Ravens DC Mike Macdonald gives insight on how to improve team’s third-down defense

The Baltimore Ravens will face a highly motivated Cincinnati Bengals squad on Sunday in their regular-season finale. Both teams have already secured their spot in the AFC playoffs and will be looking to build momentum heading into the win-or-go-home games later this month.

Baltimore defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald took time during his comments to reporters in the week leading up to the game to point out one area that his defense could improve ahead of the Ravens’ final push for postseason glory. Asked if his guys could improve on third down, a situation that they have struggled in this season, Macdonald was emphatic in his response.

“Shoot, yes,” Macdonald exclaimed. “Well, the first thing is staying out of third-and-short. We had four third-and-ones that we lost all four [of]; we’d just like to improve in that situation, but that’s a tough situation [with] the way teams are approaching that situation now. So, I’d say, mostly, it’s a function of creating more opportunistic situations for us, and that’s how you play the first and second down before. But like I said, working [the] front and coverage together and making sure we’re on the same page, that’s something we’re always going to be focused on, especially on third down.”

The Ravens have no margin for error in Sunday’s matchup, and will need to win against all odds to get momentum as they head into the playoffs. For his part, Macdonald could play a huge role in getting Baltimore deep into the postseason if his unit can follow through on his emphasis of playing more disciplined in key situations.

Story originally appeared on Ravens Wire