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Ravens News 10/25: Second Place and more

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Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Bengals Rookie Ja’Marr Chase Explodes on Ravens Defense - Ryan Mink

That didn’t change Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. Cincinnati’s young star exploded for eight catches for 201 yards in his first game at M&T Bank Stadium.

“We wanted to do better against him. Obviously, our plans did not work, and he made it look easy today as well,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said.

“Going into this week, the biggest assignment was on me to kind of stop their top guy, and I lost that matchup,” Humphrey said. “So, a lot of it, kind of, is on me. I’ve just got to play better, especially when the gameplan is for me to have a big day. The coaches put the trust in me to kind of lead the defense, lead the gameplan, [and] I’ve just got to execute better.”

“As [Defensive Coordinator] Wink [Martindale] says, it’s not as bad as it seems; but right now, it seems pretty bad,” Humphrey said. “So, I’ll look at the film and kind of figure it out.”

NFL Week 7 Game Recap: Cincinnati Bengals 41, Baltimore Ravens 17 - Michael Hull

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

As usual, Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews led the Ravens in targets with 14 and eight, respectively. Despite the massive target share, Hollywood saw just five catchable passes. He hauled in all five for 80 yards — seeing a 24.7 average depth of target. Brown posted a 50% deep target percentage, showing off his breakaway speed and big-play ability yet again, including a touchdown in the back of the end zone:

Offensive Line

Veteran tackle Alejandro Villanueva may have led the offensive line in pass-blocking snaps (55), but he was the unit’s worst performer by PFF grade. The former Steeler allowed 10 hurries on his way to a poor 46.2 pass-blocking grade. On the other end of the spectrum, center Bradley Bozeman allowed just one hurry on 42 pass-blocking snaps to total an 80.0 pass-blocking grade.

Defensive Line

Veterans Calais Campbell and Justin Houston led the Baltimore defensive line in pass-rushing snaps with 30 and 25, respectively, but they combined for just seven total pressures. Overall, the unit combined for just one sack but 19 total pressures and a 53.8% win percentage on 39 pass-rushing snaps.

Position-by-position grades for Ravens’ 41-17 loss to Bengals - Mike Preston

Linebackers

Like the entire defense, the inside linebackers got off to a strong start, but that quickly faded. The Bengals got to inside linebackers Josh Bynes (five tackles) and Patrick Queen, especially with cutback runs, which is a smart way to take advantage of a fast defense. Outside linebacker Justin Houston got decent pressure on quarterback Joe Burrow, and Tyus Bowser (six tackles) played well against the run, but Pernell McPhee, Malik Harrison and rookie Odafe Oweh made no major contributions. Grade: D-

Secondary

It’s hard to tell which group will show up week to week for the Ravens. Marlon Humphrey is a good cornerback and he plays well against big receivers, but he doesn’t match up well against speed on the outside. Fellow cornerback Anthony Averett held up well despite being picked on (unsuccessfully) early in the first half, but the safeties, Chuck Clark and DeShon Elliott, were no help on the back end as the Ravens gave up several big plays and 416 passing yards. Their mistakes are inexcusable. Grade: D-

Coaching

The Ravens were pitiful and dominated in every phase of the game, with the possible exception of special teams. They looked like a team ready to go on a bye week, and so did the coaching staff. The Ravens went from the ultimate high in a blowout win over the Chargers a week ago to the ultimate low Sunday. Grade: D-

NFL Week 7 takeaways: What we learned, big questions for every game and future team outlooks - Jamison Hensley

What to know: The Ravens aren’t running away with the AFC North. Baltimore was a touchdown favorite against Cincinnati and had the opportunity to go two games up in the division. But the Ravens relinquished first place because their secondary and run game failed to show up once again. There was a growing feeling that Lamar Jackson could make up for any deficiencies on the team. But Joe Burrow and the upstart Bengals showed they can go toe-to-toe with Jackson as far as big plays. These aren’t the same Bengals that were 0-5 against Jackson.

What’s going on with the Ravens secondary? When the Ravens pass defense is bad, it’s really, really bad. A week after shutting down Justin Herbert, Baltimore had no answers for Joe Burrow, who threw for over 400 yards. The Ravens are now the third team all-time to allow three 400-yard passers in the first seven games of a season, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Pro Bowl cornerback Marlon Humphrey said this week that Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase has made transitioning to the NFL look easy. Humphrey and the Baltimore defense made it easier by not tackling. On Chase’s 82-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter, 72 yards came after first contact. That’s the tied for the third most yards after catch on a touchdown reception since ESPN began tracking it in 2009.

2021 NFL season, Week 7: What we learned from Sunday’s games - Nick Shook

Baltimore’s patchwork backfield might not be as good as we thought. The same goes for its defense. After limiting the Chargers to 208 yards and six total points last week, the Ravens couldn’t do the same against the upstart Bengals. Offensively, Baltimore frequently put itself in long down-and-distance situations, lacking any sort of punch on the ground and forcing Lamar Jackson to attempt to spark the offense. Devonta Freeman, Ty’Son Williams and Le’Veon Bell combined to gain 29 yards on 11 carries, and Jackson again finished as Baltimore’s leading rusher. Cincinnati executed its contain-and-harass game plan effectively against Jackson, sacking him four times, limiting him to a completion percentage below 50 and pressuring him at a rate of 47.2%. The Ravens simply lacked the offensive punch necessary to keep up with the Bengals, and they’ll have plenty of questions to answer after losing the lead in the AFC North in stunning fashion.

NFL Week 7 grades: Bengals get an ‘A+’ for destroying Ravens, Chiefs get an ‘F’ for blowout loss to Titans - John Breech

Ravens D

The only reason the Ravens escape a failing grade is because they actually put up a fight for a good chunk of this game: holding the Bengals to only three points for much of the first half and answering an awakened onslaught by Joe Burrow and Co. with some big plays of their own — as the teams exchanged the lead time and again. But when Chase decided to take over the game, there was nothing the Ravens could do about it, and that’s when their grade began swirling around the porcelain bowl. Chase reeled in more than 200 yards and the Bengals put up 41 points and more than 500 yards of total offense, while holding the Ravens to only 17 points in a humiliating loss at M&T Bank Stadium.