A weekly look at what the Baltimore Ravens must fix:
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been one of the worst deep passers in the league this season, but he'll be tempted to stretch the field against the Baltimore Ravens' struggling secondary.
According to ESPN Stats & Information research, the Ravens have allowed four completions this season on passes that have traveled at least 20 yards and quarterbacks have a 120.8 passer rating on such throws against Baltimore. The biggest problem is that Matt Elam fails to keep receivers in front of him when he's playing deep safety. He's allowing an average of 21.9 yards per catch.
In Sunday's win over Cleveland, Elam got burned on passes of 70 and 43 yards. He's a liability because he doesn't have a great feel in coverage. The Ravens aren't going to bench Elam, a first-round pick from a year ago, and they can't really hide him either. Darian Stewart, the team's other starting safety, isn't a natural free safety either.
So, how do the Ravens fix this problem? This is a situation where their pass rush has to hurry quarterbacks. If Newton has time, he'll look deep because that has been the best way to move the ball on the Ravens' defense.