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Ravens News 10/11: Surplus Value

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Houston Texans v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Ravens Eye View: Lamar Jackson’s Stellar Day, And More, in Pittsburgh

Ryan Mink,

The Ravens’ 17-10 loss in Pittsburgh in Week 5 was a frustrating one, but there’s a lot to like on film.

If Baltimore eliminated even some of the unforced errors (mostly drops), the Ravens would have won that game and would have come out of this game looking extremely dangerous.

Lamar Jackson had the highest Pro Football Focus grade (94.6) of any quarterback in the league in Week 5. Though another loss against the Steelers went on Jackson’s record, dropping him to 1-3 as a starter, Jackson had his breakout performance against the Ravens’ AFC North nemesis.

Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken spoke last week about wanting to hit more explosive plays. The Ravens certainly attacked more down the field, as 21.1% of his passes traveled 20 or more air yards. That’s more than 10% higher than the Ravens’ average heading into the game.

Ravens film study: Dropped passes hurt in Pittsburgh. So did these crucial plays.

Jonas Shaffer, The Baltimore Banner

A costly injury

Early in the third quarter, the Ravens lost right tackle Patrick Mekari, starting in place of the injured Morgan Moses, to a chest injury. That left Daniel Faalele to handle Steelers star outside linebacker T.J. Watt.

The before-and-after splits for their offense were notable. With Mekari on the field, according to TruMedia, the Ravens averaged 5.7 yards per play and minus-0.01 expected points added per play. Quarterback Lamar Jackson was pressured on 35.5% of his drop-backs, and he was sacked just once (3.6% rate).

With Mekari off the field, the Ravens averaged a woeful 3.3 yards and minus-0.64 EPA per play. Jackson, meanwhile, was pressured on 42.9% of his drop-backs, and he was sacked three times (21.4% rate), including on the Ravens’ final offensive play of the game.

Harbaugh didn’t have any injury updates after Sunday’s loss, but Moses (shoulder) was limited in practice last week and could return for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans.

Grading all 31 first-round picks after Week 5 of the 2023 NFL season

Dallas Wasserman, PFF


Overall Rookie Grade: 71.7 (Rank: 5/13)

Principal Opponent: Levi Wallace

Week 5 Snaps: 69

Week 5 Grade: 56.9

Flowers continues to be the most consistent force in the Ravens’ receiving corps. He led the team with 73 yards and created three explosive plays. His day was dampened by the first two drops of his career, one of which was a pass deep over the middle where he may have scored. Baltimore’s passing game has been stagnant at times, but it’s certainly not because of Flowers.

Updated 2022 NFL trade grades: McCaffrey, Claypool, Chubb

Seth Walder, ESPN

LB Roquan Smith to Ravens

Baltimore Ravens got: Smith

Chicago Bears got: LB A.J. Klein, 2023 second-round pick, 2023 fifth-round pick

Trade date: Oct. 31

Original grade for the Ravens: B

New grade for the Ravens: B+

This new grade might raise eyebrows, because Smith has been exceptional for the Ravens since they acquired him. He was a Pro Bowler and a first-team All-Pro in 2022, he ranks second in run stop win rate among linebackers since being acquired by Baltimore and he is tied for first in Pro Football Focus grade among linebackers in 2023.

All of that is why this grade has gone up. But let’s not pretend like this wasn’t an incredibly expensive maneuver for an off-ball linebacker, because a critical factor in evaluating the results of this trade is that the Ravens ended up signing Smith to a five-year, $100 million contract that includes $45 million fully guaranteed.

At the time of this trade, I figured the Ravens might rent Smith for 2022 before letting him walk in free agency for a third-round compensatory selection. By signing Smith, it became the equivalent of dealing a borderline first- or second-round pick for the right to pay Smith.

That’s usually a bad bet, but it is one that can pay off if the player plays as well as Smith has. However, the surplus value is limited because the costs were so high.

NFL Head Coach Rankings 2023: Does Josh McDaniels or Matt Eberflus Land at the Bottom?

Dalton Miller, Pro Football Network

3) John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens

Regular-season record: 150-97(.607)

The only thing that has slowed down the Baltimore Ravens recently has been their horrendous injury luck. They’ve still been to the playoffs in three of the last four seasons, and the roster looks poised to contend in a top-heavy AFC again in 2023.

NFL power rankings, Week 6: Ravens need to ‘wake up’ soon to get back in contention

C.J. Doon, The Baltimore Sun

10. Ravens (3-2, No. 7)

Last week: Loss vs. Steelers, 17-10

Up next: vs. Titans in London

It’s only Week 6, and the Ravens have accumulated a season’s worth of regrets. It’s hard to overstate just how big of a collapse Sunday’s loss was. After the Ravens recovered a fumbled punt return by Gunner Olszewski and returned it to the Steelers’ 7-yard line with 5:29 to go, they had a 90.2% chance to win, according to ESPN’s model. There are too many mistakes — dropped passes, fumbles, an end-zone interception, a blocked punt — to recount here, but it’s not as if Sunday’s loss was an aberration. Except for a dominant win in Cleveland, the Ravens have failed to put together a complete performance and put away inferior opponents. Tight end Mark Andrews said it’s time for the sleeping giant to “wake up.” We’ll see if they do, or if this is the same team we’ve become all too familiar with.