Underdogs Once Again

Out To Lunch Underdogs Once Again

Posted in Out To Lunch
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We’re getting into the back half of the week now, and that means we can to a certain extent begin flipping the page into Week 2 of the NFL season, dwelling less on the heartbreaking loss suffered on Monday night. While it’s never ideal, nor familiar, for the Ravens to be starting their campaign 0-1, it is refreshing to move on.

With that in mind, let’s start with some housekeeping:

In an effort to bolster a suddenly glaring positional group, Baltimore did bring back OT Andre Smith after he was cut from the Practice Squad last week.

Smith will once again be a member of the PS for the Ravens, but after the surprisingly poor performance by Alejandro Villanueva on Monday night, fans – and potentially coaches – are clamoring for a fresh face at right tackle. Throw in the loss of Tyre Phillips and this decision was a no-brainer for GM Eric DeCosta. It’s unlikely Smith is a certain fix given his departure before the Raiders game, but don’t be surprised when he gets some looks if Villanueva continues to struggle.

In addition to Smith, CB Kevin Seymour was added to the Baltimore Practice Squad, while DB Anthony Levine Sr. and NT Justin Ellis were promoted to the 53-man roster.

While there were some roster changes around familiar faces returning or being called up, Trenton Cannon has seen his stay in Baltimore cut short. The Ravens cut Cannon on Tuesday following the game, but he was quickly snapped-up by the 49ers, who had their star RB Raheem Mostert suffer a season-ending injury in Week 1.

Against Las Vegas on Monday night, Cannon had two carries for five yards and was not targeted in the passing game. Though he may have been brought in for Special Teams help, as well, Baltimore’s staff deemed him expendable despite the lingering uncertainty at the position.

Moving on to Sunday night’s bout with the 1-0 Kansas City Chiefs, it appears the Ravens will once again be underdogs against Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes and company. This isn’t much of a surprise, but take a look at the lack of confidence NFL Network pundits have in Baltimore:

The brave Mark Dulgerian stands alone in envisioning Lamar Jackson’s first win against the Chiefs. To be fair, Vegas seems to side with the majority on this one, too. With the spread currently set at -3.5 in favor of KC, this will be the first time Baltimore is an underdog by three points or more with Jackson starting. There’s no doubt, it’ll be a tall task.

The good news is, it doesn’t seem that the Chiefs will be getting any sort of boost from newly acquired OT Orlando Brown, Jr. The former Raven could certainly offer some inside information on blocking schemes and offensive strategy from his own time in Baltimore, but take a look at how he’s been handling the nagging KC coaches:

I have to imagine that is not the response Spagnuolo wanted when he asked the question of Brown, Jr. But hey, as a fan, I love that for certain things the loyalty lasts. I’m sure Harbaugh and Roman will appreciate this outlook on things from Brown, but still, he will absolutely be a mountain for the defense to move once the ball is snapped.

Facing KC is a tough task made even tougher considering the urgency to win after an 0-1 start. The Ravens will be desperate for a victory over Mahomes in their first home game of the season, which makes the fact that fans are back in M&T Bank Stadium even more important. Baltimore supporters didn’t have the opportunity to make a ruckus against the Chiefs on Monday Night Football last season, but “Flock Nation,” as Jackson refers to them, will be out in full-force on Sunday in hopes of helping the Ravens exact their revenge.

Star CB Marlon Humphrey echoed Jackson’s sentiment Wednesday afternoon, maybe even going a step further, claiming that having the fans pack the stadium is what he fell in love with as a Raven.

With M&T Bank Stadium rocking, Humphrey is likely to fall in love with being a Raven all over again.

Of course, getting off to an 0-2 start will be worrisome, and there’s no doubt Baltimore will feel that more than the electricity of a fan-filled atmosphere. But as we turn the corner into the weekend, let’s make sure we appreciate the opportunity to pack the Bank once again. This moment has been nearly two years in the making.

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About Aidan Griesser

Aidan Griesser is a student at Boston College but don't worry, the evil influence of Boston sports can't sway his devotion to the Baltimore Ravens and Orioles! Aidan's from Annapolis and previously worked with the B-More Opinionated podcast for two years. When it comes to sports writing, Aidan is interested in the ins-and-outs of every league and has an affinity for hot takes! More from Aidan Griesser
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