This season, I managed to cover 14* of 16 possible Baltimore Ravens games and follow up with my famous (or infamous) Ravens vs. [Opponent] final: MVP, stock-up & stock-down submission. It’s now time to roll it back to Week 1 and check out what I liked and disliked through the season.
- Joe Flacco: W1, W3
- John Brown: W4
- Defense: W6
- Lamar Jackson: W11
- Justin Tucker: W13
- Referees: W14**
Flacco was locked in to start the season with his new trio of weapons at receiver. The Bills defense couldn’t handle the passing attack (in the pouring rain, no less) as he carved them up for three touchdowns (one to each new receiver). He also followed up his dud of a game against the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium with another game MVP nomination against the Denver Broncos. Then, a week later, he and John Brown bullied the Pittsburgh Steelers secondary. Brown caught his third touchdown in four weeks and added 116 yards on only three receptions. It really is a shame the offense became stale and teams adjusted to counter the one-dimensional game with Joe at quarterback.
- Lamar Jackson: W12, W15, W17
- Terrell Suggs: W12
- Marlon Humphrey: W15
- Brandon Carr: W16
- Patrick Onwuasor: W16
- C.J. Mosley: W17
- Jimmy Smith: W17
As the season wore on, I became a sucker for not giving one man all the glory. In all fairness, these names deserved recognition. From Terrell Suggs’ strip-sack on the Raiders for the game-sealing touchdown to Carr’s first-play pick on Philip Rivers and finally, C.J. Mosley’s game-winning fourth-down interception to bring Baltimore back to the playoffs, these all deserved mention. Also, the Lamar Jackson era is established rather quickly as he won MVP in Week 11 and followed it up with three Co-MVPs in six weeks. Maybe I was lenient due to the rookie’s highlights and ability but Jackson won football games and was one of the greatest factors in changing this team from 4-5 to 10-6 with a divisional title.
|Player||MVP||Co-MVP||Stock Up||Stock Down|
|Player||MVP||Co-MVP||Stock Up||Stock Down|
|Anthony Levine Sr.||2|
|Robert Griffin III||1|
|Anybody Covering AJ Green||1|
|Special Teams blocking||1|
- Joe played good until he didn’t. Those first four weeks were certainly exciting.
- The rookie has big shoes to fill next season and with eight games of film for all to see, his development will be important.
- Justin Tucker received the most stock-up nods and also earned an MVP. I did not dock him for his first missed PAT since high school, either, meaning he also had the highest positive marks without a negative.
- Marlon Humphrey’s career as a Raven will be exciting. He performed excellently.
- Patrick Onwuasor is a force and it’s worth wondering if the front office will opt to keep him to pair with Kenny Young and let Mosley venture into the great cap space beyond.
- Willie Snead earned the most stock-ups without an MVP or Co-MVP nod. It’s great to see he is signed through next season.
- Two rookies are at the top of the stock-up list (Gus Edwards & Mark Andrews), will be worth watching next year. Mercy, did the Ravens hit on their third-round picks in 2018.
- I don’t forget to praise the special teams unit as I have both Sam Koch and Justin Tucker on these lists frequently. Seriously though, Jerry Rosburg and Randy Brown are incredible with their selections.
- Za’Darius Smith will more than likely hit the big bucks elsewhere, though I wish he’d stick with Don Martindale and this ferocious defense. He played a great part with this unique blitz-scheme and his tenacity is something all defensive coaches look for when drafting.
- The safety marks show a different story than we’ve previously assumed. Tony Jefferson received four stock-ups while Eric Weddle received four stock-downs. Quite interesting when I argue in Weddle’s favor when Logan and I talk about the safety play, yet my own written word proves his point. Maybe the Ravens shouldn’t take him back in 2019?
- Javorius Allen never played badly, all of my stock-downs were due to Kenneth Dixon, Ty Montgomery and Gus usurping his role.
Obviously, my rankings aren’t calculated and statistically backed. These were posted during the games and/or immediately following, meaning they amplified both the successes and the failures of players. It also doesn’t show the good games by players in the trenches or anything without true highlights. For instance, I never have Marshal Yanda or Matt Skura specifically mentioned, only “offensive line”.
Also, I gave more stock-ups to younger players or those who were not well established. I also gave stock-downs to veterans and starters far more quickly than those who were new, unless they made grave mistakes (Janarion Grant, for instance).
I felt it would be interesting for all to see just how the team did when looking back. We are quick to forget just how crazy this season was.