Keys for Cardinals in Week 8 vs. Ravens

The Arizona Cardinals face a tough Baltimore Ravens team Sunday afternoon at State Farm Stadium.

They are longshots to win the game. Baltimore put up 38 points last week, has talented receivers, a solid run game and an incredibly talented quarterback in Lamar Jackson.

The Ravens’ defense is not the focus of the team but it is still great. Baltimore allows the fewest points in the league, the second-fewest yards and has the most sacks. They have forced seven turnovers in the last four games.

What must the Cardinals do to compete?

Here are their Week 8 keys.

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Run the football

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

There is one thing the Ravens don’t do well. They are not great against the run. They aren’t bad, but they do allow 4.2 yards per carry. The Cardinals must use the run game to limit the possessions for Baltimore’s offense.

Emari Demercado rushed for 58 yards on 13 attempts in his first NFL start last week. They got big runs from quarterback Josh Dobbs and receiver Rondale Moore.

Protect Josh Dobbs

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

In the three-game stretch when Dobbs played well, he was sacked three times. He has been sacked nine times in the last three games.

Baltimore has a league-leading 29 sacks on the season and took down Lions quarterback Jared Goff five times last week.

Dobbs needs time and can avoid mistakes if protected.

Get hands on passes

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals had 23 pass breakups through three games, which was second in the league at the time.

Since then, they have had four, three last week. They have to disrupt the passing game.

Take the ball away

Score touchdowns in the second half

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals have been outscored 104-30 in the second half of games this season. They have not scored in the second half of the last two.

They allowed only six second-half points to Seattle last week. If they can play similarly defensively and get in the end zone on offense, they might have a chance.

Story originally appeared on Cards Wire