The Indianapolis Colts have a difficult matchup on the Week 3 afternoon slate in Baltimore against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. Baltimore comes into this game at 2-0 after a key win against their rival Cincinnati Bengals who are off to a rough start. This Ravens offense looks dynamic and dangerous as usual, so the Colts will need to implement some strategies to shut it down as best as possible. They are one of those teams you know you won’t be able to stop, but they have been slowed down plenty of times.
In terms of storylines with Baltimore you obviously have the history of the Baltimore Colts, but their most recent matchup is one to look at. Back in 2021 the Colts were up 22-9 on these Ravens in the third quarter, but Lamar Jackson did Lamar Jackson things.
The Ravens came storming all the way back from that deficit to embarrass the Colts in primetime. Jackson threw for 442 yards and four touchdowns while completing 37-of-43 passes. This game confirmed a season that would not end well for the Colts, as they could not recover from falling to 1-4 on the year after that game
The Colts will look to prevent a similar performance from happening again. Here’s how the Colts can ensure that doesn’t happen in this showdown.
3. Stop Lamar Jackson from running all over this defense
The tried and true way to stop Lamar Jackson is to run a heavy amount of nickel packages to counter the speed of Jackson. This secondary will need to be ready to come down and stop his legs, so the corners may have to do their fair share of blitzing or playing a bit shallow to be ready.
A game against Jackson is always one of the tougher games to scheme for, so Gus Bradley will have his hands full in terms of where he wants to put guys. Look for someone like Julian Blackmon to make some big plays and potentially get thrown in on some pressures if need be.
At the end of the day though, Jackson is going to get his yards on the ground, it is just a matter of how much he affects the game with his legs. The Colts will have to give him a few runs to avoid big plays down the field, and this was not usually an issue as the team lacked playmakers, but now they have some decent deep threats.
The Ravens’ offense is so dynamic that even the best defenses struggle in these situations, but this team will need to find a way to hold Jackson’s mobility to a minimum if they want a chance to win. While that is much easier said than done, it will also be a good test for some of the younger defensive players that will see a unique offense that they will have to get used to in the AFC for a long time.