The Baltimore Ravens will face a tough test against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. The Ravens are coming off a 17-23 loss to the Patriots, while the Titans lost to the Colts 17-34 on Thursday night. Here are five players to watch:
Matt Skura, Bradley Bozeman, and Patrick Mekari
There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the Ravens’ offensive line. We know Orlando Brown Jr. will continue to start at left tackle, but the other four spots are up in the air.
Let’s start at center. Skura struggled with bad snaps against the Patriots. In the third quarter, he had a bad snap to Mark Ingram on 4th-and-1. Then, he had another poor snap in the fourth quarter to Lamar Jackson that led to a 16-yard loss. The Ravens could look to make a change at center. Mekari started five games at center last season, and he did not allow any sacks. Bozeman is another option. Although he has started at guard for the Ravens, Bozeman was actually a center in college.
Still, Mekari could be used elsewhere. He has primarily played guard this season, but John Harbaugh moved him to right tackle against the Patriots. Despite changing positions, Mekari has played surprisingly well. He has PFF’s fifth-highest pass blocking grade among guards. Additionally, he has only recorded one penalty this season.
Moving Bozeman to center seems like the best solution. It would open up a spot at left guard, but Skura could always be moved there, which would would negate the concerns over his snaps.
Only one thing is certain: the Ravens have a lot of questions to answer regarding their offensive line. Hopefully, they can find solutions to them this Sunday.
Fort was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice. He had missed the last two games with a finger injury.
Ravens injury report for Wednesday— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) November 18, 2020
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
DE Calais Campbell (calf)
DB Anthony Levine (Not injury-related)
CB Jimmy Smith (ankle)
NT Brandon Williams (ankle)
OT Orlando Brown (Not injury related)
LB L.J. Fort (finger)
Prior to the injury, Fort was having a career season, especially against the run. He currently has the highest PFF run-defense grade among linebackers. The two linebackers right behind him are Bobby Wagner and Myles Jack. In addition, he made some big plays. Against the Texans, he recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown.
Against the Browns, Fort forced a fumble on a fake punt attempt.
Without Fort, the Ravens defense struggled to contain the Patriots’ run game; they allowed the Patriots to rush for 173 yards. The Ravens will need to be at their best against Derrick Henry, and having Fort back in the lineup will be a big boost.
Willie Snead IV
With the offense surrounded by uncertainty, Snead is a surprising constant. He is leading the Ravens in yards per reception. In addition, he has led the Ravens in receiving yards in two of the last three games. Against the Patriots, he had arguably his best game of the season with two receiving touchdowns. Conversely, Marquise Brown has recorded only 55 receiving yards over the past three games.
The Ravens may not be able to rely on their offensive line as much in the run game with Ronnie Stanley and Tyre Phillips on the IR. Snead will be Lamar Jackson’s most reliable wide receiver on Sunday.