Ravens Eye View: Roquan Smith Was a 'Predator' vs. Falcons

LB Roquan Smith

The Ravens scored a 17-9 win over the Atlanta Falcons, punching their playoff ticket for the 2022 season.

Baltimore did it with a familiar formula: a battering running game and strong defense.

The passing attack missed some opportunities, but also improved from the previous week. The troubles in the red zone continued.

Here's a look at the film:

In a battle of two teams who entered the game ranked No. 2 and No. 3 in rushing yards per game, the Ravens made a statement on the very first play from scrimmage. Baltimore showed it can execute every run in the book, even one that the Falcons' ground game is built around, with a wide-zone stretch run for 11 yards with J.K. Dobbins that was blocked perfectly.

Ben Powers did a nice job getting inside of his block and Dobbins did well to help his left guard out by being patient and setting up the lane.

Wide receiver Sammy Watkins was signed on Tuesday and started on Saturday. His familiarity with the playbook and his quarterbacks certainly paid off, as he and Tyler Huntley executed a scramble drill for a 40-yard gain.

Right tackle Morgan Moses' pulling blocks were devastating against the Browns and he kept it up versus the Falcons. "His pulling has been really something. … He's just really good at it," Head Coach John Harbaugh said Monday.

Gus Edwards had his best game yet, rushing 11 times for 99 yards. Known for his downhill power, Edwards showed more than that, including excellent vision cutting back against the flow of his blockers to break a big run.

For the second straight week, the Ravens had a field goal blocked, this time from 55 yards out.

Once again, tight end Mark Andrews got a lot of attention from the opposing defense, yet still had a touchdown opportunity missed. He and Huntley did connect on a pretty 36-yard completion down the sideline as the Falcons weren't playing as soft in coverage as the Browns the week before and Andrews/Huntley made them pay. The Ravens showed that they're willing to take some deep shots down the field with Huntley if they get the right looks.

With veteran defensive lineman Calais Campbell sidelined by a knee injury, the Ravens' young defensive linemen stepped up to meet the challenge.

Inside linebacker Roquan Smith said before the game that he enjoys playing in extreme cold weather (it was the coldest game in M&T Bank Stadium history) because opponents especially dislike getting hit in such conditions. "I try to become a predator then and try to get guys," Smith said.

He was certainly on the hunt against the Falcons, as Smith piled up 15 tackles.

Of course, Smith had his running mate Patrick Queen flying around next to him as usual. Once again, Baltimore's inside linebacker duo was all over the field.

The Ravens once again put the game away with their rushing attack, as they leaned on Edwards and their blockers in the fourth quarter.

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