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Ravens News 10/5: Presenting Problems and more

Baltimore Ravens v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Lamar Jackson becomes first QB to throw for 1,000 yards, rush for 250 yards in first four games of season - Jeff Kerr

Jackson has recorded either a rushing or passing touchdown in 40 consecutive games, the longest active streak by a quarterback — also the fifth-longest for a quarterback in NFL history. He’s one of just five quarterbacks to have 40 straight games with a passing or rushing touchdown.

The Ravens are 33-8 since Jackson became their starting quarterback in Week 11 of the 2018 season, the best winning percentage in the league. Jackson continues to put up impressive numbers and the Ravens continue to win.

It’s not a coincidence.

“I can’t believe people said he couldn’t throw,” Ravens wide receiver James Proche said after the win. “It’s crazy, right? That’s wild – like barbaric. That’s like saying water’s dry.”

Ravens offense still winning and growing while working way through early challenges - Luke Jones

As opposing defenses continue to learn they can no longer stack the box as dramatically to dare Jackson to beat them with his arm, there will be a correction with lighter fronts that will only help the running game as the season progresses. It’s the ultimate give-take relationship that could make Jackson and this offense even more unstoppable than it’s looked at its best these last few years, a frightening thought for the rest of the AFC.

Despite the Ravens going a remarkable 34-9 in the regular season since Jackson took over at quarterback midway through 2018, their fatal flaw in the playoffs has been the difficulty in playing off-schedule and stepping outside their comfort zone — including throwing outside the numbers and downfield — when having their cage rattled.

Averaging 3.4 yards per carry against an undefeated team on the road previously would have led many to anticipate the Ravens being in trouble, but it was quite the opposite Sunday as Jackson averaged 8.5 yards per pass attempt and the defense shut out the Broncos over the game’s final 44 minutes. The ground game was mostly along for the ride as the coaching staff continues to sort through the running back room and offensive line to find the right formula, a process that will now continue with John Harbaugh’s team home until the second week of November.

Ravens WR James Proche Has Breakout Game - Todd Karpovich

Proches was targeted six times and caught five passes for 74 yards, which was second on the team behind Marquise Brown, who had four catches for 91 yards.

“Like I said it’s really just a byproduct of me doing my job,” Proche said. “Coach put me in, I had a route, I ran the route, [Ravens QB] Lamar [Jackson] threw it to me— I was just doing my job. I didn’t do anything extra. ‘Coach Dub’ (Ravens Pass Game Specialist Keith Williams) always talks about just staying the course. To just keep staying locked in and to not get too high or too low and I’ve been really trying to work on that.

“You can call it emotional stability or whatever you want to. I put a lot into this game. I care a lot about it, so I play with a lot of passion so to just kind of stay even keel—it’s good for me.”

“It was great. It was fantastic,” Proche said. “It was a collective just always doing our job and you love to see that because later down the road they’ve got to respect us now. All the talk on Twitter and all that nonsense, they’ve got to respect us now. It’s going to help the run game, and the defense is going to help everything. Everybody is doing their job.”

What the Broncos Said After Ravens’ Win - Ryan Mink

OLB Von Miller

On the loss

“It’s disappointing. The Ravens were a good team and they beat us today and [Ravens QB] Lamar [Jackson] just presents so many different problems passing the ball and rushing the ball. Do you rush up the field and try to get the sack and he scrambles, or do you try to contain him and give him a little more time for the deep ball? He presented a lot of problems and they [Ravens] did a great job today and we just have to do our job to stop them. We’ll see them again. A team like that you got to play twice. We got our first go with them and we’ll see those guys again.”

On if the defense was happy containing Lamar Jackson from running

“No, we still lost, and they still ran for 100 [yards] and threw for 300 [yards]. They had their way today. We didn’t want to let him [Jackson] get to the outside or let them break any runs and they were still able to break some runs and make some big plays. Like I said, a team like that, you got to play those guys twice—and we’ll see those guys again.”

Defensive Notes Week 4 Ravens @ Broncos - Ken McKusick

PASS RUSH

Martindale employed only moderate numbers and deception to acheive outstanding results.

For the game, Bridgewater and Lock had ATS on 8 of 42 drop backs (19%) which is quite low. Bridgewater had just 2 ATS opportunities in 18 plays (11%) resulting in a pass or sack during the first half. Both of Bridgewater’s ATS opportunities were incomplete and the Broncos QBs had an inverted game with just 3.1 YPP with ATS (25 yards on 8 such plays).

The Ravens rushed 5+ on 15 of 42 drop backs (36%) on which the Broncos averaged 4.5 YPP with 2 sacks.

Martindale used 8 individual blitzes (.19 per pass play) from off the LoS, all singles. Bridgewater and Lock completed a combined 7 of 8 for 104 yards (13.0 per play) on those plays and just 74 net yards on 34 other pass plays, including 5 sacks and an INT.

The Ravens stunted 9 times (5 with 1 stunt and 2 with 2). The 7 plays with a stunt went for 7 total yards, including 1 sack.

The Ravens showed simulated pressure on 10 occasions where 2 or 3 dropped from the LoS, up from 9 vs the Lions. 10 plays, 57 yards, 5.7 YPP, 0 sacks.

Tyus Bowser was the Ravens most effective pass rusher with 2 sacks and shares of 5 other pressure events (1 full, 4 x ½). He also drew a holding flag while rushing. Calais Campbell had 3 QHs. Justin Madubuike had a sack, a QH, 2 Pressures (1 a PD) on 16 pass snaps.