By Abraham Gutierrez
Looking to deal the Miami Dolphins the knockout punch, the Baltimore Ravens will invade Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida in Week 13 of the 2015 NFL season. Opening kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.
Baltimore Ravens 2015 NFL Season
The (4-7) Baltimore Ravens come into Week 13 riding a high from a win over the Cleveland Browns in what amounted to one of the most entertaining and unbelievable games of this season. Though John Harbaugh’s seventh season as head coach has not gone the way he, nor any of the Ravens fans, may have wanted, this past week’s win over the Dawg Pound may be just the last minute wave this team needs to end the season in memorable fashion.
Ravens On Offense
Marc Trestman is the fourth Ravens offensive coordinator in as many years. Unfortunately for the former Bears head coach, his first season as Baltimore OC hasn’t exactly gone the way the organization envisioned. Even though there are five weeks remaining in the 2015 NFL season, the Ravens appear destined to be more of a key player in next year’s NFL draft rather than in the AFC playoffs.
There’s no question that this team’s woes are due in part to a lack of consistency on the offensive side of the football. Following their win over the St. Louis Rams (Nov. 22), this offense ranks ninth in passing yards per game (266.4), 10th in total yards (364.3), 17th in points per game (22.6), and finally, 18th in rushing yards per contest (97.9).
Ravens On Defense
For years, “D” had been the staple of this organization, as defensive coordinator Dean Pees inherited one of the sturdiest defenses in all of football. However, this team hasn’t been the same since Ray Lewis’ retirement and Ed Reed’s departure/retirement. This season is a perfect example of that, as the Ravens are below average in comparison to the rest of the National Football League in almost every defensive category.
Prior to their showdown at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland Monday night, the Baltimore defense ranked 10th against the rush (97.0), 17th in total yards allowed (354.0), 23rd in points per game (4.9), and 24th in passing yards per week (257.0). Those statistics clearly show that even Miami’s anemic offensive attack will give this team a chance to stay in the game, especially playing at home.
Ravens Players To Watch
With Joe Flacco out for the remainder of the season, the Ravens’ offensive player to watch against Miami is veteran backup quarterback Matt Schaub. The 12th-year man out of Virginia is coming off his first start of the season a week ago versus the Browns. While the Ravens were able to come away with the “W” the former 2-time Pro Bowler had some trouble shaking of the rust. Schaub completing 20-of-34 passes for 232 yards two touchdowns and two interceptions to earn a quarterback rating of 74.6. it’s going to be interesting to see how the ex-Falcon/Texan/Raider handles the pressure that Miami’s defensive is sure to bring on passing downs.
On the defensive side of the rock, Dan Campbell and his staff will have to contend with outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil. In his 10th year out of Louisville, the 31-year-old from Miami, Florida, leads the team in sacks with 4.5, to go along with his 32 tackles and a pass defended.
Abe Gutierrez’s (Twitter: @GutierrezAbe) passion led him to ditch law school journey in order to launch his own publishing company. His expertise make him a valued addition to Examiner.com, AXS.com and the CBS-Sports family. Some of his work can be found on CBS-Miami (Dolphins), CBS-LosAngeles (Chargers), CBS-BayArea (Raiders), CBS-NewYork (NY Jets), CBS-TampaBay (Buccaneers), AXS.com, Examiner.com and other online publications.