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Ravens News 12/19: ‘Knocking out the run’ and more

Baltimore Ravens v Cleveland Browns

Week 15 DVOA Ratings - Aaron Schatz

The New Orleans Saints are the big risers in this week’s Football Outsiders DVOA ratings. The top three remain the same from last week, even though Baltimore, New England, and San Francisco all saw their ratings go down. (For Baltimore and New England, this was related to changes in opponent adjustments, not bad games of their own.)

The Ravens climb up our list of the best teams in DVOA history even though their rating dropped a little bit this week. It just turns out that some of the other great teams in history also saw their ratings drop a bit after Week 15. At this point, the Ravens rank below only four teams in history, one of which only played 12 games because of a strike.

Twelve Takeaways From the NFL’s Pro Bowl Rosters - Riley McAtee

The Rams Traded a Pro Bowler for a Fifth-Round Pick

One last Ravens thought: Baltimore got one of its Pro Bowlers in Peters for almost nothing, sending just a fifth-round pick (plus special teamer Kenny Young) to the Rams for the talented corner before the NFL’s trade deadline. Peters has three interceptions (two of which he returned for touchdowns) with the Ravens (he had another pick-six with the Rams), and has graded out at Pro Football Focus’s third-best corner on the season. He’s been an absolute steal, and while Baltimore’s offense has stolen most of the spotlight, the team has a top-five defense by DVOA.

Ravens Don’t Want Kudos Until They Stop Nick Chubb - Ryan Mink

After the Ravens pulled to just six points down in the fourth quarter, Browns running back Nick Chubb took the next play from scrimmage 88 yards to the end zone – plunging a dagger into the Ravens’ defense.

“It ate at us for a while and I feel like it’s still eating at us,” Onwuasor said. “I feel like going out there and knocking out the run will put us over the top, but we’re always going to think about that big run in the back of our heads.”

The play of run-stuffing defensive tackle Brandon Williams has also helped Baltimore become one of the best rushing defenses in the league (ranked No. 5 overall). Williams didn’t play in that Browns game because of a knee injury that made him a late addition to the injury report.

Ravens vs. Browns preview: 5 things to know about Cleveland’s next opponent - Ellis L. Williams

Baltimore uses two tight ends better than any team

Mark Andrews became a favorite target of Jackson early. Andrews started the season with back-to-back 100-yard, eight catch performances. He leads all tight ends in touchdowns and has scored twice over the past three weeks.

Last year, the Ravens selected tight end Hayden Hurst 25th overall, seven selections ahead of Jackson. Hurst has yet to surpass Andrews as the Ravens No. 1 pass-catching option at the position, but since the Ravens run a lot of two and even three tight end sets, he’s an important part of the Ravens offense as both a receiver and blocker.

With Andrews, Hurst and starter Nick Boyle, the Ravens feature tight ends that are going to cause the Browns issues in the run game between the 20s. In the red zone, Jackson knows where his big bodies are to finish drives.

Baltimore Ravens’ Ronnie Stanley, Chris Board return to practice - Aaron Kasinitz

Baltimore Ravens Pro Bowl left tackle Ronnie Stanley and reserve inside linebacker Chris Board returned to practice Wednesday after spending last week in concussion protocol.

Stanley, in his fourth NFL season, has emerged as a star protecting quarterback Lamar Jackosn’s blindside.

Board ranks second on the Ravens in special teams snaps this season, and the kick and punt coverage units struggled in his absence against the Jets.