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Ravens News 11/24: Sense of Desperation and more

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

NFL insider notes: Ravens suddenly in big trouble, Patriots can forget about playoffs and more from Week 11 - Jason La Canfora

Lamar Jackson is not nearly as effective as he was a year ago, through the air or on the ground. Their scheme isn’t fooling people with any regularity.

The outside vertical passing game does not exist.

Patrick Queen, their first pick in the 2020 draft, had another very rough game.

Hollywood Brown, their top pick in 2019, has pretty much disappeared.

Their two key free agent signings from 2019 are basically a wash at this point. Earl Thomas was cut after punching a teammate at camp and Mark Ingram has not been effective this season as he has been banged up, and frankly the best rushing performances of the season came while he was out.

Campbell, whom they acquired from Jacksonville in the spring, has played well but, at age 35, expecting a weekly sustained pass rushing push is probably not reasonable.

Their trade-deadline splash, landing Yannick Ngakoue from Minnesota, has been held of the scoresheet for the most part; he had successive impactful pass rushes and registered his first sack Sunday, but struggles against the run and hasn’t changed the complexion of the defense or been much of a disruptive force.

And now they have just a couple of days to get it together and try to beat the Steelers. Tall task. The Ravens outplayed them in the first outing, losing because of turnovers, but that seems like a long time ago right now with a season possibly slipping away in Baltimore.

What the Titans Said After Overtime Win in Baltimore - Ryan Mink

RB Derrick Henry

(on the Ravens defense)

“They’re a tough defense. They’re physical. Got a lot of guys that fly around to the ball and got a lot of guys that play this game at a high level with a lot of experience. But as we get our momentum and guys get some blocks, us getting downhill and continuing to move the ball downfield, that wears on any defense.”

(on DeShon Elliott’s big hit)

“He caught me under the chin. It stung for a little but I had to shake it off and get back in there. That’s football.”


The Ravens were eaten alive by play action. Not only did linebackers bite, but Tannehill regularly fooled the edge defenders who were focused on Henry to generate additional time in the pocket. The success manipulating defenders emboldened the Titans to include a play fake on virtually every first or second-down play run with Henry behind Tannehill.

Among the 3 young ILBs, there were precious few pass defense contributions (Queen had a QH on Bowser’s INT, Harrison had a nice diagnosis on a screen pass for a loss of 1). None impacted a play on a ball thrown to level 2 or deeper.

The Titans run game geared up as the game went on. Through 3 quarters, the Ravens only run allowed over 5 yards in base defense came on Tannehill’s 21-yard boot. However, the Ravens heaviest regular unit was pounded for 9.4 YPC in the 4th quarter and overtime.

Yannick Ngakoue (2 pressures, 1 sack), Pernell McPhee (2 QHs, 2 pressures), and Matthew Judon (1 pressure, 2 QHs, 1 sack) each generated good pressure, but the Ravens generated just 1 pressure (Ellis) from their interior linemen in 74 pass snaps.

Baltimore Ravens plan to sign experience cornerback, report says - Aaron Kasinitz

The Baltimore Ravens intend to sign cornerback Pierre Desir if he clears coronavirus testing, according to a report from NFL Network, which would add another experienced player to their secondary.

Desir made eight starts for the New York Jets this season before the team cut him last week.

Five cornerbacks populate the Ravens’ injured reserve list, and the team has been hunting for proven depth behind Marcus Peters, Jimmy Smith and Marlon Humphrey. In just the past two weeks, the Ravens signed 37-year-old corner Tramon Williams and claimed Davontae Harris off waivers.

NFL picks, predictions for Week 12: Packers bounce back vs. Bears; Buccaneers beat Chiefs in thriller - Bill Bender

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3)

Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC

The Ravens have lost three of their last four games, and they have been limited to 24 points or less in the last four games. Baltimore will play with a sense of desperation, but they must get to Ben Roethlisberger – who has averaged 302 passing yards per game the last three weeks.

Pick: Steelers 29, Ravens 26