Ray Lewis a liability on D vs. Pats?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Double TE, Jan 15, 2013.

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  1. Double TE

    Double TE 4 LIFE PatsFans.com Supporter

    #91 Jersey

    With all that said, there is one area in which the Ravens have clearly played better without Lewis, and that is in pass coverage. When Lewis has played this season, opposing running backs have caught 70 percent of the passes thrown their way and averaged 5.6 yards per target. Those numbers are a little lower than the average for running backs. In his absence, though, that catch rate fell to 62 percent and the average gain to 3.9 yards.

    That might not matter against some teams, but against the Patriots, it could be a fatal flaw. To a large degree, New England is a running team (only Seattle had more carries in the regular season), and that means Lewis' performance on early downs will be crucial. However, the Patriots' running backs are also dangerous receivers. New England averaged 8.1 yards per pass when throwing to its running backs (mostly Danny Woodhead, but also Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley and Brandon Bolden) this season, the highest of any team in the league. Vereen might have been the MVP of New England's playoff win over Houston, catching five passes on six targets for 83 yards and two receiving touchdowns.

    Obviously, if the Patriots split Ridley out wide against Baltimore as they did against the Texans, Lewis won't be vacating the middle to cover him. However, Lewis will be in charge of covering receivers out of the backfield, and that could be a serious problem. If Baltimore wants to win one more for Ray, the Ravens will need to help him out on passing downs.
  2. MrNathanDrake

    MrNathanDrake In the Starting Line-Up

    #95 Jersey

    A heavy dose of Vereen and Woodhead
  3. Hawks

    Hawks Rookie

    Against Denver Lewis couldn't catch ball carriers unless they came running it up the middle. Almost everyone could run away from him. He piled on after a teammate made a tackle.

    He couldn't even catch that easy INT against the Colts...

    I don't see him having a big impact on this game on the field, but it depends how BAL uses him. Seems like NE wil play around him,.
  4. Fixit

    Fixit Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    Is it crazy to think we might see them at the same time for a bunch of plays?
  5. SVN

    SVN Hall of Fame Poster

    His impact is more in recognizing the offense and setting the defense where his intelligence is invaluable. Physically... not sure.
  6. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Why not? I'd like to see a lot of 2 back sets, with either Ridley/Vereen or Woodhead/Vereen. Vereen can be moved all over the place, and he can be used like a receiver as well as as a RB.
  7. OnTheHeights

    OnTheHeights On the Roster

    I think the best bet is going to be motioning Vereen out wide, with Hernandez close in playing the traditional TE spot. Lewis isn't going to split outside to cover Vereen, so one of the other LBs will be forced to do it, leaving a much better chance that Lewis will be covering Hernandez, which would be a disaster for the Ravens.
  8. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

    No Jersey Selected

    Agreed. We might as well now that Gronk is shelved. I would still stay away from running right at him but, in the passing game, Lewis should have a Maryland sized bullseye on his chest.
  9. DarrylStingley

    DarrylStingley Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    Lewis is too slow to cover TEs and RBs. Here's to the Pats exposing that.

    Now if the Ravens need someone to murder one of the Pats.....and then buy their relatives off....Ray is your MAN, and a believer at that!
  10. Ivan

    Ivan Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    #75 Jersey

    Unless they have a big day on third downs it is gonna be a long day for that Ravens defense. If the Patriots run their hurry up, and there is absolutely no reason to believe they won't, then this Ravens defense is going to get gassed in a hurry and it is hard to see how they hold up for an entire game, especially after playing the number of downs they have played recently.

    This Ravens team kind of reminds me of the Patriots before Belichick started the rebuild. They do have some younger players in the mix but by and large the core of the team is the much older veterans like Reed, Lewis, Boldin, Birk, McKinnie, and Suggs. From what I can tell Jimmy Smith is 3rd on the depth chart at CB, when they were counting on him to be a key piece on their defense, and while Terrance Cody is playing he hasn't been dominant and will likely wear down if they are running their fast break offense for any sustained period of time.

    I think the Patriots are going to put up 35 this weekend and don't believe the Ravens can match that when all is said and done.
  11. Nehalem

    Nehalem On the Game Day Roster

    I have always liked the idea of a Vereen/Woodhead set :D
  12. Brady_to_Moss

    Brady_to_Moss Butler Island is here PatsFans.com Supporter

    #95 Jersey

    teams pass all over the middle on him because is attack speed is wayy down. Send welker across the middle
  13. Zeus

    Zeus PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    He's slow.

    If he makes 100 tackles and they're all 8+ yards past the line of scrimmage, the Ravens lose.
  14. DocHoliday

    DocHoliday In the Starting Line-Up

    The idea of Hoo-Hoo piling up a few catches in Lewis' face makes me smile.
  15. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver Pro Bowl Player

    #80 Jersey

    Lewis looked a step and a half slow against Denver, it was very noticable. Vereen and Woodhead just need to cross, catch and scat upfield. I respect Ray Lewis and all, but the only Ray Lewis that has a chance against that speed is the one from 12 years ago.
  16. Ivan

    Ivan Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    #75 Jersey

    It's much more than Woodhead and vereen. The Patriots tackles are going to be able to stymie Suggs, Upshaw, and Kruger and the Patriots offensive strength is exploiting the middle of any defense with Welker and Hernandez as well as the backs. this is the worst possible match-up for the Ravens defensively and I really believe it is going to result in one of their worst defensive performances for them this Sunday. By contrast Denver was a much easier match-up as they rely heavily on production downfield and outside the hashes, and their run game was nowhere near what the patriots will be hitting them with.

    This is a great match for NE, that's no guarantee of a win by any means but I love their chances in this game.
  17. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    #12 Jersey

    One thing that's worth noting is that, in order to preserve the speed that he has, Lewis has lost a lot of weight from his heyday. In training camp this year he said that he was down below 240 pounds (from 250+ in his prime), and as a result I could definitely see Ridley running over him once or twice, if the need arises.

    Given that Lewis, Ngata and Suggs are both playing well below 100%, Ed Reed is the one defensive player who really scares me. If a game-turning play is made, it will probably be made by him.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
  18. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Reed's slowed down too, and isn't what he used to be. He's not making the game changing plays with the same frequency. That's not to say he isn't capable of burning the Pats if they make major mistakes, but I don't think he's the impact player he once was.
  19. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Running right at Lewis has always been the way to attack the Ravens on the ground. His strength was always chasing and beating the blocking scheme to make plays in areas of the field a MLB usually doesnt get to.
    Taking on blockers and plays run right at him was never his strength.
    To answer the OP, of course he is a liability.


    #12 Jersey

    Lewis had a team high 17 tackles against the Broncos

    Thats pretty sad since the other players around him are mostly 3 or more years younger than him.

    The guy can still play,albeit a bit slower and little threat for a sack anymore
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