5 Baltimore Ravens Players Who Need To Step Up In Week 5 vs. Miami Dolphins
5 Baltimore Ravens Players That Need To Step Up In Week 5 Vs. Miami Dolphins
Since the beginning of the season, I've been writing a "5 Keys to Victory" series for the Baltimore Ravens, who are the main team I cover for Rant Sports. I'm going to start doing something different for my weekly Ravens slide show, which will now focus on the five players that need to step up the most for each game. I had noticed when doing five keys to victory that I was repeating a lot of the same stuff: run the ball, stop the run, rush the passer, don't turn the ball over, etc. Quite frankly, you could use any key to victory for any game. Based on matchups against certain teams, there will always be different players that need to step up every week.
The Ravens will be on the road for a second straight week as they play the Miami Dolphins this Sunday. The Ravens will no doubt still be stinging from an ugly 23-20 loss to the Buffalo Bills last Sunday in which Joe Flacco threw five interceptions and Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce rushed for a combined 24 yards on nine carries. If only the Ravens had read my five keys to victory article last week.
In all seriousness, this is a huge game for the Ravens as they have yet to win a road game and will be playing a team that they could possibly be battling for a playoff spot later in the year.
The following is my list of the five players to need to step it up to help the Ravens win this critical game. I will try my hardest to stay away from the most obvious choices. Enjoy the show.
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5. Dallas Clark
The word is out -- Torrey Smith is pretty good. We all know he'll get a lot of attention from every opposing team. Dallas Clark needs to take advantage and step his game up. Clark has been decent the last couple of weeks, although he's still having trouble getting consistently open. The Ravens' red zone offense faltered in critical spots last week against the Bills. Clark needs to be that guy, because it sure isn't going to be Ed Dickson who couldn't even catch a cold.
4. Offensive Line
Yeah, I know doing the whole offensive line is a bit of a cop out, but they all need to step up their games. It would have been easy to put Ray Rice on this list, but it's pretty hard to run when defenders are constantly getting penetration in the back field, not to mention only getting five carries. What should be interesting is who will start at LT. The Ravens just made a huge trade for Eugene Monroe of the Jacksonville Jaguars, and there's no doubt Monroe will be the starter sooner rather than later. However, with only a few days to learn the offense, incumbent LT Bryant McKinnie might get the starting nod. It should be interesting to say the least.
3. Terrell Suggs
Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill is a tad turnover prone. If Terrell Suggs can get pressure, it accomplishes two things. First, Tannehill will rush some throws, which could lead to more turnovers. Secondly, the less time Tannehill has to throw, the less time he'll have to step up and throw bombs to Mike Wallace. Suggs usually performs well against the Dolphins, so I'm optimistic that he can have a big game.
2. Daryl Smith
The Dolphins currently have the best red zone offense in the league as they score touchdowns 82 percent of the time. The Ravens' red zone defense is no slouch though. Daryl Smith has emerged as a quiet leader for this Ravens defense. His coverage skills will be put to the test against Dolphins tight end Charles Clay
1. Lardarius Webb
Lardarius Webb hasn't practiced this week due to a minor thigh injury suffered in last Sunday's game against the Bills. I fully expect Webb to return this Sunday against the Dolphins. The Ravens will be facing a familiar foe in Mike Wallace, and Webb has always done a good job at covering him. If the Dolphins win this game, Baltimore should make them earn it.