Red zone regression is in full force
Through the first four weeks of the season under new offensive coordinator Todd Monken, the Ravens were nearly perfect in the red zone, scoring on 80% of their trips. This was bound to regress as the season went along, but it did not waste any time in doing so. Over the past two games, Baltimore has scored a touchdown on just 22% of their red zone opportunities, something which bit them against the Pittsburgh Steelers and nearly came back to do the same against the Titans. Of the Ravens' 24 points last Sunday, only six came from a touchdown pass from Lamar Jackson to wide receiver Zay Flowers. The remaining 18 came from the leg of Justin Tucker on six field goals.
The good news is that this too should regress to the mean over time and find a happy middle ground between the two extreme outcomes. Baltimore has all of the tools necessary for one of the league’s best offenses, it is just the little things holding them back at the moment.
The 2020 class is going to get paid
One of the themes of the Ravens’ victory on Sunday was the performance of many players from the 2020 draft class. This included defensive tackle Justin Madubuike, inside linebacker Patrick Queen, and safety Geno Stone. All three players are looking for paydays after this season and all three displayed why they are worthy of them this past week.
Madubuike was dominant all day against Tennessee’s offensive line, notching two sacks to go with six pressures and five total tackles. Queen continued his stellar season, flying all over the field and making several key tackles, finishing with a team-high nine tackles and a sack. Stone once again proved his value with yet another crucial interception, making him tied for the most interceptions in the league with three on the season.
With difficult waters to navigate for the foreseeable future regarding the cap situation, Baltimore will have a tough time fitting in any more sizable contracts. That is exactly what all three of the aforementioned players are set to get this offseason with the way they are playing.
Jadeveon Clowney and Kyle Van Noy are looking like steals
The Ravens went into the season with hopes of their pass rush being carried by their young outside linebackers Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo. Instead, it has been the play of veterans signed after the start of the season that has done so. While Oweh and Ojabo have been sidelined with ankle injuries, Jadeveon Clowney and Kyle Van Noy have had their time to shine.
Clowney finished with nine pressures against the Titans, bringing his season total up to 29 and matching his total from all of 2022 with the Cleveland Browns. Meanwhile, Van Noy was credited with six pressures against Tennessee. The duo combined for three sacks on the day, making their presence felt most at the end of the game to prevent the Titans from scoring in the red zone. Baltimore is paying less than $4 million total for both players this season, making them two of the best values in the NFL, especially at a position that can be difficult to find quality players.