Jamison Hensley, ESPN
5. Baltimore Ravens (5-2)
Young riser: S Geno Stone
Has there been any bigger riser in the league this year than 24-year-old Stone? He has gone from a seventh-round pick in 2020 who was waived twice in his rookie season to the NFL’s leader in interceptions. Stone is the biggest surprise on one of the league’s top defenses because he wasn’t even a projected starter. He stepped in for the injured Marcus Williams and has picked off four passes in seven games. “I think he’s a good example of someone that takes care of the details on a day-to-day basis, comes to work every day, does his best, doesn’t complain, doesn’t get all caught up in things [like], ‘Why is this not happening for me’ or ‘That’s not happening for me,’” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “Then, when his opportunity comes, he’s prepared, and he makes the most of it.”
Jeff Zrebiec, The Athletic
When was the last time you could accurately say the Ravens had something resembling a cornerback surplus? Ronald Darby played pretty well when he filled in for Humphrey early in the season. Rock Ya-Sin has been solid whenever he’s gotten an opportunity. With Humphrey back, Stephens playing so well on the other side and Arthur Maulet suited for the slot, Darby and Ya-Sin are barely getting on the field. Beyond them, you still have second-year corner Jalyn Armour-Davis, veteran Kevon Seymour and Damarion Williams, who is on injured reserve but was expected to return at some point in late October. Given the annual attrition at the cornerback position, this qualifies as a good problem to have.
In his return to the lineup after missing four straight games with a high ankle sprain, Oweh had three tackles, a sack and a forced fumble against Detroit. Oweh was credited with five quarterback pressures by NFL’s Next Gen Stats. The Lions’ tackles are good, too, and Oweh had some nice rushes. He played like he did in Week 1 against Houston before he was injured the following week. Oweh hasn’t been able to show it much, but he’s looked like a difference-maker when healthy.
In town to see former teammate Terrell Suggs get inducted into the Ring of Honor, Marshal Yanda spent a chunk of Saturday at the team facility. He attended the offensive line meetings and spoke to the group. Maybe it’s just a coincidence that the offensive line came out Sunday and had its finest performance of the season. Regardless, Yanda’s presence carries a lot of clout in the Ravens’ facility. Just ask guys such as Ronnie Stanley, who had a close relationship with Yanda as a teammate, and Tyler Linderbaum, who has gotten to know Yanda through their University of Iowa affiliation.
NFL coaches on the rise and decline: Ravens’ Todd Monken, Eagles’ Sean Desai deserve praise entering Week 8
Cody Benjamin, CBS Sports
Trending up: Todd Monken
The Ravens defense had a big hand in Baltimore’s 38-6 spanking of Detroit, collapsing Jared Goff’s pocket. But Monken and his staff rightfully got a game ball from head coach John Harbaugh after Lamar Jackson and Co. averaged more than 9 yards per play. Jackson has turned in some remarkably polished passing performances under the new offensive coordinator, even with hiccups from the receiving corps, and Monken’s oversight helped the quarterback look MVP-caliber in Week 7.
Dalton Wasserman, PFF
Overall Rookie Grade: 71.1 (Rank: 6/13)
Principal Opponent: Will Harris
Week 7 Snaps: 43
Week 7 Grade: 62.1
Another week, another solid outing for Flowers. Despite a drop dragging down his grade, Flowers finished the day with four catches for 75 yards. He had a huge 46-yard gain on an in route on the Ravens’ third play of the game. Flowers’ ability to run the full route tree has made him a vital part of Baltimore’s offense and a key reason that Lamar Jackson is carrying a career-high passing grade.
Jonas Shaffer, The Baltimore Banner
The Ravens lead the NFL with 29 sacks but entered Week 7 ranked just 13th in ESPN’s pass rush win rate. They’re also 15th in pressure rate, according to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats, suggesting a comedown may be inevitable. Considering the elite pass rush groups that have forced their way to the Super Bowl in recent years, that might not be good enough.
Outside linebacker Odafe Oweh’s return from an ankle injury bolstered the unit Sunday, but it’s unclear how much more help is on the way. David Ojabo, rehabilitating a sprained knee and high-ankle sprain, has had a limited impact when healthy. Tyus Bowser’s timetable for a recovery from his agitated knee is unclear. And for as well as Jadeveon Clowney has played, his injury history has to be accounted for, too.
Young, an Upper Marlboro native, has five sacks in six games this year and entered Week 7 with the 18th-best pass rush win rate among edge rushers, according to ESPN. Even if Young’s stay in Baltimore is short, the Ravens could recoup some of his value through the compensatory-draft-pick process. Yannick Ngakoue was a disappointment in Baltimore in 2020, recording just three sacks in nine games, but the Ravens received a 2022 fourth-round pick after he signed a two-year, $26 million contract with the Las Vegas Raiders. Young has a higher ceiling and could turn into a third-round pick.
Michael David Smith, NBC Sports
“Last week it was the Ravens that spoke to me, so they seem to be interested and played great today,” Suh said. “You never know. We’ll see when we get back to the States, huddle up with the wife and family, get settled and keep training.”
Suh said he wants to play for a contender, and for a team that will give him significant playing time.
“Where’s the right fit? Where’s the right opportunity? Where can I go and add value? I don’t just want to sit there and watch other guys be successful,” Suh said. “Have options, that’s the key, and make decisions from there.”
Last year Suh signed with the Eagles mid-season and played the last eight games of the regular season and all three postseason games. At age 36, he could do something similar this year.