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Ravens News 10/11: Brown as returner?, Offensive lineman grades and more

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Denver Broncos v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

4 stats to know as the Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans prepare to square off in Week 6 - Aaron Kasinitz

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota’s 72.3 passer rating is the fourth worst in the NFL among players who’ve attempted at least 50 passes this season

It wasn’t too long ago Mariota was considered one of the NFL’s brightest rising stars, but injuries and ineffectiveness stunted his ascent. Mariota, who remains a dangerous quarterback with the ability to make plays with his feet and his arm, has throws four interceptions and two touchdown passes this season.

Why it matters Sunday

The Ravens have the NFL’s best statistical pass defense this year, and they’ll aim to build on their success against the Titans’ shaky attack. Perhaps Mariota’s ball security could also dictate how Sunday’s game unfolds. The Ravens are 3-0 this year when they win the turnover battle and 0-2 when they lose it, so the team’s defensive backs will have reason to try to jump a pass or two in Tennessee.

Hopefully Marlon Humphrey, C.J. Mosley, Jimmy Smith and/or Eric Weddle can record their first interceptions of the season in Week 6.

Should Ravens replace Hurst with Brown? - Ken McKusick

Skura: Matt had a difficult game, primarily against DT Larry Ogunjobi. Of his pass rush events, he was bulled by Ogunjobi for 3 pressures and a QH. He was also beaten left once by the Browns DT. He seemed to be blocking Trevon Coley effectively (Q2, 3:06), then released him for an instant before the play was over that led to the flush and sack for which I gave him 5/6 of the charge. He made 2 blocks in level 2, but did not have a pancake, pull, or highlight.

Scoring: 84 plays, 74 blocks, 2 missed, .5 penetrations, 4 pressures, 1.5 QH, .83 sacks, 55.5 points (.66 per play). That’s a high F after adjustment at center (.03 short of a D-). This continued the season-long streak where Matt’s personal score mirrored the team’s result.

Matt Skura’s inability to anchor will not be given reprieve with defensive tackles such as Jurrell Casey, Kawaan Short, Geno Atkins and Gerald McCoy on the upcoming schedule.

NFL Offensive Line Rankings: All 32 team’s units after Week 5 - Mike Renner


Left Tackle: Ronnie Stanley, 75.4

Left Guard: Alex Lewis, 54.6

Center: Matt Skura, 62.8

Right Guard: Marshal Yanda, 74.9

Right Tackle: James Hurst, 58.7

Ronnie Stanley has very much lived up to the scouting report on him coming out of college. The Notre Dame left tackle took about as smooth a pass-sets as you’ll see at that level, but he had play strength and run blocking issues. This season, his 82.8 pass-block grade and 64.3 run-block grade tell the exact same story.

After a seemingly slow start to the season, Ronnie Stanely has rebounded rather well. At the other tackle spot, however, James Hurst has not been as impressive as he was in Week 3 against Von Miller.

John Brown Will Get a Look at Returner - Ryan Mink

Asked about the Ravens’ ongoing search for a solution at returner, Head Coach John Harbaugh casually threw out wide receiver John Brown as a possibility.

“I probably shouldn’t have even said anything, because now it’s going to be a big story, and it doesn’t need to be,” Harbaugh said with a chuckle. “But, if he’s back there returning punts, it’ll be exciting. He’ll have to catch it first, just like everybody else, and hold onto it next. Sorry I said anything, to be honest with you.”

“[Cyrus Jones is] in the mix,” Harbaugh said, also listing Brown and Willie Snead IV as options. “Obviously, the thing about Tim [White] and Janarion [Grant], we could bring those guys up on Saturday if we wanted to. … I guess we’ll just kind of find out on Sunday and let them figure out who it’s going to be.”

The Ravens should be awfully careful about exposing the injury prone John Brown, arguably their team MVP so far this season, to extra hits as a kick returner.