Midseason testimony: Positional grades for the Ravens’ 5-3 start – Mike Preston
It’s no coincidence that the offensive line has improved, particularly with run blocking, since Pro Bowl left tackle Ronnie Stanley returned against the Bengals on Oct. 9. Stanley has played at a high level despite missing 31 games since suffering his original ankle injury in November 2020. and his presence gives this group a confidence boost. Left-back Ben Powers is enjoying the best season of his four-year career. Right tackle Morgan Moses excels at run blocking and right guard Kevin Zeitler has outperformed any of his linemates. Rookie center Tyler Linderbaum struggled Thursday with a big nose guard playing above him, but he gets to the second level and cuts down linebackers. The Ravens still need to improve their pass protection, which wasn’t an issue earlier in the season. Grade B
The Ravens pulled an average performance out of this group, but can do better with some creativity from offensive coordinator Greg Roman and better accuracy from Jackson. Reigning All-Pro tight end Mark Andrews (42 catches, 488 yards, five touchdowns) is Jackson’s favorite receiver and had another strong year, but the Ravens need to include speedy Devin Duvernay (24 catches, 313 yards, three touchdowns). . more than receiver and running back. Sophomore Rashod Bateman would be more effective if he could stay healthy — he’s out for a few weeks after picking up a foot injury against Tampa Bay last week. Rookie tight end Isaiah Likely and veteran wideout Demarcus Robinson have become options in recent weeks. Jackson needs to be better at reading the outside of the field so Robinson can become more of a downfield weapon, and Roman needs to learn how to use more rubs and combinations and clear routes instead of just allowing Jackson 30 times in one Half throwing he did against Tampa Bay. Class: C
Week 9 NFL Power Rankings: 6-1 Vikings hold their ground in our top 5 – Austin Gayle
Deep postseason contender
4. Baltimore Ravens (5-3, last week: 4)
The Ravens’ dropback passing game remains an issue, but Lamar Jackson and the quick attack keep the offense from cratering. Baltimore ranks first in EPA per rush (0.12) and second in yards from first contact per attempt (2.29). This supremely efficient rushing attack has given the Ravens double-digit leads in every game they’ve played this season and the third-highest point spread in the league (73) in the first three quarters of games. That The price of Jackson’s renewal is getting higher every week.
Roquan Smith Makes Ravens Defense More Formidable, Dangerous, and Versatile – Jeff Zrebiec
More than anything, Smith is a legitimate playmaker at his best mid-defense. So the Ravens pulled the deal. In their three losses this season, the Ravens’ defense collapsed in the fourth quarter. Even in three of their wins, the Ravens struggled to get stops late in games.
That was a source of great frustration for Ravens coaches and executives. If a Baltimore defensive player had been able to play late — a sack, an interception, even a fourth-down stop — against the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills and New York Giants — those losses would have been avoided.
The Ravens have a lot of good defenses. What they’ve lacked is an elite playmaker in their first seven to finish a game. Smith’s presence guarantees nothing to the Ravens, but adding someone of his talent and ability certainly makes Mike Macdonald’s defense that much more impressive, dangerous and versatile.
Ravens have a built-in formula for success with the addition of Roquan Smith – Todd Karpovich
The addition of inside linebacker Roquan Smith to Ravens may mask some of the offense issues that haven’t added an elite wide receiver in free agency that can lift opposing defenses to the front.
That confidence centers on offensive coordinator Greg Roman.
“I think they can make it to the championship just because I think Greg Roman will continue to develop like he showed in the last game against Tampa Bay,” said Amazon’s Richard Sherman. “They went and tried because everyone is complaining that they run, run, predictably, predictably, predictably run, so he throws the ball three times in the first half just to prove a point and then returns in the second return to their bread and butter half and win the game.
“I literally played in a division where he played on the Stanford football team that went to the Orange Bowl with him. And he’s a great play caller and he can work with what he’s got. And I think it’s going to be defensive where they have to answer the bell because in the playoffs you have a good running game but it’s going to be a tight ball game.
The Baltimore Ravens’ unique approach proves to be the perfect antithesis of NFL groupthink – Terry O’Neil
The Ravens told us in April how they plan to play by trading their WR1, Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, and then not replacing him in the draft despite having 11 picks.
They tell us by using a full-back on 71 percent of offensive snaps. They tell us by leading the league in frequency of 2 and 3 tight end formations. And they tell us with rostering — a WR room that costs $6.9 million against the cap, a TE room (the NFL’s best) that costs $15.8 million.
Inexplicably, Baltimore deviated from his philosophy in the first half last Thursday night in Tampa Bay, throwing 30 passes against just seven runs and scoring just three points.
At halftime, the offensive line, the top five in the league, begged offensive coordinator Greg Roman to “lead the f-ing ball.” The result: 26 second-half rushes for 204 yards that elevate their ground attack to second in the league.
NFL Week 9 Picks: Underdog Titans shock Chiefs, Buccaneers beat Rams, Saints stun Ravens on Monday night – John Breech
Baltimore (5-3) at New Orleans (3-5)
In theory, this should be the easiest game in Week 9, and that’s mostly because Lamar Jackson almost never loses against NFC teams (he’s 13-1) and Andy Dalton almost never wins prime-time games (he’s 6-19 as Starter). in his career).
In his last six prime-time starts, Dalton is 0-6 and he has thrown nine interceptions compared to just eight touchdowns. Additionally, Dalton’s team has dropped an average of 22 points per game in those six losses.
That being said, the last time Dalton won a game in prime time it was against the Ravens and I think he can lead the Saints to an upset here. The Ravens are in dire straits – Rashod Bateman will definitely not play, while Gus Edwards and Mark Andrews are both struggling with injuries that could keep them from doing so – and although conventional wisdom says I should never pick Dalton in a prime-time game , I have decided to throw conventional wisdom out the window this week.
The selection: Saints 23-20 over Ravens