The Ravens extended their win streak to five on the back of another dominant performance by Lamar Jackson. The Bengals were overmatched all afternoon and several rookies played their part in helping the team improve to 7-2 on the season.
It didn’t take long for the rookie playmaker to make his mark in this one, connecting on a bomb from Jackson on the first play of the game. The play was reminiscent of the fireworks we saw in week one and really set the tone for the rest of the afternoon. Late in the third quarter, he connected with Jackson again, this time finding the endzone from 20-yards out. Brown ran a fantastic route, gaining separation as Jackson released the ball at the last possible second. The chemistry between Jackson and Brown is undeniable and only looks to be gaining steam, both on and off the field. When they aren’t connecting on highlight reel plays, they are driving to practice together, attending local high school games and producing great media content which has helped make this team so likeable. Brown ended the day with four catches for 80 yards and a touchdown and will now look to build upon this performance as his health continues to improve. The rookie phenom now sits at 28 catches for 454 yards and four touchdowns, including a per catch average of 16.2 yards.
It was another quiet game for Boykin as he failed to make it onto the stat sheet for the second straight week. Finishing with 21 snaps on the day, he trailed only Willie Snead in the receiver room for playing time. The lack of production isn’t entirely a knock on his progression as a receiver but more so a result of an offense that heavily features three different tight ends as receivers. The opportunities simply aren’t there in the current make up of the offense. Boykin will continue to see playing time being an asset in the running game by blocking effectively, and eventually some opportunities through the air will follow. Until then, he sits at nine catches for 131 yards and two touchdowns.
Continuing in his limited role, Hill finished the day with three attempts for 11 yards in a game where the running game was surprisingly not relied upon as expected. Even back up running back Gus Edwards saw lower volume than usual, so it’s not a surprise to see Hill utilized so sparingly. Anytime he touches the ball, you can see the burst and speed that made him such an exciting product, but the opportunities simply haven’t been there. With De’Anthony Thomas now in the fold, it looks like he won’t be seeing kick return opportunities either. Injuries are always a possibility and Hill will continue to remain active on game day in case of an emergency, but beyond that he looks like a player for the future.
Ferguson continues to make his mark on the defense as a player on the rise, totaling 51 snaps which accounted for 68-percent of the plays. This was good for second most out of all outside linebacker, trailing only Matthew Judon and once again out-snapping Tyus Bowser. Still a work in progress, Ferguson has shown continued growth and comfort playing in a much larger role since Pernell McPhee went down for the season. He continues to be a force with his inside rush as his speed rush on the outside continues to develop. He is a physical presence with a solid bull rush, helping to collapse the pocket and open rush lanes for other defenders to disrupt the backfield. He finished the day with four combined tackles, but now a primary player on the defense, his play will need to continue to improve on a team that needs all the pass rush help it can get. The Ravens will surely welcome some sacks from the NCAA all time leader in that department.
Mekari was active for the ninth straight week and recorded 11 snaps in the fourth quarter in relief for the starters. The Ravens coaching staff likes Mekari enough to have him active on game day as one of the primary backups in case of injury. He continues to get the nod over fellow rookie Ben Powers who has yet to be active this season.
OG Ben Powers
DT Daylon Mack
QB Trace McSorley
LB Otaro Alaka (IR)