There is something different about this year’s Ravens defense: they have a weakness.
Their pass defense, marked by questionable cornerback play, has been average at best.
They rank seventh-worst in the league in yards allowed per game, and it’s not just because teams don’t bother running against them. They give up eight yards per passing attempt, tied for fourth worst in the league.
Patience is being preached, and the team’s occasionally inconsistent pass rush hasn’t helped.
Some difficult opponents certainly hurt the numbers, but it can be argued that Carson Palmer, Tom Brady, and Philip Rivers all played their best games of the season against Baltimore. Even Brodie Croyle had his moments against them in Week One. (The Ravens couldn’t make Brady Quinn look good though.)
Mike Preston of the Baltimore Sun says the Ravens should ask for a “refund or a rebate” after guaranteeing Domonique Foxworth $16.5 million and handing Chris Carr a two-year, $5 million contract over the offseason.
“Cincinnati left a lot of points on the field because the Ravens don’t have any cornerbacks who can cover man-to-man,” Preston writes before vivisecting the group:
“Nickel back Chris Carr? Too soft. Starting cornerback Domonique Foxworth? He has no physical presence and has lost his confidence. He can’t find himself or the ball. Fabian Washington? He might be the best on the roster after rookie Lardarius Webb, and that’s not saying a lot.”
Baltimore heads to Minnesota this week in a matchup of defenses that look fearsome on paper. Judging strictly on Baltimore’s performance thus far, however, Brett Favre should have opportunities to poke more holes in the Ravens secondary.