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Ravens News 9/21: Dangerous corners and more

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Cleveland Browns v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey Make Throwing in Their Direction Dangerous - Clifton Brown

Later in the second quarter, Marcus Peters corraled his 28th career interception, reading and reacting to Deshaun Watson’s eyes as only Peters can do. Anticipating where Watson would throw, Peters broke quickly to his left and went airborne to make a remarkable diving interception that put Peters’ athletic ability on full display.

Any cornerback can gamble, but when Peters gambles he usually wins. After the game, Watson was so impressed that he asked Peters what he saw on the interception.

“I was asking him about it, if he knew what was coming or if he read my eyes,” Watson said. “He just kind of said…he’d rather give up the checkdown play. He made a hell of a play.”

Now that nickel corner Tavon Young may be lost for the season due to a knee injury suffered Sunday, Humphrey may play extensively at nickel corner like he did last year when Young was out with a neck injury. It should not be taken for granted that Humphrey is versatile enough to excel playing both outside and inside. He has the size and physicality to defend big receivers and the quickness to defend smaller slot receivers.

Peters is also a gifted athlete, and he has more interceptions than any NFL cornerback since entering the league in 2015.

Ravens prove their defense is just as dangerous as Lamar Jackson - Jamison Hensley

As the football world focuses on Jackson’s highlights, the Ravens’ defense has quietly flexed with some impressive streaks:

Baltimore has held teams to 21 or fewer points for 13 straight games, the longest current active streak in the NFL.

The Ravens have forced a turnover in 15 consecutive games, which is also the longest current active streak in the league.

Baltimore has now scored seven defensive touchdowns in its past 12 games.

Promising trend: Baltimore continues to jump out on teams, and this team is getting close to being the all-time best at it. The Ravens have now led at halftime in 11 straight games, and they can tie the NFL record if they accomplish the feat again next week against the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. Four teams have led at halftime in 12 consecutive games: the Rams (1952-53), Oilers (1961-62), Chiefs (1968-69) and Steelers (2004-05).

NFL Week 2 PFF ReFocused: Baltimore Ravens 33, Houston Texans 16 - Anthony Treash

The biggest play that set back this Houston team was when Marlon Humphrey forced a fumble on receiver Keke Coutee after the catch in the second quarter, resulting in an L.J. Fort scoop-and-score. That put the Ravens up 20-7, and the Texans had no shot afterward. Through the first three quarters of action — when the game wasn’t completely out of reach — Houston produced -0.22 expected points added per pass play. Meanwhile, the Ravens sat at 0.14. Both Humphrey and Peters made stellar plays and were instrumental in making this a one-sided affair.

Jackson didn’t make any of the stellar plays we have grown accustomed to, but he routinely hit the open receiver. He had just two throws that would be considered a quarterback-fault incompletion — one overthrow and one underthrow. Jackson also produced solid runs that ended up in 10-plus yard gains.

ROOKIE WATCH

Ravens right guard Tyre Phillips was beaten often in his Week 1 NFL debut Week 1 in both facets of play, resulting in a lowly 40.7 PFF grade for the day. In Week 2, his run blocking was once again a detriment, but his pass protection looked a lot better. He logged 13 true pass sets on the day (no play action, screen, quick throw, etc.) and didn’t lose a single rep.

Baltimore first-round pick Patrick Queen didn’t stand out in any facet of play last week in his NFL debut. Against Houston in Week 2, Queen got picked apart in coverage, as he allowed four catches on seven targets for 47 yards (three first downs). However, he made an impact against the run with a couple of tackles and one run stop on nine such snaps.

What we learned from Sunday’s Week 2 games - Nick Shook

Baltimore Ravens 33, Houston Texans 16

The Ravens are better than they were last year. It was clear in Week 1 and unavoidable in Week 2. Baltimore rushed for 230 yards, Lamar Jackson completed 75% of his passes, threw a touchdown pass, broke 200 yards through the air, spread the ball among nine targets — including the fullback — and Mark Ingram emerged from his Week 1 slumber to break five yards per carry and score a touchdown. Baltimore’s defense forced two turnovers, returned a fumble for a touchdown and sacked Deshaun Watson four times. Justin Tucker was a perfect 4 for 4 on field goal attempts. When the Ravens took a 14-point lead in the fourth, it felt like it was a 30-point advantage. No one — rightfully — wants to play the Ravens right now. And no one is playing better football than Baltimore.

NFL Week 2 grades: Tom Brady and Buccaneers get ‘B+’, Cowboys get ‘B+’ for wild win, Vikings get an ‘F’ - John Breech

Ravens A-

Baltimore gashed Houston’s defense to the tune of 230 rushing yards on 37 carries. The Ravens’ defense was equally impressive, sacking Deshaun Watson four times while recording two turnovers. The Ravens did not get a perfect grade after allowing Lamar Jackson to take way too many unnecessary hits on Sunday. Jackson, despite Baltimore’s selection of J.K. Dobbins in this year’s draft, had a team-high 16 carries. Dobbins had just two carries, while no other Ravens player had more than 10 rushing attempts.