The Baltimore Ravens are now at 3-1 after an upset win over the rival Steelers in Pittsburgh on Sunday Night Football. Once more tied for the lead in the division, Baltimore has a lot of strengths to take credit for their strong start.
The productive play from their rookie class is certainly one of them and they again played a role in helping the team towards victory against the Steelers. Let’s take a look at some of their contributions, as well as what to expect moving forward:
If Lamar Jackson didn’t already have a few solid nicknames, the above one would be appropriate. His usage this season has received mixed reviews at best, but on Sunday he provided a spark in certain instances.
He carried the ball four times for 17 yards, but his mere presence opened up running lanes for Alex Collins, particularly in the red zone. It appears Marty Morninwheg may be figuring out how to utilize him.
The Bit Players
It was a quiet night for the skill guys, as we only saw tangible contributions from Mark Andrews and De’Lance Turner. Andrews caught two balls for 12 yards while Turner chipped in a four yard rush and a 10 yard catch.
Orlando Brown Jr. was on the field in certain situations to help pass block, though it appears reports of James Hurst’s demise may have been greatly exaggerated. If he can continue to hold up in pass pro, the Ravens may not need Zeus Jr. to step up anytime soon.
The Milk Carton Squad
After exploding onto the scene in the first three weeks, Kenny Young was nowhere to be found in this one, though there are some obvious factors in play there. C.J. Mosley re-entering the lineup automatically splits his snaps in half, though it would be good to see Young continue to stuff the stat sheet going forward if they can find a way to get him onto the field a bit more.
It’s also worth mentioning that Hayden Hurst came close to suiting up in this one, which is something to keep an eye on considering we’ve yet to see him. With a big game coming up in Cleveland next Sunday, it would be great to see Baltimore’s first draft pick finally get on the field next week.
At the end of the day, Sunday night was as much of a team win as you’ll see for Baltimore this season, meaning no massive individual effort was needed to achieve it. This is especially true for the rookies who had a bit of a quiet night overall, but don’t discount them continuing to help out more moving forward.
With an important road stretch on tap, the Ravens will need all the help they can get. More dynamic plays from Jackson, Andrews, Young, and hopefully Hurst should help see that they’re up to the task.