DEFENSIVE NOTES WEEK 9 BALTIMORE RAVENS @ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS - Ken McKusick
Derek Wolfe (47 snaps) generated a team-high 3 pressures. The Ravens allowed just 3.7 YPC when he was on the field as opposed to 8.0 YPC when he was not. He also played 34 pass snaps, which is more than all of the other linemen put together (33). For the final 2 drives of the game, he was the only Ravens lineman on the field.
Malik Harrison (32 snaps) split the WLB snaps with Chris Board and had his best game to date. Of 6 tackles to which he contributed, 3 were defensive wins. Those 3 do not include his solo tackle credit which allowed Marcus Peters to Strip RB Jonathan Taylor as 2nd to the ball (Q1, 1:28). He took a bad angle to WR Harris on his 2nd jet sweep (Q1, 0:25). The Ravens use Malik as a platoon 2-down thumper as evidenced in his by-down usage (29 of 32 snaps on 1st or 2nd down) and the fact he did not play on either of the last 2 drives.
Yannick Ngakoue (42 snaps) played an increased role that included 34 pass snaps. He generated 3 pressures, which matched Derek Wolfe for the team high. His snaps remain weighted to later downs and higher likelihood of a pass (34 pass, 8 run). He failed to hold the left edge (without being blocked) on the pitch to Taylor (RL11) on the Colts first offensive play (Q1, 14:53). He dropped to cover, stumbled, and was pancaked (in the back) by RT Braden Smith on the WR screen to Pittman (Q1, 8:53).
Jimmy Smith (63 snaps) was again excellent as an outside CB. He allowed a 10-yard completion (6 + 4 YAC) when soft (Q2, 3:24) in coverage of WR Marcus Johnson. On the very next play he and Elliott took away most of the space Rivers had to hit Johnson on a 40-yard post route. He had coverage of Zach Pachal on the last meaningful Colts play from scrimmage (4th and 5, Q4, 4:25) which fell incomplete and sent Rivers running down the field looking for a flag.
Source: Tavon Young helps Baltimore Ravens cap with restructure - Jamison Hensley
Cornerback Tavon Young gave the Baltimore Ravens some much-needed salary-cap space by restructuring his contract for this year and taking a $2.85 million pay cut in 2021, a source told ESPN’s Field Yates.
The Ravens converted $2.514 million of his base salary for 2020 into a signing bonus. That will create more room for Baltimore, which had $1.5 million in cap space this season, according to the ESPN Roster Management System.
Young, 26, also agreed to have his non-guaranteed $5.5 million salary reduced to $2.65 million next season. He’s scheduled to earn $5.845 million in 2022, the final year of his contract.
Baltimore Ravens sign Tramon Williams, add experience to secondary - Aaron Kasinitz
Williams, 37, has played in parts of 13 NFL seasons and most recently suited up for 16 games as a member of the Green Bay Packers in 2019.
Baltimore also placed undrafted rookie cornerback Khalil Dorsey on injured reserve two days after he dislocated his shoulder during a victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
Williams supplies depth and flexibility to a bruised defensive backfield. He’s played in 199 NFL games and has 34 interceptions in the league. Williams won a Super Bowl with the Packers and made the Pro Bowl in 2010, and though he spent most of his career as a cornerback, he’s also played as a safety. He’ll provide options for Ravens defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale.
Debrief: Top NFL storylines to track in second half of 2020 - Gregg Rosenthal
The Ravens’ defense. Baltimore has gone 25-5 in Lamar Jackson’s career starts for two primary reasons: Their running game, led by Jackson, and their defense. I believe this group of Ravens defenders, ranked first in points allowed, is their best since Ray Lewis, Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs and Ed Reed roamed the land.
The addition of Yannick Ngakoue gives defensive coordinator Don Martindale even more options when it comes to deploying his creative blitzes and excellent man-coverage secondary. Baltimore’s defense suffocated AFC contenders Pittsburgh and Indianapolis in successive weeks, with Jackson’s turnovers against the Steelers being the only reason there isn’t full-throated “The Ravens are back!” talk after their win over the Colts.
The Ravens’ kryptonite in Kansas City looms, and Baltimore’s passing game needs to be more consistent, but the key here is how much this 6-2 team can still improve. The team’s dominance in the second half Sunday — where the Ravens outscored the Colts 17-0 and at one point had 16 first downs against five plays for the Colts — was reminiscent of the 2019 Ravens. They can knock teams out quickly and tread water for the rest of the game. The Ravens’ defense historically gets better down the stretch, and Jackson can cut down on the sacks and fumbles that have marred this season. Outside of the defending champions, there still isn’t a team in either conference I trust more.
NFL picks, predictions against spread Week 10: Bills clip Cardinals; Saints rip 49ers; Ravens nip Patriots - Vinnie Iyer
Ravens (-7, 41.5 o/u) at Patriots
Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC
Lamar Jackson is struggling to pass and isn’t getting much help from the traditional running game. The Patriots drafted and rebuilt their defense to better contain running QBs. They will work to take away that element and force the Ravens to grind out yards, not worrying much about big plays downfield. The Patriots, unfortunately, can’t trust Cam Newton to be in comfortable passing or running situations against the Ravens’ defense, either.
Pick: Ravens win 20-14 but fail to cover the spread.