May 29, 2023
2022 NFL season: Four things to watch out for in the Ravens-Buccaneers game on Prime Video

2022 NFL season: Four things to watch out for in the Ravens-Buccaneers game on Prime Video

This will be Tom Brady’s first game against Baltimore with the Buccaneers, but the Ravens know all about Brady.

They just haven’t seen a Brady-led offense in such poor form in a while. Brady has played John Harbaugh’s Ravens ten times over the years — six times in the regular season and four more in the playoffs, all with Brady in New England.

Brady was far more effective against them in the regular season, but now he and his 3-4 Buccaneers will hobble into what appears to be a crucial game in Thursday’s matchup against Baltimore at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay’s offensive problems were present for most of the season but were more pronounced in the last three games, with the Bucs scoring 21, 18 and three points.

Sunday’s loss at Carolina was the team’s lowest point so far, and head coach Todd Bowles said, “It’s about as ​​bleak as it’s going to be.” The Bucs have now lost four out of five games and are coming up on average a meager 17.7 points per game.

“We didn’t play at our level and what we’re capable of,” Brady said this week. “This is our reality and we must acknowledge it.”

Baltimore improved to 4-3 after Sunday’s narrow win over the Browns. Cleveland missed a field goal and lost a late fumble in the 23-20 final. It’s been a ping-pong season as the Ravens haven’t won or lost more than one straight game.

The duel between Brady and Lamar Jackson is on paper one of the best QB fights imaginable. But lately, these crimes are more often stuck in nightmare mode.

Here are four things to watch out for when the Ravens visit the Buccaneers Thursday night on Prime Video:

  1. The Bucs are in desperate need of a good start. If they add up their first four drives in each game this season, they’ve had just two touchdowns and eight field goals across those 28 possessions. In the early quarters of this season, the Bucs were outplayed 34-15; It’s the only quarter in which they’ve dropped more points than they’ve earned (at the same time, the Ravens beat their opponents 37-13 in the first quarter of this season). Injuries made things worse – WR Russell Gage (hamstring) is among the six Buccaneers ruled out — although Tampa Bay could get WR Julio Jones (knee), RG Shaq Mason (ankle) and TE Ko Kieft (ankle) back for this game. But the struggles go beyond that. The Buccaneers can’t run the ball — early or late — and as a result, Brady’s play-action passes have fallen flat this season. Maybe look to offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich to try and get Brady into a rhythm with some pace early on. When they needed a spark against Atlanta, the Bucs didn’t mix it up, driving 88 yards for a TD. Then they hardly hurried in the last two defeats.
  2. And the Ravens need to finish better. In the first six games, they led three times by 10 or more points and had to work up a sweat for Sunday’s narrow victory. Since dropping 37 points at Foxborough in Week 3, Jackson and the Baltimore offense have averaged 20.5 points and 320 yards. in the first three games, those numbers were 33.0 and 380, respectively. If there’s one common denominator, it’s that there have been too many turnovers on offense and too little resistance on defense in the last 15 minutes of games. Four of Jackson’s six INTs this season and all three of the Ravens’ lost fumbles came in the fourth. On defense, they conceded the NFL’s worst 856 yards and 10 TDs this quarter. Sure, the Ravens’ depth has been eroded by injuries, but it shouldn’t be that bad. John Harbaugh is too good a coach to let that happen so often. Last week they didn’t trust their blocks and took the ball out of Jackson’s hands. Could that confidence return in this matchup?
  3. Bucs’ short-yard situations cause big problems. In the second half of the Carolina loss, Tampa Bay faced five games in the second half, finishing third or fourth by 2 yards or fewer. The Bucs converted one of them. They’ve converted just 4 out of 11 third and fourth down runs this season with Leonard Fournette. Interestingly, in these situations, they converted all four tries, with rookie Rachaad White running the ball. Will Leftwich stay with Fournette in such situations? Thursday could be an interesting test of that, but Leftwich have fairly consistently defended Fournette as not having the problem. Leftwich has seemingly suggested that the offensive line is at least part of the problem in these situations, and rookie LG Luke Goedeke was beaten in a few of those games last week where Fournette was stopped. If there’s a positive side to Tampa, the Ravens haven’t been great defensively in these situations outside of the Bengals game.
  4. Can Lamar rediscover his magic in prime time? This off-season brought a lot of discussion about Jackson’s unusual contract situation, and the usual refrain was that he was banking on himself in his quest for a long-term extension. In three games, that goal felt easily achievable. The last four games haven’t helped Jackson’s case, with his two late turnovers against the Giants being particularly painful. We all know the bottom line: The Ravens have to sign the guy at some point, right? That may be true, but they sure could use an old Lamar game in this one. The Bucs have faced a number of double threat QBs this season, including Patrick Mahomes, Dak Prescott and Marcus Mariota. But this becomes a very tricky challenge without a full cast at hand. They could do without DB Antoine Winfield Jr., who has been one of the bright spots on defense this season, and CBs Carlton Davis and Sean Murphy-Bunting.

#NFL #season #watch #RavensBuccaneers #game #Prime #Video

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *