Ravens defensive coordinator compares Bills QB Josh Allen to two NFL greats, has no plans reel in blitz

Daniel Oyefusi, The Baltimore Sun
·1 min read

BALTIMORE — Ravens defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale is never wary of making comparisons to drive home the challenges that opposing quarterbacks pose for his defense.

He’s likened Russell Wilson to Steph Curry, Baker Mayfield to Brett Favre and Patrick Mahomes to Joe Montana.

So when asked about Bills quarterback Josh Allen, it was no surprise that the man tasked with preparing a game plan to frustrate the rising star in Saturday night’s divisional-round game had a parallel at hand.

“To paint the picture for you all, it’s a young Ben Roethlisberger, because of his size and how he extends plays, with, like, [Dan] Marino’s arm,” Martindale said Wednesday on a videoconference call.

Martindale got the best of Allen in the last meeting between the teams, a 24-17 Ravens in Week 14 of the 2019 season. He sent blitzes on over 60% of Allen’s drop-backs and the Ravens defense sacked him five times. However, Allen, in an All-Pro season, is much improved against the blitz, setting up for an interesting back-and-forth between Martindale and Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.

“It’s a chess match,” Martindale said. “You’ve got to pick your spots. And I think it’s a chess match on their side, as well, when they’re looking at us. And that’s why I always look forward to these types of games. It will be interesting to see. But, he knows that there’s going to be pressure, that’s for sure. That’s who we are, that’s what we’ve done.”