In Week 2, the Baltimore Ravens lost their home opener to the Miami Dolphins after surrendering a 21 point fourth quarter lead. Rookie defensive backs were exposed by speed merchants Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Journeymen tailbacks failed to find running room behind a shorthanded blocking unit. Baltimore allowed six plays of more than 20 yards, lost the time of possession battle by nearly 10 minutes and ultimately suffered one of the most stunning defeats in team history.
With Ronnie Stanley still recovering from a career-threatening 2020 ankle injury and Ja’Wuan James on injured reserve, Patrick Mekari served as the left tackle. He was joined by Ben Powers, Tyler Linderbaum, Kevin Zeitler and Morgan Moses for all 59 offensive snaps. Despite a strong preseason after initially failing the conditioning test, Ben Cleveland has yet to earn an offensive snap, but fellow mountainous blocker Daniel Faalele made his NFL debut with five jumbo package offensive snaps.
Justice Hill led the running back committee with 21 snaps (36%) and 16 rushing yards. Kenyan Drake managed a meager eight rushing yards on six carries and 15 snaps. Similarly, Mike Davis gained only four yards on five carries and 18 snaps. Fullback Patrick Ricard was utilized on 38 snaps (64%) and picked up a first down with a five yard carry.
All-Pro Mark Andrews paced the skill position players with 49 snaps (83%), 11 targets and nine receptions, He eclipsed 100 receiving yards and secured a touchdown. Despite suiting up in the preseason, blocking tight end Nick Boyle has not been activated for a regular season contest yet. Josh Oliver played in his stead, playing 28 snaps (47%) without a target. Rookie Isaiah Likely served as the third tight end with four receptions on five targets and 21 snaps (36%).
Rashod Bateman ran away from the defense on a 75-yard catch-and-run touchdown and led the wide receivers with 36 snaps (61%). Devin Duvernay was not far behind, lining up for 32 offensive snaps (54%), in addition to his 103-yard opening kickoff return. Demarcus Robinson’s lone catch was a 12-yard score and Tylan Wallace had a nine yard catch, they chipped in 23 and nine snaps, respectively.
Starting safeties Marcus Williams and Chuck Clark lined up for all 71 defensive snaps. Williams again led the Ravens in solo tackles and corralled two interceptions, providing immediate return on the free agency investment. Rookie Kyle Hamilton recorded a pass breakup during his 38 snap (54%) outing. And Geno Stone saw the field for eight defensive snaps.
Marcus Peters returned from a 2021 ACL injury and notched a pass defensed in 44 (62%) snaps. Marlon Humphrey’s 56 snaps (79%) led the cornerbacks but he was sidelined in the fourth quarter due to injury. Brandon Stephens was deactivated in Week 2, forcing rookie Jalyn Armour-Davis to shoulder 38 up-and-down snaps (54%). Pepe Williams was also tasked with 37 snaps (52%) and journeyman Daryl Worley was needed for five snaps.
Patrick Queen posted four solo tackles while playing every defensive snap. Josh Bynes made minimal impact during his 37 snap (52%) performance. Rounding out the inside linebacker group, Malik Harrison contributed 24 snaps (34%). Kristian Welsh, Del’Shawn Phillips and Josh Ross were limited to special teams duty.
The Ravens lack of depth at edge defender was exacerbated when Steven Means suffered a season-ending torn Achilles during his only snap. Odafe Oweh recorded a tackle for loss while managing a grueling 58 snap workload (82%). Justin Houston recorded Baltimore’s only sack during a taxing 49 snap (69%) outing. The front office will likely add reinforcements at outside linebacker this week to prevent Oweh and Houston from wearing down before Tyus Bowser returns to the field.
Calais Campbell anchored the defensive line with 45 snaps (63%). Justin Madubuike earned 36 snaps (51%), Broderick Washington and Michael Pierce each played 35 snaps (49%), and Brent Urban completed the rotation with 22 snaps (31%). The lineman were not nearly as disruptive as they were in Week 1 due to Miami’s ball-out-quick scheme.
The unexpected Week 2 loss was a reminder that explosive scoring plays on offense and multiple takeaways on defense do not guarantee victory in the modern, high scoring NFL. While Baltimore’s passing offense has exceeded expectations in the first two games, their rushing offense has been a major disappointment. The Ravens will aim to find better balance on offense and correct miscommunications in the secondary ahead of their Week 3 trip to New England.