The Baltimore Ravens overcame a sluggish start on offense and ineffective run blocking throughout to notch a 24-9 Week 1 road victory over the Jets. After a long layoff from live action, franchise quarterback Lamar Jackson tossed a trio of deep touchdown passes. And Baltimore’s defense held New York below 15-percent on third-down conversion rate while forcing a pair of takeaways.
Starting offensive lineman Ben Powers, Tyler Linderbaum, Kevin Zeitler and Morgan Moses played all of the Ravens 56 offensive snaps. After left tackle Ja’Waun James suffered a probable career ending Achilles tear, Patrick Mekari lined up on the blindside for the final 32 snaps of the contest. The blocking unit allowed five quarterback hits, two sacks and struggled to open holes in the run game, resulting in a three yard per carry rushing average.
Recent signee Kenyan Drake led the backfield with 33 snaps (59%) and showed impressive quickness, accumulating 46 yards on 12 touches. On 11 snaps, Justice Hill managed just 11 yards on four touches. Veteran journeyman Mike Davis chipped in 11-yards on two carries during his seven snap Ravens debut.
All-Pro tight end Mark Andrews shouldered a heavy snap share (84%) and led Baltimore with five receptions for 52 yards on seven targets. Preseason phenom Isaiah Likely served as the second tight end with 25 snaps (45%), but failed to reel in any of his four targets. With Nick Boyle inactive, Josh Oliver saw 19 snaps.
Rashod Bateman led the wide receivers with 37 snaps (66%) and punctuated his performance by splitting the safeties for a 55-yard touchdown grab. Devin Duvernay enjoyed a breakout game that included two outstanding touchdown catches on 29 snaps (52%). Veteran Demarcus Robinson was next in line with 25 snaps (45%) but recorded only 19 yards on two receptions. Special teams standout Tylan Wallace earned six Week 1 snaps and training camp darling James Proche went without a target during his five snap outing.
The starting safety tandem of Marcus Williams and Chuck Clark each played all of the 84 defensive snaps. Williams had an excellent debut for the Ravens, leading the team with 10 solo tackles and an interception. Clark also forced a fumble from Jets rookie Breece Hall. First round rookie Kyle Hamilton made three tackles during his 42 snap (50%) debut. Fellow safety Geno Stone did not see the field on defense.
Marlon Humphrey also played every defensive snap, often as a slot cornerback, and recorded a quarterback hit along with a fumble recovery. Veteran acquisition Kyle Fuller played 80 snaps (95%) before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Brandon Stephens settled in as a boundary cornerback and was credited with a pair of pass breakups on 58 snaps (69%). Rookie corners Pepe Williams and Jalyn Armour-Davis received their first taste of regular season action with 13 and three defensive snaps, respectively.
At linebacker, Patrick Queen perhaps surprisingly was called upon for every defensive play. He finished the contest with five solo tackles, three quarterback hits and a half sack. Beside Queen, Josh Bynes and Malik Harrison rotated frequently, as Bynes saw 32 snaps (38%) compared to Harrison’s 22 (26%). Neither Kristian Welsh, Josh Ross nor Del’Shawn Phillips earned a defensive rep but the trio were all among the leaders in special teams snaps.
With outside linebackers Tyus Bowser and David Ojabo recovering from injuries. Odafe Oweh and Justin Houston were both forced into taxing workloads. Oweh played 68 snaps (81%). Houston managed a sack and two quarterback hits on 54 snaps (64%). And practice squad elevation Steven Means contributed 28 snaps (33%) to the edge defender effort.
Baltimore’s defensive line appeared much improved after parting ways with longtime stalwart Brandon Williams. Michael Pierce led the way with 45 snaps (54%), forced a fumble and recorded a hit on his former teammate Joe Flacco. Justin Madubuike displayed his disruptiveness with a half sack on 43 snaps (51%). Calais Campbell also recorded a sack and two quarterback hits during a 41 snap (49%) outing. Rounding out the healthy down lineman rotation, Broderick Washington deflected a pass among his 34 snaps (40%) and Brent Urban played 25 snaps (30%).
A strong defensive effort helped Baltimore begin their 2022 campaign on the right track. Next, they will host the expected contender Dolphins in Week 2. The Ravens will aim to avenge an embarrassing loss to Miami last season, perhaps with the assistance of rehabbing cornerstone players Marcus Peters and Ronnie Stanley.