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Ravens 9/15: Proper Reactions and more

Baltimore Ravens v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images

‘That ticked me off’: Ravens QB Lamar Jackson laments two fumbles after wild loss to Raiders - Jamison Hensley

Jackson’s mistakes looked as if they came from a former NFL MVP trying to create a spark for an offense that’s on its third No. 1 running back of the summer and struggled mightily in pass protection. Both times he lost the ball, he was trying to gain yards and avoid a sack.

Jackson was pressured on 54.5% of his dropbacks (18 of 33), which is the highest team pressure in a game in the Next Gen Stats era (since 2016). His one touchdown pass required him to scramble for a total of 27 yards, according to Next Gen Stats data.

In Monday’s opener, Jackson was hit 17 times (second only to Buffalo’s Josh Allen in Week 1) because Baltimore couldn’t slow down Las Vegas pass-rushers Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue. Villanueva had the fifth-worst pass block win rate (71%) out of 65 offensive tackles, and Stanley (80.6%) ranked 44th among tackles.

How Valid are some Week 1 Overreactions? - Drae Harris

This is the year that NFL teams figure out Lamar Jackson.

There have been rumblings around the NFL that this is the season teams figure out Jackson. Let me remind you that he has likely been the best player on every team he’s played on. He was the youngest player to ever win the Heisman Trophy. He was the youngest player to ever win the NFL MVP. Quarterbacks should be judged by wins and losses and he was the fastest to record 30 regular-season victories in the history of the NFL. He also needed the fewest number of games to record 5,000 yards passing and 2,000 yards rushing in NFL history.

Injuries have hit this team hard, as Baltimore entered Week 1 having lost three running backs in a span of 12 days. They lost their first-round wide receiver, Rashod Bateman, too. Jackson didn’t make excuses. All he did in Week 1 was put the team on his back.

Jackson was 19-of-30 for 235 yards and 1 TD. He also ran 12 times for 86 yards. However, he had two costly fumbles that contributed to the game’s wild outcome in overtime.

While he’d certainly like to have those back, the truth is that the league has plenty of film on Jackson. Defensive coordinators may have narrowed in on offensive tendencies due to his skill set. However, knowing where the ball is going and stopping the ball carrier are two different conversations. If he’s already playing this well when his offense is depleted with injuries, just imagine what it’ll be like when the Ravens are fully healthy again.

NFL Power Rankings Week 2: Try not to overreact to one game - Dalton Miller

6) Baltimore Ravens

Losing all of your team’s running backs just before the start of the regular season is not good. Losing one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL to a knee injury won’t help, either. Still, the Ravens are one of the best organizations in football. They remain high in the NFL power rankings because Lamar Jackson helps that rushing attack go, no matter who is his partner in the backfield.

Baltimore played a weird game against the Las Vegas Raiders. Nothing particularly funky happened, but it felt … off. It seemed like the Ravens should have been up the entire game, given how poor Derek Carr looked early on. But they never distanced themselves from the Raiders and let Carr torch them late to tie it up. In overtime, Carr and Bryan Edwards took over for the upset.

Ravens gain cap room by restructuring Marlon Humphrey’s deal - Myles Simmons

With so many injuries at key spots, the Ravens will likely need some cap space in the near future.

They got a little relief from one of their key defenders.

According to Field Yates of ESPN, Baltimore converted $2.254 million of cornerback Marlon Humphrey‘s base salary into a signing bonus. That created about $1.8 million in cap space.

Humphrey signed a five-year, $98.75 million contract extension last October. He was scheduled to make $3.224 million in base salary this season.

Ravens Need to Regroup Quickly With Chiefs Matchup Looming - Todd Karpovich

“We have another tough opponent coming into our house, opening up our home game, so we have to be at our best. This is one of those things, but our team is a tough team. We know we have a lot of heart, but we have to find a way to win ballgames like this.”

The Ravens will need to play much better to beat Kansas City.

“It’s the first game of the season, so there will always be a few wrinkles in there – that was expected,” Campbell said. “You can’t prepare for everything; you can only prepare off of what they did last year and in the preseason. But that’s only so much, so that’s just how it goes. We did things that they weren’t ready for, too, that they couldn’t prepare for that were unique. You have to hand it to them; they earned the win. It hurts.

NFL Week 2 picks: Chiefs steamroll Ravens on Sunday night, Bengals shock Bears in Chicago to move to 2-0 - John Breech

Since he took over the Chiefs starting QB job in 2018, not only is Mahomes UNDEFEATED in September (11-0), but he’s also thrown 35 touchdowns passes and ZERO interceptions. As if that’s not impressive enough, he’s also averaged 331 yards passing in those 11 wins.

The only thing more impressive than Mahomes’ September record is his record against Baltimore. He’s played them three times since Lamar Jackson took over as starting quarterback and he’s 3-0 in those games.

In all three of those losses for Baltimore, the same thing happened: The Chiefs jumped out to a big lead by halftime, which forced the Ravens out of their offensive element. The Ravens are good at getting a lead and then using their run game to stomp on your throat. They’re not so good at playing from behind, which usually isn’t a problem, because they’re so much better than almost every other team in the NFL that they rarely ever have to play from behind. However, that’s not the case with Kansas City.

In the three games between Mahomes and Jackson, the Chiefs have outscored the Ravens by an average of 13.3 points per game in the first half (67-26). Last year against the Chiefs, the Ravens trailed 27-10 at the half and then they had to play catch-up for the rest of the game, which is something they don’t do so well.

Mahomes doesn’t lose in September and he doesn’t lose to the Ravens and those are two streaks I just can’t bring myself to pick against.

The pick: Chiefs 37-24 over Ravens