How the Ravens look after 4 games: Stretches of dominance marred by confounding letdowns - Jeff Zrebiec
Sunday’s matchup against the also 2-2 Bengals, who embarrassed the Ravens in two games last year, is extremely significant, not just in the AFC North standings but for the team’s psyche. The Ravens have had two brutal losses at home against quality AFC teams. Suffer another and the pressure on Harbaugh and his staff to turn things around before the Ravens dig too deep of a hole would only ratchet up.
Is John Harbaugh on the hot seat or looking good for 2023 season?
There are plenty of Ravens fans who believe that Harbaugh is or at least should be. There is obvious frustration with the two blown home leads, the aggressive decisions late in games that have backfired and the inconsistency on both sides of the ball. Fiery cornerback Marcus Peters screaming at Harbaugh amid the collapse against Buffalo certainly wasn’t a good look for the player or the 15th-year head coach.
Harbaugh, though, just signed a three-year contract extension in March. He has a strong relationship with owner Steve Bisciotti and general manager Eric DeCosta, and he’s widely considered one of the top head coaches in the sport. Beyond Peters’ recent display of frustration, there’s been no evidence that Harbaugh’s lost support in the locker room. His teams have always been highly competitive, even when injuries have decimated their ranks. It would likely take a disastrous season for Harbaugh’s job to be in jeopardy.
Ravens Have Moved on After Emotional Bills Loss - Clifton Brown
Marlon Humphrey says the Ravens have moved on in every way from Sunday’s loss to the Buffalo Bills, including the sideline argument between Head Coach John Harbaugh and Marcus Peters.
Humphrey said he and Harbaugh have talked about it, and that Harbaugh talked about it with other players and they addressed it as a team.
“We fight all the time in this building,” Humphrey said. “I’ve fought with some people in here myself. This is an emotional game. The thing that I love about this building is, it doesn’t matter what department you work in, we all want to win on Sunday. As long as we can hug it out after, that’s all that matters. … At the end of the day, we all just want to win.”
Peters is a vocal leader in the secondary, and passes along valuable pre-snap reads to his teammates. Humphrey said he loves playing with Peters, but he also knows Baltimore’s pass defense needs to improve. While Humphrey and Peters are regarded as one of the NFL’s top cornerback duos, Baltimore ranks last in the league in pass defense.
“We can’t be too good of a duo with those numbers,” Humphrey said. “But I do love playing with Marcus Peters. He’s by far my favorite player. On the field he gives me so much insight during the game. I don’t see all the stuff he sees, but he sees it all and he lets me know what he sees. I know his knee’s been feeling a lot better. He’s really been an energizer bunny back there for us in the secondary. I know he’s only going to get better and better.
NFL Week 4 Offense Rankings - Marcus Mosher
EPA/Play: 0.045 (8th)
EPA/Rush: -0.091 (15th)
EPA/Pass: 0.135 (7th)
The Ravens are still one of the best offenses in the NFL, but they just haven’t quite figured out the run game outside of Lamar Jackson. As a result, they struggled in the second half against Buffalo in Week 4 and were unable to close out a seemingly surefire win against Miami at home in Week 2.
The passing game has been fantastic, as the Lamar Jackson to Mark Andrews connection looks stronger than ever. Jackson currently ranks third in the NFL in passer rating (100.5) while posting a stunning 10.4-yard average depth of target.
Baltimore should improve on offense over the next few months, particularly once left tackle Ronnie Stanley is back in the fold. All they need to do is just get a bit healthier to sneak into the top five in EPA per play.
NFL Week 5 underdogs: Can Cowboys overwhelm Rams? Bengals to keep rolling against Ravens? - Nick Shook
Two instances is enough to sap my confidence the Ravens’ defense and its ability to protect a home lead. Cincinnati brings a strong offensive lineup capable of putting points on the board and erasing a deficit if necessary. After scoring just 20 and 17 points in Weeks 1 and 2, the Bengals have scored 27 in each of their last two games, pulling into a tie for first place (with the Ravens and Browns) in the AFC North. They might be figuring things out just in time for a date with a division rival — a team that, by the way, Cincinnati waxed twice in 2021 en route to the AFC crown.
Joe Burrow is also quite good on the big stage, averaging the most passing yards (317) per prime-time game among quarterbacks with at least three such starts in their careers since 1970. If we’ve learned one thing about these Ravens, it’s that they’re susceptible to giving up big passing games to opposing quarterbacks in Baltimore. Add in the bright lights, and you’re setting up for a shootout — one I think Burrow can win.
Week 5: Ravens Vs. Bengals Preview, Where to Watch, Prediction - Todd Karpovich
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow played two of his finest games against the Ravens, throwing for 941 yards with seven touchdowns last season.
The Bengals have struggled to protect Burrow, who has taken 16 sacks, tied for second in the NFL. The Ravens, however, have struggled with their pass rush. Linebacker Odafe Oweh managed his first sack last week and he needs to have more production. Baltimore could get a boost if Tyus Bowser and Justin Houston can get back in the lineup. The secondary played better against the Bills, and the defensive backs need an even better performance this week against Cincinnati.
This is almost a must-win, Week 5 game for the Ravens, who have lost five straight games at home. The Ravens are 2-2 in the AFC, but this game would give the winning team at least a share of first place in the AFC North. The Bengals will be confident after blowing out the Ravens twice last year. Burrow particularly gets fired up for this matchup after some trash talk last season. The Ravens are the more desperate team and this time they finish the game.
Ravens 27, Bengals 23