The Denver Broncos are 3-0, but they face their first real test against the Baltimore Ravens in week 4. The Ravens’ offense has been one of the league’s best for the last few seasons, and they are still deadly despite being banged up. To preview the game, Broncos’ defensive end Dre’Mont Jones joined Thursday night’s Broncos Country Tonight show to discuss the game.
“It’s a tough challenge. It’s not the typical rushing style in the NFL. It’s kinda like an upscale version of the Army, Georgia Southern type of offenses with a bunch of motion and different formations in the backfield like the Wing-T. So we’ve been really honing in on those formations and watching the film and how to be patient, be smart. In those formations, they’re one play away from breaking it...We have to be responsible and patient in our gaps.”
This is an example of what Dre’Mont Jones is talking about from Baltimore’s game against the Lions in Week 3.
Broncos have to be ready for these kind of plays. Ricard in the backfield decoying as the lead block for the sweep to Freeman while Andrews sneaks through is some fun creativity pic.twitter.com/TWTuSHYn18— AJ Schulte (@AJDraftScout) October 1, 2021
The Ravens show up in 22 personnel. TEs Mark Andrews and Eric Tomlinson are lined up detached, while RB Devonta Freeman is to the top of the formation and FB Patrick Ricard is lined up in the backfield. Devin Duvernay is the lone receiver to the bottom of the screen. That’s a tough look to defend because it’s rather unorthodox (typically 22 personnel looks more like the I-Formation we’re all accustomed to but there are plenty of variations to it).
A player like Patrick Ricard makes it tough to tell what Baltimore is going to do, because he’s got such a versatile skill set that he can’t be a tell on anything. Yet, Devonta Freeman comes in motion and it looks like a HB sweep pre-snap.
The Lions’ LBs all key on the run, letting Mark Andrews run right by them.
Later on, the Ravens ran it again, but this time the Lions stayed disciplined and ready for it. They end up stringing Lamar out and corralling him instead of allowing a big play.
Lions played it better the second time pic.twitter.com/213rD2PgYS— AJ Schulte (@AJDraftScout) October 1, 2021
That’s what Jones is talking about. Baltimore is going to stretch and stress the Broncos’ defense. They have to stay disciplined and focused all game long, because it won’t be an easy game.
Despite the challenge, Jones felt confident in the Broncos’ ability to stop the Ravens this week.
“We have the ability and capability to do it. We’re excited about getting a chance to try and shut out the Ravens too. They’re a good offense, but it doesn’t matter. We’re a good ass defense.”