With Green Bay Packers‘ outside linebacker Clay Matthews out for at least a month due to a broken thumb, the unfortunate circumstances for the Packers on defense pretty much aids an issue the Baltimore Ravens have had in pass-blocking, as the Ravens might start newly acquired left tackle Eugene Monroe this week.
The Ravens will be missing a defender in Matthews, who has generated 45.5 sacks in his five seasons in the NFL. He is the anchor and the tone setter for the Packers’ defense. However, with Matthews absence leaving the Packers vulnerable in their pass-defense, the Ravens cannot assume they can just throw the ball all over the field. The last thing the Ravens want to do is go into a track meet with Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
There have been other games in the Ravens’ schedule before where they have wondered whether to throw or run. I can’t think of any other week in recent memory where it is obvious to pound the rock. The Ravens must stay committed to the running game. In turn, they will help Joe Flacco stay upright, as he has been getting lit up by defenders all season long.
The Packers are not built to sustain physical play in the trenches for a long period of time offensively, and defensively, I think that if the Ravens go their old school style of football they will control this game throughout. The Packers are obviously a tough team, but the game is in Baltimore, and I expect the Ravens to pull this one out.