Step one to beat the Ravens will always be containing Lamar Jackson. The biggest factor in that will be how much they can limit him on plays where the pocket collapses. Especially after Ronnie Stanley and Ja’Wuan James are injured heading into the week 2 matchup.
The biggest piece to containing Lamar Jackson at the next level will be Jerome Baker. He has been a great pass-rushing linebacker and run-stopper in the past, but now it is time to step up his game and be a great QB spy in this game to topple one of the NFL’s elite talents.
Jerome Baker has been a very good open-field tackler in his short NFL career, but the Miami Dolphins will need much more from him in this game.
As the quarterback of this defense, it will be his job to make sure that this highly anticipated unit doesn’t get torched over the middle. Baker is very good at reading the eyes of a QB and anticipating their next move.
With this extremely talented defensive line in front of him, he shouldn’t have to cover too long. I can see possible matchups outside of a QB spy for Baker being possibly covering Isaiah Likely.
Though he is the backup tight end, he is a matchup nightmare for anyone and the Miami Dolphins do need to make sure they don’t let the little ones get away from them.
However, I prefer the Miami Dolphins to keep Jerome Baker locked in on Lamar Jackson the whole game. If they can make sure that he can’t evade the pocket and do magical things they will give their offense a good chance.
I see this being a huge game for Jaelan Phillips as well. He is going to be crucial in not only setting the edge but also being the first one to get to Lamar Jackson for most of the game. Especially if the Ravens are forced into playing their third-string left tackle.
That would be a matchup that Phillips cannot afford to lose, and would have to expose that to give Xavien Howard and whoever in the opposite corner will be a chance to lock up the WRs outside.
I believe in those boys and I think this defense will prove yet again they are for real.