This game was basically a replay of Jets 2010. The Ravens played nickel all game allowing them to blanket all of the underneath routes we like to run and as great as Welker, Hern and Lloyd are none of them are guys that I would say are open even when they are covered. Unlike the Jets game we actually tried to run against the nickel and were highly unsuccessful. Mostly because our TEs got abused as blockers. Fells did okay, but Hoho and Hernandez got chumped by Suggs and Kruger. Not many defenses have the personnel to be able to pull off this strategy, but it is something we are probably going to have to overcome if we are going to win another Lombardi unless we get lucky and avoid a defense with this capability in the postseason.
In my view one of 3 things needs to happen:
1) Gronk needs to stay healthy
2) We need a TE to backup Gronk who can actually block and catch (either via the draft or Ballard)
3) We need a WR with some size who is more of a threat to run some different routes in the route tree. Doesn't need to be elite, but needs to be someone who is "open even when they are covered" and draws some attention away from the middle of the field against the nickel.