Scout's Take: A plan for the Titans to stop Lamar Jackson

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Ravens have constructed their team offensively to support QB Lamar Jackson and his skill set.

Even though many pieces were already put in place along the offensive line in advance of drafting Jackson, the match has been perfect for him.


The Ravens run many different formations and have a lot of movement pre-snap. Everything the offense does starts with the run and Jackson.

Breakdown of the offensive personnel:

LT Ronnie Stanley can play in any offensive system. He has outstanding pass protection skills and is very good in the run game. He can match with any pass rusher the Titans will throw at him.

LG Bradley Bozeman is the player defenses will attack along the interior. Bozeman has solid size (6-3, 317) but is a better run-blocker than pass protector. He struggles to protect against quickness and speed on the inside. He will struggle with Jurrell Casey.

C Patrick Mekari is a rookie free agent who replaced the injured Matt Skura. He lacks power to move defenders in the run game and lacks anchor against power rushers in pass protection.Winners300

RG Marshall Yanda has been a Pro Bowl performer for years, he is a veteran that has seen it all who can pass and run block. He’s not as effective on the second level as he used to be but is still a good overall all-around player.

RT Orlando Brown has a massive frame, with length, strength, anchor and the ability to cover up defenders in the run game. He is suspectable to the outside speed rush because of his below-average feet. He also plays tall, so rushers with good leverage and pad level can get underneath him on the outside rush. This is where Harold Landry must emerge. He has disappeared for a month.

TE Mark Andrews is the Ravens leading receiver. He is a very good possession receiver and a solid blocker in the run game. He has the most reliable hands of the group. Not dynamic physically but instinctive and smart.

TE Nick Boyle is a run-blocker first but has the ability to catch a few easy ones to move the ball in the short passing attack.

TE Hayden Hurst is a good athlete with very good speed and run-after-the-catch ability.

RB Mark Ingram is a perfect fit for this offense. He has the ability to run inside the tackles with power. He is a solid receiver out of the backfield and is good in pass protection. If he is not healthy (calf), it is a big drop off to their second running back Gus Edwards. Edwards lacks the same physical running style and doesn’t have the instincts and run vision of Ingram.

WR Marquise Brown is the vertical threat that keeps the defense from stacking the box against Jackson. He has solid hands and elite speed. He tracks the deep ball well and has run-after-the-catch ability.

WRs Willie Snead, Seth Roberts and Myles Boykin are all solid compliments to Brown and the TEs. They all have good size and solid speed and fit this offense very well as supplemental offensive players.

QB Lamar Jackson is a runner first in an offense that allows him to utilize his legs and playmaking ability to open spaces in coverage in the passing game. He is a head-scratcher at times because of the throws he makes. He is rarely balanced when throwing and has a tendency to stare down his primary option.

But the off-schedule throws and runs are where he is most dangerous.

The Titans have struggled against athletic TEs this season and if they are without injured ILB Jayon Brown it will be a tougher matchup for them. Brown is also good at shadowing a running QB.RavensLogo2

The Ravens defense is a solid unit on all three levels but not impossible to attack. They have benefited from a high-scoring offense throughout most of the year. But this group has its weaknesses and it plays perfectly into the hands of the Titans running game.

Breakdown of defensive personnel:

DE Chris Wormley: Athletic, big man who has the ability to be a pass rusher and run-down player. His length and size are a difficult matchup for RG Nate Davis inside. Similar to the struggles he had with Denico Autry of the Colts.

NT Michael Pierce: Plugger, short, stout, has anchor versus the run and short-area quickness. Not a pass rusher.

DE Brandon Williams: Big, wide, powerful run-down defender, true two-gapper, who can play both sides of a block

ILB Patrick Onwuasor: Quick, fast, flows to the ball, can be covered up by bigger offensive lineman who can maintain their balance and body control in space. Will run around blocks to avoid and run himself out of gaps at times. Not physical enough to handle Henry one-on-one in the hole.

ILB Josh Bynes: A weak link on this defense. He is not good in coverage and is a slow mover off the snap identifying run or pass. Bynes is not a physical player in the run game.

OLB Matt Judon: Strong, has good instincts and feel for the game. Pass rusher first, but can hold his point against the run at him. Conklin will need to have a good game.

OLB Jaylon Ferguson/Tyrus Bowser: Secondary pass rushers with size, length.

CB Marlon Humphrey: One of the top man-to-man cover corners in the NFL. The complete package physically, highly competitive, good run-down defenders on the edge. Very physical in man coverage and has very good instincts with the ball in the air. Humphrey has height (6-0), weight (197), speed (4.41 at the combine) and physicality. He can match with all type receivers. He was my top-rated CB in the 2017 draft.AdoreeJacksonBAL

CB Marcus Peters: Physical, instinctive, has some gamble to his play style. Very good ball skills. Very competitive and emotional in his play.

