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Ravens News 12/20: Unsurprising WR Production and more

Baltimore Ravens v Cleveland Browns Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Twelve Ravens Thoughts following Week 15 defeat at Cleveland - Luke Jones

Ravens wide receivers combined to make eight catches for 58 yards on 14 targets and haven’t caught a touchdown pass since Week 3, a factoid that made the rounds over the weekend. Is it really all that surprising though? You get what you pay for.

Throwing a third-and-10 slant to a 36-year-old DeSean Jackson inside the red zone and targeting James Proche on back-to-back fourth downs illustrated how feeble this passing attack is. The Ravens rank 30th in the NFL in passing efficiency since the first three weeks of the season, per Football Outsiders.

Taking a delay of game after calling a timeout summed up that two-minute drive at the end of the first half appropriately. John Harbaugh acknowledged “some headset issues” after the game, but that just can’t happen. Such clock problems continue, however.

Devin Duvernay hasn’t looked right as a return specialist in recent weeks. You wonder if a bigger-than-expected offensive workload is taking a toll. The same could probably be said for Demarcus Robinson, who fumbled twice in Saturday’s game. These should be No. 3 and No. 4 wide receivers.

Ravens Snap Counts & Grades vs. Browns - Ryan Mink

Justice Hill got as many offensive snaps (24) as J.K. Dobbins, who ran for 125 yards on 13 carries. Hill had one run for three yards and one catch for 15. Gus Edwards had 11 snaps.

Dobbins earned a PFF grade of 84.1, the third-best grade on the Ravens offense and even better than his grade (77.4) in his first game back from the midseason knee surgery. Dobbins continues to improve.

After Marcus Peters (calf) went down in the second half, Brandon Stephens was called upon. Stephens played 20 defensive snaps and was not targeted by a pass, per PFF. He had a strong grade of 66.3, though Peters was having one of his best games yet with a 72.6 mark.

Rookie Kyle Hamilton bounced back from one of his tougher games of the season in Pittsburgh to lead the Ravens defense with a 74.1 grade in Cleveland, though he surrendered six catches for 46 yards on seven targets, per PFF.

Defensive end Brent Urban played a season-high 35% of the defensive snaps, stepping in for injured veteran Calais Campbell (knee). Urban had the defense’s second-best grade at 73.0.

Defensive Notes vs Browns Week 15 2022 - Ken McKusick

PASS RUSH

Macdonald used numbers but very limited deception in his pass-rush scheme.

For the game, Watson had ATS on 12 of 31 drop backs (39%). On those plays, the Browns gained 49 yards (4.1 YPP, 1 sack). Watson also delivered the ball before pressure could develop (BOQ) 12 times (39%, 85 yards, 7.1 YPP). The Ravens generated a pressure event on only 7 plays (23%) which gained 6 net yards (0.9 YPP) including 2 sacks.

David Ojabo

(Q2, 15:00): On 3rd/15, he entered for his 1st NFL snap. His opponent, RT Conklin, appeared to false start by 2-3 clicks (0.07 – 0.10 seconds) but was not flagged (Michael Oher got away with a number of these in his career). He bulled Conklin but the ball was out quickly for PL8 that ended the drive.

The game situation did not allow for much play from Ojabo, but if Campbell misses time, the Ravens may return to more 4-OLB (racecar) packages which feature him.

Can the return of Lamar Jackson save the Ravens’ struggling offense? - Jamison Hensley

The struggling Ravens offense hit rock bottom with Jackson sidelined with a knee injury and backup Tyler Huntley unable to make plays in the passing game. Baltimore scored its fewest points in a regular-season game in 14 years and failed to score a touchdown for the first time since 2018 (before Jackson became the starting quarterback).

Over his last nine games, Jackson threw seven touchdown passes and five interceptions. There were still issues with scoring in the red zone and stretching the field in the passing game. There’s also the question about whether Jackson will be limited while dealing with this knee injury.

Asked if Jackson’s return will fix the passing game, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said, “We’ll see (about) all that. We have a quarterback sitting here [Huntley]. This guy knows what he’s doing. He’s very much capable of doing all the things that we need to do in the passing game. It’s not that; it’s everything else. We have to improve on all those things.”

Ravens coach John Harbaugh says OC Greg Roman ‘fully capable’ of making needed fixes to passing game - Childs Walker

Harbaugh reiterated that the team’s passing game “has not been where we need it to be” after he made a similar comment during his postgame news conference in Cleveland. But he expressed confidence that Roman and his staff will make the needed fixes.

“Absolutely, all of our coaches, including Greg and everybody else, are fully capable of understanding the passing game and what we’ve got to do to get it done and scheming it up,” he said. “We can do things a lot better. We can look at how much we’re calling, how much motion and stuff we’re putting in, all the football-related X’s and O’s. We’re definitely looking at it really hard.”

The Ravens have scored just 29 points over their past three games, with starting quarterback Lamar Jackson (knee) out for all but one quarter in that span. They have rushed for 413 yards over their last two games but have still struggled to finish drives in the end zone, leading fans to intensify their calls for Roman’s removal.

“We’re not getting into all that,” Harbaugh said. “I love the fans talking about everything. We’re together, man. We’re a team. We’re spending all of our time getting ready for the Atlanta Falcons with every ounce of energy we’ve got and a bunch of very, very good people at what they do, who understand everything about our team better than anybody else possibly could. … All that end-of-the-bar talk is for the people sitting at the end of the bar.”