In Week 3, the injury plagued Ravens were forced into battle without defenders Justin Houston, Justin Madubuike, Brandon Williams and Jaylon Ferguson due to Covid-19 protocol. Fortunately, Justin Tucker knocked an NFL record 66-yard field goal through the uprights to earn a memorable victory in Detroit.
Calais Campbell anchored the shorthanded defensive line, managing four tackles including two for a loss and a quarterback hit on 47 snaps. Reserve nose tackle Justin Ellis and second-year defensive tackle Broderick Washington fared quite well with expanded workloads, tallying 40 and 36 snaps respectively. Journeyman Khalil McKenzie rounded out the defensive line rotation with 15 serviceable snaps.
Baltimore’s inside linebackers struggled to tackle D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams. Patrick Queen recorded 62 mostly ineffective snaps. Beside him, the Ravens rotated through several players. Undersized former safety Chris Board logged 21 snaps while promising run plugger Malik Harrison earned just 17. Veteran practice squad elevation Josh Bynes was called upon for 14 snaps and provided three solo tackles. Reconfiguring the inside linebacker depth chart is certainly an option before the Ravens face the Broncos, Colts and Chargers capable rushing attacks over the next three weeks.
Rookie Odafe Oweh paced the outside linebackers with 50 high quality snaps. Tyus Bowser again failed to make much impact on his 47 snaps. Veteran Pernell McPhee shouldered 38 snaps and rookie Daelin Hayes managed four snaps before succumbing to injury.
Chuck Clark was a dominant force on defense, leading the team with 12 total tackles including a sack and near forced fumble on a full complement of snaps. Marlon Humphrey also played all 63 defensive snaps, supplying excellent coverage and tackling throughout. Anthony Averett contributed 60 solid snaps, including a crucial pass deflection. Nickel corner Tavon Young also fared well during his 35 snaps and sacked Jared Goff on a slot blitz.
Matchup cover corner Jimmy Smith made his 2021 debut with 19 valuable snaps. Safety DeShon Elliott exited this game for the second straight week after 39 snaps, due to an apparent quad injury. Rookie Brandon Stephens saw 22 snaps in relief of the oft-injured safety.
With Ronnie Stanley sidelined indefinitely, Alejandro Villanueva and Patrick Mekari again served as the Ravens offensive tackles. They were joined by Bradley Bozeman and Kevin Zeitler as the offensive lineman to line-up for all 58 offensive plays. The platoon at left guard continued with Ben Powers out snapping rookie Ben Cleveland 55 to 45. Trystan Colon saw a reduction in usage from nine snaps in Week 2 to one snap in Week 3.
Ty’Son Williams led the running back corps with a 50-percent snap share but received just five carries compared to Latavius Murray’s seven during his 19 snaps. Devonta Freeman struggled to gain yardage with three carries for eight yards on nine snaps. None of the Ravens backs caught a pass in Detroit.
Fullback Patrick Ricard was utilized for 29 snaps and blocking tight end Eric Tomlinson logged 15. Backup tight end Josh Oliver chipped-in a six yard reception among his 11 snaps. And Mark Andrews showcased his Pro Bowl ability with five catches for 109 yards on 46 snaps.
Free agent acquisition Sammy Watkins is providing the respectable veteran presence Baltimore needed, he caught the 36-yard pass that put Tucker in field goal range and led the receiving corps with a 79-percent snap share. Marquise Brown had an off day with several ugly drops while producing 53 yards on 39 snaps. Devin Duvernay has carved out a significant role on offense, he saw 33 snaps and secured a touchdown for the second consecutive week. James Proche made the stat sheet with a 29-yard reception during 13 his snaps.
Anthony Levine, Kristian Welsh, Board, Harrison, Kevon Seymour, Geno Stone and Tylan Wallace served as the core special teamers against the Lions. Through three games, long snapper Nick Moore has replaced longtime Raven Morgan Cox without issue. And Sam Koch averaged nearly 46 yards on his three punts in Ford Field.
Detroit illuminated some areas that require improvement. Nonetheless, the Ravens did just enough to remain tied for first place in the AFC North thanks to Lamar Jackson and Justin Tucker’s heroics.