Baltimore Ravens: 5 Keys to Victory vs. Arizona Cardinals

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Win the Field Position Battle

Oct 12, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Baltimore Ravens punter

Sam Koch

(4) punts the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Baltimore Ravens defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48-17. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

I’m about to give you some numbers that might surprise you – well, they surprised me at least. The Ravens haven’t seemed to be potent in the return game, but actually rank in the top 10 in both kick and punt returns. They rank 9th with a 24.8 average yards per kickoff and 5th in punt returns with 13.3 yards per punt.

Where the Ravens do have an edge is in the punt return game. Koch is having another fantastic season and is currently third in the NFL in net punt average at 45.2 yards per kick, while the coverage team is allowing just 7.1 yards per return. Both statistics rank in the top 10 of the league.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals net punting average is at 35.9 yards-per-punt and are allowing 11.8 yards per return. Drew Butler beat out former Raven Dave Zastudil for the punting job, but currently ranks last in yards per punt.

The Cardinals offense has been one of the best in the league and the Ravens will want to force them to take the ball the entire length of the field. It’s going to be important that they win the field position game because Carson Palmer and the rest of the Arizona offense has been firing on all cylinders for most of the season.

Next: Cardinals Strength vs. Ravens Weakness