Coming off of an embarrassing Monday night performance, the Baltimore Ravens (4-2) head back home to take on the Arizona Cardinals (1-5) in a game that is a must win for the Ravens.
Last week, the Baltimore Ravens dropped out of first place with a 12-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Offensively the Ravens had one of the worst performances in team history only having 146 total yards. The Ravens have struggled scoring touchdown the past two weeks, and this week they must improve on the offensive side of the ball before they head to Pittsburgh on November 6th.
The Arizona Cardinals have not found much success thus far this season with Kevin Kolb at the helm. Kolb, who has 7 TD’s and 7 INT’s, hasn’t looked very comfortable in his new offense and has spent just as much time on the ground as he has on his feet being sacked 18 times. Arizona has had a tough time running the ball this year ranking 24th in the NFL averaging 98-yards per game. Superstar wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has only caught 2 touchdowns this season and the chemistry between him and Kolb has not formed yet.
Anquan Boldin will be playing his former team for the first time since being traded in 2010, and look for him to have a big day as the Cardinal pass defense ranks 28th in the NFL giving up 274-yards per game. Todd Heap, who has been out since week 4 with a hamstring injury, may return to Baltimore for the first time since being released by the Ravens. Arizona will be without leading rusher Beanie Wells who will be missing several weeks due to a knee injury.
The Ravens offense, Ray Rice only had eight carries last week against Jacksonville, will be out on a this week to run the ball down the Cardinals throat. Coach Harbaugh now realizes that they cannot win games when Rice isn’t involved. Defensively the Ravens will still be the Ravens and bring pressure to an Arizona offensive line that has had a lot of trouble this season.
For the Cardinals to win they must protect Kevin Kolb and allow him to get time in the pocket. When Kolb gets time this season he has made some very impressive throws. The running game takes a huge hit with the loss of Beanie Wells, so they will be relying on the strong arm of Kolb a lot this Sunday. Luckily for the Cardinals secondary they are going against an offensive passing attack that has looked pitiful at times this season. The Cardinals defense, like the rest of us, is wondering what Joe Flacco will show up this Sunday.
PLAYER TO WATCH FOR: RAY RICE
Ray Rice will receive a lot of touches this week after not being a factor at all against Jacksonville last Sunday. Look for him to have a big game on the ground and threw the air.
MATCH-UP TO WATCH FOR: RAVENS FRONT 7 vs. CARDINALS O-LINE
The Cardinals have struggled protecting Kolb this season, and the Ravens are known for bringing the pressure. This will be something to keep an eye on.