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Ravens News 9/17: Team of the Week, playoff outlook and more

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Arizona Cardinals v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Defense Notes : Ravens vs Cardinals - ken McKusick

A New Scheme versus the Spread Offense

The Cardinals averaged 3.53 WRs per play and just 0.40 TEs per play in week 1. I have never seen offense personnel figures as extreme and there was mention on the broadcast the Cards had more 10 personnel packages (1 RB, no TE) than all other 31 teams combined in week 1.

As a response, Martindale split the defensive packages between nickel (28 snaps), and dime (25) with 1 spike.

The nickel snaps were each of the standard variety (3 cornerbacks, 2 safeties) with Carr at SCB and none of the big nickel (3 safeties, 2 cornerbacks) used against the Dolphins. The dime plays included 6 of the standard variety with Anthony Levine at dime (WLB), but 19 others with 4 CBs and 2 safeties. On the bulk of the 4-CB dime snaps, Thomas continued to play single high and Jefferson moved up to play next to Onwuasor.

The 4th CB added was Jones for 9 snaps (all in the first half) and Canady for 10 snaps, including the final 8 deployments. Jones may have lost the role when he failed to find the football in the air on a 13-yard pass to Byrd to convert 3rd and 6 by the left sideline (Q2, 3:23).

What the Cardinals Said After Their Week 2 Loss - Clifton Brown

Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury

On the performance of Lamar Jackson:

“You all watched Lamar make great throws all day from the pocket. So, he has improved dramatically there. You’ve got to tip your hat to him. He is standing there and can throw it, and [he] can beat you that way and with his legs. That’s a very good offense. They scored 60 on the road last week. They have a bunch of options. ... Great tight ends, great running backs, great offensive line. And those young receivers are special. So, they’ll be hard to stop.”

QB Kyler Murray

On what happened the last two drives when they were backed up:

“It really got loud as hell. We’ve got to do better in those kinds of circumstances.”

OLB Terrell Suggs

On seeing purple No. 55 jerseys in the stands:

“It was very humbling, but it made me feel good. I felt the love of the fans. I know they wanted to show their appreciation for me. But once the game started, I knew they weren’t rooting for me. … They wanted their team to win.”

Lamar Jackson’s maturation on display in Ravens’ perfect start - Jeffri Chadiha

The Ravens have the perfect coach for Jackson, as Harbaugh has been comfortable enough to reconfigure his offense to fit his quarterback’s skill set. Baltimore also has a creative offensive coordinator in Greg Roman -- the same guy who turned Colin Kaepernick into a multi-dimensional star in San Francisco -- to draw up plays for its young signal-caller. Most importantly, Jackson is brimming with confidence after starting eight games in 2018 (including the playoffs). So far he’s only lost twice in the 10 games he’s opened as the Ravens’ quarterback.

The Ravens look pretty smart right now. There was a lot of talk around the team this offseason, most of it focusing on the notion that Baltimore was going to unveil an offense that would blow people’s minds. Given how rudimentary the Ravens looked late last season -- when they essentially had Jackson running read options nearly every down -- such hype sounded more like bluster than something worth believing. Today there is little doubt the Ravenshave found something special.

NFL Team of the Week: 2019 NFL Week 2 - PFF

FLEX TE MARK ANDREWS, BALTIMORE RAVENS

Andrews made the Team of the Week at tight end last week and was only bumped into the flex spot this week because of a fumble and an impressive showing by Dissly. Proving to be one of Lamar Jackson’s top targets so far this season, Andrews led all tight ends who saw at least 10 passing snaps with a yards per route run average of 3.86, the second week in a row he has led the position in that particular statistic.

Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger Are Hurt, and the Playoff Picture Looks Very Different - Robert Mays

The Steelers’ predicament is especially dire given that Lamar Jackson and the Ravens are in their division. Jackson was sharp for the second straight week Sunday, throwing for 272 yards with two scores while adding 120 yards on the ground. Baltimore’s offense has found its stride with Jackson at the controls, and he’s turned the Ravens into one of the more dangerous threats in the AFC. When the teams face off at Heinz Field in Week 5, Jackson could have a chance to deliver a knockout blow.