Sunday’s game against the Patriots was nothing short of a disaster for Baltimore. The Ravens were favored by seven points going into the game against a depleted Patriots roster, yet it felt impossible to stop anything the Patriots were doing. If someone who doesn’t pay attention to football watched that game and then was told one of those teams was 6-2 and the other 3-5, they would pick the Ravens as the 3-5 team every time.
Still, however, I’m a perennial optimist and I don’t stay down for long. We’re gonna take some stock of the rookies and while we’re at it, dish out some very deserving praise.
Queen has been average at best the last few weeks, but after an incredibly strong start to his career, it’s hard to fault him too much for having a bit of a slump. Still, going into this it felt like a game that Queen had to play well in, and he delivered. In a game that made Damien Harris look like prime Adrian Peterson, Patrick Queen was able to get nine tackles, one of which was for a loss. Queen was, in a lot of ways, the stabilizing force of a defense that just got shredded, and even though he wasn’t perfect, he still showed that he’s not afraid to get in there and make plays.
So far, Queen has had a good rookie season. He has some clear holes, but rarely is a rookie a finished product. Queen has consistently shown an ability to rush the passer as well as secure tackling. The coaching staff seems keen on trying to work through the things he’s not so good at, evidenced by the fact that he’s played just under 250 coverage snaps (per PFF), despite that being his biggest weakness.
Duvernay has slowly become an important player for this team on offense. He’s been getting more snaps almost every single week of the season, and his production has followed suite, catching all three of his targets for 45 yards in this game. Duvernay is, at this point, the clear No. 3 wide receiver on this team and has shown an uncanny ability to make clutch plays when all seems lost. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — Duvernay thrives in chaos more than anyone on this team, and that’s a great niche to be in.
J.K. Dobbins did not have a great game. After showing promise in numerous games this season, it’s not unfair to say he laid an absolute egg in this game.
Despite getting the most snaps of all the running backs on the team, he only ran for 13 yards on five attempts, a pitiful 2.6 yards per carry, and caught one of his two targets for one yard. Gus Edwards, who had almost exactly half his snaps, ran for 42 yards on seven attempts, a much better average of six yards per carry.
I’m not saying to jump off the Dobbins bandwagon as fast as you can, but this game was by far his worst. Maybe he bounces back or maybe he doesn’t, but he’ll have to be watched with a close eye for the time being.