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Ravens News 11/12: Predictable play calling and more

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Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

Lamar Jackson: Defenses are ‘calling out our plays’ - Kevin Patra

Last year, the Baltimore Ravens made defensive heads spin with their record-breaking offense. To no surprise, D-coordinators spent the offseason studying Lamar Jackson’s offense with a fine-tooth comb.

Apparently, they came away with a few tells.

Jackson told The Rich Eisen Show on Wednesday that defenses know what the Ravens are going to do when they line up.

“They’re calling out our plays, stuff like that,” Jackson said. “They know what we’re doing. Sometimes stuff won’t go our way if they’re beating us to the punch.”

Eisen pressed Jackson as to whether he can hear defenders call out the Ravens’ plays.

“Yeah, they definitely do,” Jackson said. “Like, ‘run’ and stuff like that. ‘Watch out for this, watch out for that.’ Sometimes that’s what’s going on.”

Defenses being ready for the Ravens’ multifaceted run game helps, in part, explain why at times this season, Baltimore has lacked juice and consistency for long stretches.

PFF 2020 Midseason NFL All-Rookie Team - Michael Renner

LB PATRICK QUEEN, BALTIMORE RAVENS

It’s been an incredibly up-and-down year for Queen, who has had his issues in coverage and as a tackler. The playmaking ability that he continually flashes is what landed him on this list, however. His 22 defensive stops lead all rookies and are eight more than any linebacker drafted this past year.

NFL Week 10 Preview: Fantasy football advice, betting tips and matchups to watch - PFF

BALTIMORE RAVENS @ NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Headline of the game: The Ravens need to get their offense back on track to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender

The Ravens had the most efficient offense in the NFL in 2019 by expected points added per play. Through nine weeks this season, they’ve fallen all the way to the 25th-most efficient offense in the NFL, with teams such as the Patriots and injury-riddled Cowboys as company.

The passing offense has been the big culprit in that decline. Lamar Jackson has seen his passing grade fall from 82.5 in 2019 to 72.7 in 2020, already producing more turnover-worthy plays than he did all of last year. He’s also inviting more pressure on himself. Jackson has been responsible for a league-high 12 sacks thus far in 2020. The Ravens need both him and the rest of this offense to return to the form we saw in 2019 for them to seriously contend against the top teams in the AFC.

Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots: 3 stats that could tell the story - Aaron Kasinitz

The Patriots have turned the ball over on 21.4% of their drives, the highest rate in the NFL. Their defense had forced turnovers on 18.6% of drives, also the league’s top rate

The Patriots giveth and the Patriots taketh away. That’s been one of the prominent storylines for New England this year.

Baltimore, meanwhile, has forced a turnover in 21 consecutive games, easily the longest active streak in the NFL, and the defense leads the league with 10 fumble recoveries. The offense is more average in terms of ball protection — the Ravens rank 16th with 10 giveaways.

Sunday, it’ll be pivotal for Baltimore to end up on the right side of New England’s roller coaster relationship with turnovers.

The Ravens are 5-0 this year when they win the turnover battle in a game and 1-2 when they don’t.

2020 NFL Playoff Picture: Here are the projected postseason chances for all 32 teams heading into Week 10 - John Breech

5. Ravens

Wild Card 1

The computer is expecting the Bills and Titans to duke it out for the third seed in the AFC, which is important to note, because the loser — AKA the team that ends up with the fourth seed — is likely going to get stuck playing the Ravens in the wild-card round. The Ravens are being projected to finish the season with the AFC’s third best record at 12-4, but that won’t be good enough to win the AFC North. The Ravens have a 97.5% chance of making the playoffs and are currently the only non-division leader that is being given better than a 90% chance of making the postseason.