CB Brandon Carr: Good short-area quickness, good instincts for the game, has a feel for the ball in the air. I like his game. Not physical against the run and will struggle versus physical receivers.

SS Chuck Clark: Box defender, good against the run, hustles and plays well, but not as effective in man coverage.

FS Earl Thomas: Ballhawk, good instincts, can be good in run game when he wants to, but is into self-protection as well.

The Ravens ILBs are quick flow-to-the-ball types. They are undersized but use their speed and quickness to avoid blocks.

The group can be attacked in the run game and in coverage against the pass.

If the Titans offensive lineman can wall off the second level of linebackers, they have a chance for big gains and gap runs.

Following the Cleveland Browns run-game model, it will be beneficial to run off tackle versus the Ravens.

Baltimore’s run defense relies on its physical three-man line and a fast-flowing linebacking group. This will open up the QB boot game and misdirection runs. The only issue is how effective can Derrick Henry be on misdirection plays with his leg injury, which ask for more change of direction.

Screens will also be open. The Browns had success with the RB screen and also outside the tackle runs to offset the backside pursuit of the OLB and DL.BeddingfieldLabel

The Browns ran this out of heavy personnel. They also had success when identifying the corner blitz, adjusting their routes to quick throws into the blitz side.

Cleveland ran a number of pick routes that opened up the middle of the field for crossers by their wide receivers.

Depending on the officiating crew this can be a constant pattern vs this defense.

Key Matchups:

Jack Conklin vs. Matt Judon

Judon is an effort pass rusher with the upper body strength to turn a power rush into a speed rush on the outside. Judon is also very effective on twists and stunts on the inside because of his strength and pad level while rushing the QB from the middle of the defense.

Marlon Humphrey vs. A.J. Brown

Humphrey has shut-down ability. But they have two corners in Humphrey and Peters that can match with size and strength against the Titans bigger wideouts. The Ravens will not be forced to match Humphrey with Brown.

Nate Davis vs. Chris Wormley

Wormley is a tough matchup because of his size, length and run/pass effectiveness. Wormley is also very smart and instinctive player. Davis has struggled with tall defenders with length. Davis will not be able to ignore Wormley while he works to the second level of the defense in the run game, he must stay on him until his combo is there to help.

Lamar Jackson vs. Rashaan Evans

This is a huge game for Evans. He will need to be the attacker and spy on Jackson. If Evans can use his physicality against Jackson and track him with his speed this could be a huge factor for the Titans defense. Evans is not a coverage LB and will need to be utilized taking the run game away.

Adoree' Jackson vs. Marquise Brown

Brown and Jackson matchup physically very well, but Jackson is still coming off the foot injury and can’t solely be responsible for the vertical threat WR. He will need over-the-top help at times.

Ravens TEs vs Titans linebackers

Jackson’s favorite targets are his tight ends. He utilizes them as a quick-hitting short pass to supplement the run game.

The game will rest on the Titans defense. If it can eliminate big plays and high scoring the Titans run game will have success.

The biggest key to the game is stopping or limiting Lamar Jackson.


1. Hit him with multiple defenders on every one of his runs. This is a heavyweight boxing match and body punches early can take away his legs late.

2. Have a defender assigned to Jackson to hit him on all RPOs. With the calf injury to Mark Ingram if he plays, he surely will be limited.

3. Get physical with the tight ends as they release from the line of scrimmage. Jackson uses the tight ends on quick throws, if they are jammed at the line of scrimmage it forces him to come off his initial read. Jackson has a tendency to panic when his first options are not there.

4. Don’t pass rush the QB, send a run blitz defender only that has eyes to the QB, but no pass rush. The defensive line must control the line of scrimmage and shed blocks when Jackson escapes inside the tackles. The Titans defensive line is a perfect matchup for the Ravens OL because Jeffrey Simmons, DaQuan Jones and Jurrell Casey are all capable of holding their point and shedding blocks.PK.comLogo badge vintage HiRes 1

5. Don’t match up with WR Hollywood Brown. This will give an easier read for Jackson. Mix up coverages to confuse him.

The focus on playing the Ravens is keeping the score close. Don’t let them get ahead quickly. The defense is built to play with a lead, that is when the defense turns up the heat on the QB with blitz packages and have outstanding cover corners in coverage.

On the offensive side of the ball they will turn into a run team exclusively and short controlled passing game to keep the clock moving.

This is how the team is constructed and its road map to winning.


Blake Beddingfield was a Titans' scout for 19 years, through the 2017 draft. He was the team's director of college scouting for his final six years. Follow him on Twitter at @BlakeBeddingfi1. He’s brought to you by Winners Bar & Grill, a place where you should definitely have a beer, drink a Kickin'It Cooler and watch a game.

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