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Ravens News 9/24: Ascension plan and more

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NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

News & Notes: Multitalented Marlon Humphrey Is Ready for Multiple Roles - Clifton Brown

“We haven’t figured out the gameplan yet, but I’ll be in there; I think some other guys will be in there,” Humphrey said. “It’ll be rotating all around, so I’ll be outside, I’ll be inside. You just never know who’s going to be in there. It just depends on the formation, who they have in and what package the coaches feel like is best once it all gets settled down and we finish up the gameplan.”

“When I look at that nickel position, I lean on Tay a little bit, a little bit of (Lardarius) Webb. Those are two Ravens guys that did it. Chris Harris (Los Angeles Chargers) is probably one of the best guys that can flip-flop inside and outside. You have to be really savvy. Usually my body type is not a nickel corner guy. I was able to do it alright last year. We’ll try to get me in there some again.”

“The biggest thing you see from nickel corners is, you’re going to be around the ball a lot,” Humphrey said. “Anytime you can make a play you’ve got to do it.”

Baltimore Ravens rookie report: Assessing how draft picks have fared through two weeks - Aaron Kasinitz

RB J.K. Dobbins (2nd round, 55th overall)

Stats: Nine carries for 70 yards and two touchdowns; one reception for 13 yards

Skinny: Dobbins’ opportunities will fluctuate from week to week because of the Ravens’ three-man running back rotation. Early on, he took advantage of the chances that came his way. The former Ohio State star gained 44 yards on a rushing attempt late in a Week 2 win over the Texans that bloated his yards per carry average, and he found the end zone a couple times in his debut.

WR Devin Duvernay (3rd round, 92nd overall)

Stats: Two receptions for 31 yards; five kick returns for 119 yards

Skinny: While he hasn’t been a huge factor in the game plan through two weeks with 17 total offensive snaps, it’s clear the Ravens want to get Duvernay the ball. Quarterback Lamar Jackson has tossed a few short passes in his direction, and the rookie has handled kickoff duties to begin the season.

Lamar Jackson and the Ravens’ Ascension Plan Goes Through Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs - Nora Princiotti

In his second year as the Ravens’ starter, Jackson somehow seems to have progressed beyond last season, when he ran a Baltimore offense that was first in points scored and second in total yardage. One area in which the Ravens offense has improved is the downfield passing game. Jackson said he focused on his deep-ball accuracy this offseason; so far, it looks to have paid off. Jackson completed 39.5 percent of his deep throws (32 of 81) last season and has completed 58.3 percent (7 of 12) so far this year, per Pro-Football-Reference. Through two games, Jackson’s overall completion percentage is 77.6 percent, which is 12.2 percent above the Next Gen Stats expected completion percentage based on the throws he has made. He has the fifth-highest completed air yards (7.9) in the league.

The Ravens have been the better offense through two games, but no rational person would count the Chiefs out.

The Ravens are up next. Baltimore has a chance to beat a conference rival with their star quarterback for the first time. It would be a fitting victory for the Ravens: beating the team that’s shown the blueprint for success with a young quarterback who took over the league earlier than expected. Monday night will feature the reigning MVP against the defending Super Bowl champion, the highest-scoring team in the league against the team that can come back from any deficit. We’ll see how they measure up.

NFL Week 3 Preview: Fantasy football advice, betting tips and matchups to watch - PFF


Headline of the game: The two best teams in the NFL look to assert their dominance over the AFC

Matchups don’t get much better than this one. These two teams have established themselves atop nearly every power ranking heading into Week 3, and the Lamar Jackson versus Patrick Mahomes matchup at quarterback is one of the best that we’ll get this season.

Jackson is showing no signs of regression after taking a major leap as a passer in 2019. He currently ranks second, behind only Russell Wilson, in completion percentage, yards per attempt and passer rating through the first two weeks of the season. Mahomes, meanwhile, has shown a more conservative approach, generating an average depth of target less than 7 yards downfield. But he showed again late last week that there is no quarterback you’d rather have with the game on the line. Mahomes earned a 90.9 overall grade with over 200 combined passing and rushing yards in the fourth quarter and overtime of the Chiefs’ victory over the Chargers.

This may be a precursor to a meeting with more on the line in several months.

NFL Week 3 odds, picks: Packers over Saints on road, Cowboys cover vs. Seahawks in wild game - Pete Prisco

Kansas City Chiefs (+3.5) at Baltimore Ravens

This is the game of the week, which is saying something since there are a lot of good games. This is the game we thought we’d see to decide the AFC champion last year, but the Ravens lost to the Titans and never made it. The Chiefs are playing consecutive road games. They also haven’t looked great on offense yet. They will in this one. Baltimore is aggressive on defense, which plays into what Patrick Mahomes loves to face. The champs will win a fun shootout as Mahomes gets the best of Lamar Jackson.

Pick: Chiefs 34, Ravens 31