NFL Players to Watch
Rookie Oklahoma product Marquise Brown turned eight routes into 147 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1 against the hapless Miami Dolphins. He turned a short slant route into a 47-yard touchdown on his first trip to the end zone and burned Minkah Fitzpatrick on a go route from the slot for and 83-yard touchdown soon after. The 5-foot-9, 170-pound speedster is just scratching the surface and should see a favorable matchup against an Arizona secondary without Patrick Peterson. The Cardinals gave up 321 yards on targets to the slot or outside receivers against Detroit, the third-highest total of any NFL defense in Week 1.
Key Week 2 numbers: Browns’ hope, Kyler Murray’s growth - Cynthia Frelund
Mark Andrews, TE, Baltimore Ravens: As far as win share is concerned, no team has a higher total group projected output for its tight ends than the Ravens. I got a chance to hear Baltimore offensive coordinator Greg Roman be asked, in person, if quarterback Lamar Jackson would attempt more than 420 passes this season, and Roman emphatically said he’d attempt more. Given the feeling behind Roman’s answer, I’m going to take his word here.
What my model projects to get more exciting is the potential for Andrews to earn even more yards after the catch than what we saw against the Dolphins in Week 1, when Andrews averaged 4.2 yards after the catch (Andrews finished the day with eight catches on eight targets for 108 yards and a score). Andrews’ projection going forward is between 8 and 10 YAC per reception in most games.
THE OTHER MURRAY
The Cardinals are relying on more than one Murray on offense.
Justin Murray started at right tackle in Week 1, just a few days after Marcus Gilbert injured his right knee in practice during a non-contact drill. The team put Gilbert on injured reserve on Tuesday.
Murray wasn’t perfect against the Lions, but he more than held his own, especially considering it was the second-year player’s third career NFL game. The 6-foot-5, 315-pounder did enough that Kingsbury expects him to start against the Ravens.
Arizona’s offense already has multiple playmakers. Now it’s adding Michael Crabtree to the mix.
‘’He brings a lot of experience, a lot of savvy, a lot of catches and a lot of physicality,’’ Kingsbury said. ‘’I know he’ll be excited for this one.’’
With Suggs making his return to Baltimore after 16 seasons playing for the Ravens, Stanley expects a major test.
“He’s going to come in here fired up, juiced up, trying to come in and make a statement,” Stanley said. “I’ve got to be on my best game. That’s all I’m thinking about.”
“He’s probably added some moves over there with Chandler to his arsenal,” Stanley said. “Going against him every day helps me get a feel. (But) he hasn’t seen me in a game. I haven’t seen him in a game. This will be different.”
How to Have a Plan in the NFL—and Not Mess It Up - Kevin Clark
Which brings us to the Baltimore Ravens, a team that seems to understand what it has in second-year quarterback Lamar Jackson. The first thing you have to remember about the Ravens’ plan is that they got a fourth-round pick for Joe Flacco, who was last seen looking like one of the league’s worst quarterbacks on Monday Night Football against Oakland. It should not be much of a surprise that Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta understands value—under his predecessor Ozzie Newsome, the team cornered the market on compensatory draft picks, collecting eight more than any other team in the last 25 years. The Ravens plan for the future constantly and get rewarded for it. They selected Jackson in the first round in 2018 and have since gone to work building around him. It might be the franchise’s best plan yet.
The Ravens understood they had an opportunity to win a lot of games with a dynamic quarterback, so they promoted a smart offensive coordinator in Greg Roman, used some subterfuge in the offseason, and shocked the league. Along with Brown, the Ravens drafted wide receiver Miles Boykin this year; last year, they took tight end Hayden Hurst in the same draft as Jackson. The Ravens used play-action on half their attempts on Sunday, and appear to have the perfect marriage of scheme and talent. They have managed to maximize Jackson’s talent and are now poised to reap the rewards.