The feeling around Baltimore has gone from ‘doom and gloom’ after a heartbreaking OT loss to the Raiders in Week 1, to “pure elation meets unrivaled swagger” after a thrilling victory over the Chiefs in Week Two.
It’s truly remarkable what winning can do for a fanbase and morale!
It’s even more remarkable to look at this hobbled Ravens squad and truly understand that the Ravens were able to overcome a fully healthy (like not a single person on the injury report, when have you ever seen that?!) and extremely talented Chiefs team, despite the notable absences of nearly a dozen players!
Could you even imagine the Ravens’ upside in that game on Sunday with those added bodies? L.J. Fort and Jimmy Smith better equipped to better cover Travis Kelce… Marcus Peters locking down the outside opposite Marlon Humphrey… an even more solid wall around Lamar Jackson had Ronnie Stanley & Tyre Philips been healthy… Nick Boyle paving the road for J.K. Dobbins to take off…
Feels like the Ravens could’ve blown out KC if all things injury-related were equal, right?
Even better for Baltimore, some of the absentees should be back in short order, including Boyle, Rashod Bateman, Philips, and Jimmy Smith. With these players returning, along with the hopeful return of Brandon Williams (back at practice) and DeShon Elliott by Sunday, and possibly a Stanley return sooner than later?
The sky is once again the limit for the Ravens.
About Last Week…
Ravens 36 Chiefs 35
We all know how this game went down. Some of us watched it a couple times just to be sure that it wasn’t a dream. As such, let’s just roll the highlights:
- Lamar Jackson put a stiff arm into Daniel Sorenson’s chest and sent him packing
- Ty’Son Williams continues a productive ‘rookie’ season (technically Year 2, but never saw a snap in Year 1) with a 6.5 ypc clip to date.
- The Lamar Jackson flip TD!!!
- Anthony Averett owned Tyreek Hill on a Mahomes target to the point that Hill took to Twitter to whine about it.
- Defensive Player of the Week, Odafe Oweh, with shades of Sizzle in that defensive effort on the forced/recovered fumble late in the game.
- Lamar seals the victory with a 4th & 1 carry to run out the clock.
HUGE victory for the Ravens, but now it’s on the Lions!
Ravens @ Lions, Sun 1 pm
While we shouldn’t overlook any opponent, the Ravens are facing a Lions team that’s allowed 76 points through two weeks, has shown that they can be beat through the air or on the ground, and has a shortage of talent on offense. Nevertheless, this is the NFL and the Lions have shown that they can surely compete with anyone (just look at the three-TD 4th quarter against the 49ers in Week 1).
A few quick thoughts on this game…
- Can the defense finally stop an opposing Tight End? TJ Hockenson is a Tier 2 NFL Tight End, and his connection with Jared Goff will surely be showcased on Sunday.
- Can the Ravens pass rush get home? The Lions have kept Goff relatively clean (three sacks on 96 drop backs) while the Baltimore defense has struggled to sack the signal callers (three sacks on 87 drop backs).
- Can Baltimore continue to stop the run? D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams will be the most formidable backfield the Ravens have seen to date, and both have great pass catching abilities as well.
- Can the makeshift Offensive Line continue to thrive? They did well against the Chiefs, and the Lions will surely look to test them on Sunday. I’ll also be watching the Ben Cleveland vs. Ben Powers rotation at Left Guard to see if there’s any leaning to one player over the other.
Through two games, the Lions have allowed opposing running backs to shred them, to the tune of the collective following stat lines:
46 carries for 220 yards (5.0ypc) and 3 TDs
Eight receptions on eight targets for 71 yards and 3 TDs
That’s 291 all-purpose yards and six touchdowns allowed by the Lions… to just opposing Running Backs…and they haven’t seen the Ravens ground game yet!
With that in mind, I’m giving Ty’Son Williams, Latavius Murray and Devonta Freeman all a touchdown in this game, with a collective 250 all-purpose yards. Let’s throw in another 50 yards on the ground for Lamar to go with a pair of passing touchdowns to Josh Oliver and Hollywood Brown to keep his TD streak alive.
You do the math- that’s F-I-V-E touchdowns for the Ravens offense.
Defensively, I think we’ll see a mixed bag once again. I think Goff and Hockenson will have their moments and put up some points, but this will ultimately be a turnover happy game for the Rams, as Goff throws a pair of picks (Humphrey, Patrick Queen) and gets devoured in the backfield four times (Oweh x2, Justin Houston, Malik Harrison), including a fumble for the second straight week.
Solid and effective offense. Suffocating defense that creates turnovers. Tyler Huntley is on the field halfway through the 4th quarter in a route. On to the Colts!
Ravens 41 Lions 20
Best of the Rest
What games should you flip to during Raves commercial breaks? What’s good on the 4 pm slate? How does the prime time schedule look? We’ve gotcha covered!
Seahawks (-1.5) @ Vikings. Sun 4:25pm. Two teams coming off heartbreaking losses in Week 2… so naturally, this ends in a tie.
Packers @ 49ers (-3.0). SNF @ 8:20pm. Both teams have shown us they can score… or not show up on offense. Both teams have also shown stout defense… and a train wreck effort. I’m looking to Aaron Rodgers to show the 49ers “you should’ve traded for me” in this one.
With yesterday being the first day of Fall and the weather starting to dip, I think we can start discussing the important aspects of this season…
Top-5 Fall Football Foods
- Fall beer. Give me an Oktoberfest, or a Pumpkin Ale any day of the season. Maybe even a cider, we’re not here to judge.
- Hot Dips… and a fall beer. Dips are good, but hot dips in the fall are absolutely amazing. I’m talking chili con queso, spinach dip, buffalo chicken dip, crack dip (if you don’t know, Google it), then raid your pantry and dip whatever you want in it.
- Sliders… to go with your fall beer. Pulled pork sliders? Beef sliders? Hell, you wanna do sloppy joe sliders and bring back your childhood? Just a hand-held slice of heaven on a bun.
- Chili… and a fall beer. My wife does the white chili (and does it damn well!), while I’m more of a red chili guy who grew habaneros in the garden specifically for this season and this purpose.
- Any kind of meat on the smoker… with a fall beer. Grilling is great, but throwing a pork butt or some short ribs or wings on the smoker? It’s a true labor of love.