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Ravens News 9/18: Fixing the secondary, ticked off Lamar and more

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Baltimore Ravens v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Offensive player rankings, Week 3: How Saints go on sans Brees - David Carr

10. Lamar Jackson

The Ravens’ young quarterback has shown that he can win games two ways -- with his arm or his legs. Jackson threw all over the yard for five touchdowns in Week 1, but in Sunday’s win over the Cardinals, he rushed for a career-high 120 yards while still finding some success in the pass game. What he’s doing early on is putting the Ravens on watch.

Lamar Jackson’s Returning to His Only Regular Season Loss (And He Hates Losing) - Ryan Mink

On Dec. 9, on a very cold day, Jackson went 13-of-24 for 147 yards as a passer with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran 14 times for 67 yards. For a rookie quarterback making just his second road start – in a hostile environment against a team like that – it was an impressive showing.

“He doesn’t really dwell on the positives too much,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said Monday. “He dwells on the areas of improvement. And we appreciate that.”

“I would say, more than anything, [it’s] his competitiveness,” Harbaugh said. “He’s a super competitive person. He wants to win. And he was mad in the third quarter. I just love that about him.”

“You almost got me to curse,” Jackson said. “I’m ticked off. I’m watching it. I’m going to watch the plays for what I did wrong, try not to make it happen again. But I’m not planning on losing – at all.”

NFL Backup Quarterback Situations, Ranked: From the Jets to the Best - Riley McAtee

The Former Rookie of the Year

2. Robert Griffin III, Ravens

I’ll never quit believing in RG3, even if his play since his 2012 rookie season has been mediocre at best. In the 31 games he’s played in since that Pro Bowl year, his stats are tough to digest: 62.2 percent completion, 23 touchdowns, 21 interceptions, and 5.1 adjusted net yards per attempt. He takes a sack on 10.1 percent of his dropbacks, which is one of the worst era-adjusted sack rates since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger and is at least partially due to his penchant to hold onto the football.

Still, if Griffin were ever to get time in the Ravens offense, he could thrive. It’s obvious that when the Ravens signed RG3 last offseason, they believed the dual-threat quarterback would be the perfect backup for Lamar Jackson in this scheme.

3 Baltimore Ravens questions that linger entering Week 3 - Aaron Kasinitz

What will it take to correct “fixable” errors in the secondary?

The Ravens stymied the Cardinals on three red zone trips Sunday and forced two punts in the closing minutes of the game, which helped thwart the visitors’ comeback attempt and atone for the coverage breakdowns that arose at different points Sunday.

Baltimore allowed rookie quarterback Kyler Murray to pile up 349 passing yards, while routinely finding holes in the secondary.

Cardinals playmakers Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald finished with more than 100 receiving yards apiece and found themselves running wide open on occasion.

Afterward, safety Tony Jefferson said the Ravens must shore up communication, but he felt all the lapses in coverage were “fixable.” Cornerback Anthony Averett and safety Earl Thomas said the Cardinals devised passing schemes that confused Baltimore’s secondary at times.

Still, it’s worth wondering whether the Ravens are feeling the absences of Tavon Young (neck) and Jimmy Smith (knee) in the secondary.

Whether its execution or scheme, the Ravens will need a better showing from their pass defense Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. Mahomes is averaging more than 410 passing yards per game through two weeks of the season, and he won’t be easy to slow down.

The Ravens should have interest in CB Jalen Ramsey - Austin Medina

Just 24 years old, Ramsey is a two-time Pro Bowler and made first-team All Pro in 2017. Ramsey is a big-frame corner who excels in man coverage. He stands at 6’1, 208 pounds and plays physical football against top receivers.

Since entering the league in 2016, Ramsey has nine interceptions, 45 pass deflections, and 202 tackles in 50 games.

The Ravens could provide the two things Ramsey has lacked and become uneasy with during his time in Jacksonville.

Firstly, the Ravens will have the cap space to extend Ramsey to a long-term contract. According to OvertheCap, Baltimore will possess $62 million in cap space for 2020.

Secondly, the Ravens would provide front-office stability and the defensive acumen to help Ramsey thrive.