The Baltimore Ravens have done a tremendous job of stopping the run through their first three games. However, the Buffalo Bills are sure to give them everything they can handle in the Week 4 matchup. The only way Baltimore is successful is if they shutdown Buffalo’s read-option offense.
It is no secret that defensive coaches across the league made it a priority this past offseason to stop the read option after several offenses took advantage of it last year. In general, defenses appear to be winning the battle. With that being said, it is still something that must be studied throughout the season.
“The read option was a major priority,” head coach John Harbaugh said, according to the Washington Post. “It was something we just felt we had to get a handle on. Actually, we felt like we defended it well last year. I thought [coordinator Dean] Pees and the defensive coaches had a good handle on it. But we studied it in the offseason, we visited colleges, and we’re looking forward to testing out some of our theories this Sunday.”
The Bills implemented the read-option offense after drafting quarterback E.J. Manuel. The rookie has done a great job in reading defenses. For the most part, he understands when to give the ball to Fred Jackson or C.J. Spiller and when it is time to pull the ball down to pick up some quality yards. The result has been a rushing offense that ranks fifth in the league with an average of 135 yards per game.
Since the Ravens have held opponents to just 74.7 rushing yards per contest it will certainly be interesting to see which team comes out on top in the running game.