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Ravens News 10/22: Bye Week questions and more

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Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Ravens’ Biggest Questions Over the Bye - Clifton Brown

Are the Ravens ready for their toughest stretch of the regular season?

After the bye, the Ravens host Pittsburgh (5-0), visit New England (2-3), host Tennessee (5-0) and visit Pittsburgh on a Thursday night. We’ll learn a lot about the Ravens in their next four games. The Ravens will be the clear favorite to win the AFC North if they lead the division following the Thanksgiving night showdown in Pittsburgh. But this isn’t like last season, when Baltimore rolled to the best record in the AFC and won the division by six games. You could make a case that Pittsburgh, Tennessee, and Kansas City (5-0) have all improved since last season. For the Ravens to secure a third-straight division title, not to mention a first-round bye, they will need to play excellent football during the four weeks following the bye.

Is Devin Duvernay about to become a bigger part of the offense?

The rookie wide receiver from Texas (10 catches, 90 yards) has only been targeted 12 times, but he has gotten production out of those opportunities, showing breakaway speed and the ability to break tackles after the catch. Duvernay’s snap count has increased each week, up to a season-high 26 on Sunday.

If Duvernay’s role increases in the second half, he could provide the spark the offense is seeking.

The Baltimore Ravens’ passing game hasn’t clicked. Can the bye week bring a fix? - Aaron Kasinitz

“We’ve seen great stretches of [consistency], and there’s been some throws we’d like to have back or some routes maybe we’d like to have back, and we’re working very hard on that,” quarterbacks coach James Urban said Tuesday. “These next couple days, we’re going to spend some time getting some of those things cleaned up.”

“We’re not preparing for a game this week, so there’s less game-plan specific discussion,” Urban said. “In many ways, it’s like a training camp or an OTA practice, where we’re working on us. We’re working on our offense specifically, where we’re working on rhythm and passing and those kinds of things.”

“I don’t think I’ve slipped,” Jackson said.

“Last year, early in the year, we took those shots, and we hit a couple,” Culley said. “We’ve taken those same shots this year, and we’ve missed a few times. And we’re going to continue to take those shots, and we’ve just been a little bit off the mark. During this time right now and over the next couple of days, we’re working on that. We’re going to keep taking those shots. They’re there. And we feel like we’re going to end up hitting those shots.”

Ranking all 32 NFL starting quarterbacks after Week 6 of the 2020 season - Sam Monson


Change: Down 4

Lamar Jackson is another player whose regression was always likely. He produced a touchdown rate of 8% last season, a figure double that of even good rates. It was unsustainable, and that has proven true so far this season, dropping to a still very impressive 6.2%. Baltimore’s run game has lost a little juice after Marshal Yanda‘s retirement, and Jackson hasn’t been quite as effective when they are forced to the air. Dealing with an injury hasn’t helped, either, but it looks like the MVP-level play of 2019 was his ceiling more than a stop along the way to even greater heights.

2020 NFL Trade Deadline: Potential matches teams that need a boost should be exploring - Jason La Canfora

Ravens – Breshad Perriman/Hayden Hurst

Both are former Ravens first round picks who did not work out. Both are still young and cheap and, more to the point, speedy and athletic. Baltimore has no secondary option in the passing game beyond the Big 2 (tight end Mark Andrews and receiver Hollywood Brown). Jets GM Joe Douglas spent years with the Ravens and they have strong relationships. He badly needs picks and Perriman is on a one-year deal. The Falcons have not got Hurst going much, they fired everyone already and while giving back Hurst for a lot less than you gave up to get him is less than ideal ... well, so is going 2-13 over your first five games each of the last three seasons. I’d inquire about Irv Smith from the Vikings as well.

Will the Ravens Be Active at the Trade Deadline? - Todd Karpovich

The Ravens could certainly use another veteran wide receiver or high-impact edge rusher. Baltimore might also be interested in adding a third tight end and depth on the offensive line.

One player being linked to Baltimore is Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, who would provide quarterback Lamar Jackson with another effective downfield target.

A more realistic move could be Lions’ wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr., who could rekindle his career with a change of scenery.

As far as pass rushers, DeCosta would love to swing a deal for Vikings defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, who has four sacks this season.

Another option could be Washington defensive end Ryan Kerrigan, who is the team’s all-time sacks leader.