The New York Giants couldn't keep pace with the Washington Redskins' "pistol" offense on "Monday Night Football", but the Baltimore Ravens believe they've cracked the code for slowing down rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III this Sunday.
"We have to be a disciplined defense. We have to practice it throughout this week," Ravens safety Bernard Pollard recently told Comcast SportsNet Baltimore. "We've got to hit him every chance we get."
Easier said than done. The Redskins are riding a three-game winning streak and are putting up yardage at will. The pistol offense -- which aligns the passer four yards behind center with a lone back behind him -- allows the Redskins to pound the ball out of a spread formation. But any potential run play also might become a play-action pass or -- gulp -- a chance for Griffin to take off into open space.
Defenses are stuck in their own head and are not reacting quickly enough to plays out of the pistol, one reason the Giants appeared a step behind all night long during Monday's loss. Pass rusher Justin Tuck admitted as much after the game.
The Giants have seen the Redskins twice in person. Washington rolled up 450 rushing yards in those two games. The Ravens can break down game film deep into the Baltimore night, but Pollard is correct: Sunday comes down to positional integrity and extreme discipline. It should make for a fascinating matchup.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.