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OTL: Ravens-Steelers as a Thanksgiving Tradition?

Ravens Thanksgiving OTL
original photo: Evan Habeeb/USA Today Sports
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This Wednesday brought good news about a player many seem to have forgotten about, as free agent acquisition S Marcus Williams returned to practice:

In his first two games as a Raven, Williams played extremely well, notching three interceptions and proving that GM Eric DeCosta made the right call getting the defense a true ball hawk at the back end of the secondary.

Baltimore’s defense has been taking the ball away at a nice clip, but getting Williams back will provide an additional boost to a unit that’s been very strong in recent weeks. Along with his ability to cause chaos and force turnovers, Williams will also allow DC Mike Macdonald to use his array of safeties in a variety of ways.

Whether Macdonald wants veteran S Chuck Clark to be the experienced leader of his secondary or utilize rookie Kyle Hamilton as a Swiss army knife, Williams will fit perfectly as the centerfielder.

Where I see this being most impactful is in relation to Hamilton, whose play has been a huge part in Baltimore’s improved defense. The former Notre Dame stud has really turned it on as of late, and he’s an illustration of the fact that Macdonald’s unit doesn’t only pass the eye test, but is also improving statistically:

Hamilton could continue to be unlocked with Williams’ return, and I’m pumped to see it play out.

What dampens my excitement a bit is the injury report, where you’ll notice the rookie did not practice on Wednesday.

Still, Hamilton is day-to-day, according to Harbaugh:

On the flip side, though, the Jacksonville Jaguars did not have any injuries coming off a BYE week:

A lot of fans might think this is an easy win for Baltimore, but going to face a team with an extra week to prepare is never easy, especially when they’re at full health.

We must not forget, the Jaguars are a talented team. A few weeks into the campaign, they looked a potential playoff contender, claiming impressive wins over the Colts and Chargers before hitting a skid. With a young offense and a defense that cannot be overlooked, the Ravens must be careful.

They’ll have to be particularly careful with rookie RB Travis Etienne, though.

Baltimore did well against Alvin Kamara a few weeks back, but how will they fare against a faster version of the shifty Saints RB? I wouldn’t go as far to say Etienne has surpassed him just yet, but he is an incredibly dangerous weapon for QB Trevor Lawrence, both as a runner and receiver.

Despite Etienne’s presence, I’m optimistic that the Ravens will be just fine.

Changing topics slightly, Harbaugh had a funny moment in his press conference on Wednesday, pitching an annual Ravens vs. Steelers game on Thanksgiving:

Unfortunately, regardless of how storied the rivalry is, it just isn’t old enough in my opinion. Still, I’m here for the idea.

Either way, we should be full of football after getting full on food this afternoon. Here’s the NFL’s Thanksgiving Day slate:

Let’s eat!

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