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Ravens News 11/20: Late-season factor and more

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colts Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens’ Greg Roman: WR Dez Bryant could ‘become a factor’ in late-season stretch - Daniel Oyefusi

The Ravens’ experiment with veteran wide receiver Dez Bryant is still awaiting tangible results. But offensive coordinator Greg Roman said if the 32-year-old “keeps progressing, he’ll definitely become a factor.”

“Dez is doing a good job, he’s working hard at practice and meetings. It’s good to have him on board,” Roman said Thursday in a video conference call.

In the two games since Bryant was signed to the practice squad, the Ravens passing offense has continued to be hampered by inconsistency.

“We’ll just keep working and we’ll see where that leads moving forward,” Roman said of Bryant. “I don’t think there’s any real timeline right now but I do think that if Dez keeps progressing, he’ll definitely become a factor in what we do.”

Patrick Queen Determined to Improve His Pass Coverage - Clifton Brown

“It comes with being a rookie,” Queen said. “I was going to get tested regardless; no matter if I was playing good coverage this whole year, or not. This year, so far, my coverage has been a little bit shaky. So, it’s something that I need to improve on. I know that teams are going to keep trying me on it. So, just everyday I’m going to come in and keep trying to improve on the stuff that I’m getting tested on.”

“I just have to be more physical when I come downhill,” said Queen, who leads the team in tackles with 61. “That’s the bottom line; just be physical and that will take care of everything else.

“I found myself trying to be more right than more physical. I felt like that just kind of threw me off a little bit. Like I said, I have to go back to the old me – just coming downhill, playing physical [and] playing my style of ball. Everybody knows that I was that type of guy in college, and that’s what really helped me get where I’m at. When an opportunity is thrown my way, I’m just going to take full advantage of it and go back to the old me.”

“We all know what’s at stake with this game,” Queen said. “We know what happened last year, and we know that nobody wants that to happen again.”

7 Baltimore Ravens who could be especially important against the Titans - Aaron Kasinitz

S Chuck Clark

Though Henry’s strong running fueled the Titans’ offense during last year’s playoff run, Tennessee also used deception in several pivotal moments to beat Baltimore. Ryan Tannehill threw a 45-yard touchdown on a play-action pass in the second quarter to break the game open, and Henry hit wide receiver Corey Davis with a jump pass for another score in the third quarter.

So it’s vital this week that Clark, as the Ravens’ defensive signal-caller and a bright mind on the backend, helps Baltimore stay ready for Tennessee’s trickery and reliance on play-action fakes.

Mike Vrabel’s scouting report on the Ravens - Emily Proud

Titans head coach Mike Vrabel has 10 days to scout the team they handed the most surprising upset loss of last year’s playoffs and here’s what he had to say about this year’s Ravens:

“Excellent group. They’re pretty much consistent on what they’re doing with each back. Their skill sets are fairly similar. I think that most of the plays are similar concepts, or the same, so I think they are they will appear interchangeable. They’re usually utilizing them all. They’re all playing. They’re all getting carries and it’s a huge challenge. It’s a huge challenge to stop the running game and those guys are downhill runners, good vision. They’ve all taken care of the football. It’s going to be a challenge for us to not only stop them but the quarterback and anybody else they may hand it to.”

“I think that you prepare for option football with alignments and assignments, and obviously run to the football and the way that you tackle, but it’s not all option football. The runners, they play all three guys. Lamar (Jackson) is a huge part of what they do. They’re very good at running the football and they use the quarterback as a large piece of that having 90 carries. Some of those are scrambles and play extension, but it just comes down to alignment and assignment and the execution.”

“I think it’s just how you affect them. Guys try to tip the ball, he does a great job of arm angle, he doesn’t care. There’s free rushers all over the place. People run blitz zero and there’s a free rusher inside or outside, and it doesn’t bother him one bit. He either pumps them and takes off and runs or just steps up and delivers a ball. He does (have) a lot of confidence in what he’s doing. Trying to find ways to disrupt him is going to be critical. Try to get him on the ground. Not diving. Not trying to kill him. Not trying to go for a big hit, but just trying to have the ability to somehow get him on the ground.”

NFL Week 11 Picks, Odds: Patriots roll over Texans to make playoff push, Jets actually cover - Will Brinson

Tennessee (6-3) at Baltimore (6-3)

Latest Odds: Ravens -5

Big time rematch here between the Titans and Ravens on the heels of Tennessee’s win in the playoffs. Also a massive four-week running battle between me and picking the Ravens against the spread. I am losing every which freaking way on these guys. But I’m going to double down here on Baltimore. This is The Lamar Jackson Game. Which is a thing I’m going to tell myself every week until it happens, apparently. Tennessee is a good patient for it though — they’re not good on defense. And Lamar owes them one. This should be a shootout, but the heavy running lean by both sides, plus the disaster of a serious under if Tennessee gets up big early, makes me just look at Baltimore. And maybe Lamar rushing yards over here, with the number suppressed.

Projected score: Ravens 28, Titans 21

Best Bet: Pass but like the over and Lamar

NFL Week 11 game picks: Seahawks over Cardinals; Colts top Packers - Gregg Rosenthal

Baltimore Ravens 28, Tennessee Titans 24

The Ravens suddenly can’t run up the middle or set the edge on defense, two bedrock traits to their 2019 identity. The Titans are well-constructed to take advantage of both weaknesses, but I like the Ravens to narrowly exorcise their playoff demons because Ryan Tannehill’s pass protection is an even bigger problem.