Titans’ defensive line, might be missing in action for the upcoming match. He sat out the previous game against the Indianapolis Colts, and the results were evident. The Colts exploited his absence, making significant ground gains against what’s typically a solid Titans run defense.
Furthermore, Zay Flowers, one of the Ravens’ leading receivers, could have a field day against the Titans’ secondary. A notable stat stands out: the Titans’ defense has consistently allowed the opposition’s number one wide receiver to snag at least one pass that travels 27 yards or more. In some games, even a second receiver has managed to achieve this feat. Given these stats, Flowers might not just have a good day; he could have a great one. His betting odds predict his longest reception at 21.5 yards, but looking at the Titans’ track record, he might surpass that.
While games aren’t won on paper, the stats and strategies point to a potential advantage for the Baltimore Ravens. Expect some explosive plays, primarily through the air, and don’t be surprised if the Ravens post a significant score on the board come game day.