The Stock Down is up first this week, for obvious reasons.
Let’s start with Marlon Humphrey who, after an encouraging game last week, had the worst game of his career. To be fair, Ja’Marr Chase is making a lot of cornerbacks say that this season. Chase and Joe Burrow did whatever they wanted, with Humphrey often the closest defender in coverage.
Let’s talk some records. The Ravens have now allowed 2,073 passing yards, which is their worst mark through seven games in franchise history. Burrow set his career high in passing yards with 416. Chase had the first 200-yard game of his career, and Burrow became the first player to throw for more than 400 yards and three touchdowns against the Ravens in Baltimore.
The pass defense was horrid on Sunday, and it started with Humphrey.
Giving up 250 yards hurts I gotta play better….time to get back in the Lab
— Marlon Humphrey (@marlon_humphrey) October 24, 2021
It isn’t being talked about as much as some other player’s struggles, but Humphrey — outside of last week — has not been himself this season. To quote my Stock Report from last week where I had Humphrey as a riser:
“I don’t think anyone was beginning to seriously doubt Humphrey, but there were no splash plays or big pass breakups to be excited about. The signature forced fumbles or impactful PBUs weren’t there. Humphrey’s play on Sunday shouldn’t shock anyone, but it does feel good to see him back at the level we know he can reach.”
Turns out maybe he isn’t back to that level. It’s been more bad than good for the All-Pro this season. He has the bye week to correct it, but it’ll be on him to turn his season around.
Replacing Patrick Mekari at right tackle midway through quarter two, Tyre Phillips had a tough time winning one-on-one battles and was a big reason the group of running backs combined for 29 yards on 11 attempts.
He struggled with Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard, looking overmatched versus Hubbard’s power and unprepared for his pass rush moves. He finished with 2.5 sacks, a new career high for the 26-year-old pass rusher.
It was the one unit the Ravens could not afford another loss in. Three key contributors up front have either spent time or are currently on injured reserve, only two lineman are still at their respective Week 1 positions and the group of bench and practice squad lineman has been a revolving door of veterans no one else wanted.
Looking long term, if Mekari is to miss any significant time with what was ruled an ankle injury, the offensive line that’s already been through hell and back faces another big obstacle. Philips is solid depth with valuable versatility, but he isn’t the guy you want starting at tackle for any stretch of games.
The 32-year-old nose tackle is making $10.5 million this season. Brandon Williams is the sixth highest-paid Raven and the third highest paid on defense.
He’s 16th on the team in tackles with 12. He has one tackle for loss and ranks behind several defensive backs. He has yet to register a QB hit this season and has just one since the start of 2020, and the Bengals ran all over him.
The job of being a run-stuffing, disruptive nose tackle isn’t getting done, and it hasn’t for a couple years now. Yet, he gets paid like one. He struggles to get push off the line, get into the backfield and get off blocks.
It’s easily the biggest black hole in terms of cap dollars on the team. Looking ahead to next year, Williams is a free agent and his chances of sticking around into 2022 are slim. A number of players that are more influential to the team’s success are due for extensions (Lamar Jackson, Bradley Bozeman, DeShon Elliott, Anthony Averett). We’re seeing the end of a disappointing decline for one of the Ravens’ best defensive lineman ever.
Eighty yards on just three catches in only his second game is an awesome showing for the rookie. Unfortunately, it was overshadowed by the opposing rookie receiver, but we can still appreciate how well Rashod Bateman played and what it means moving forward.
All three of his receptions went for more than 20 yards with an average depth of target of 15 yards. He showed some nice run after the catch ability, too, taking a slant on an RPO for a 20-yard gain, and worked downfield well on his other two catches.
The usage and production are increasing from week to week. Expect it to take off after the bye.
If Williams is the least efficient use of cap dollars on the defense, Justin Houston is the most. His one-year deal that can reach up to $4 million with incentives is looking like an absolute bargain as he’s turned into one of the team’s best pass rushers, ranking third on the team in both pressures and sacks.
He dominated Bengals left tackle Jonah Williams on Sunday starting on the very first snap of the game where he forced Burrow to leave the pocket and throw the ball away. On the next play he got to and hit Burrow, although he was able to get the throw off. Then, he worked down the line on a run to the opposite side flawlessly and was there to bring the runner down for a short gain when he tried to cut back. On the final play of the drive before the Bengals punted, Houston beat Williams and nearly got to Burrow before he threw incomplete. He added some more pressures throughout the remainder of the game as well.
He’s sneakily been one of the defense’s best players this season while being one of the cheapest. Taking those aspects into account, his value has been impressive for a guy no other team wanted.