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Ravens News 10/26: Misdirection & Pace

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Buffalo Bills v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

5 things we learned from the Baltimore Ravens’ Week 7 win over the Lions

Gordon McGuinness, PFF


Oweh returned in Week 7 after missing four games due to injury. He made an immediate impact, forcing a fumble on a sack of Lions quarterback Jared Goff. He finished the game with four total pressures from 33 pass-rushing snaps and, considering his three other wins that didn’t result in pressure, recorded a 19.4% pass-rush win rate that led all Ravens edge defenders.

Oweh has played just 103 snaps, but the third-year edge defender looks to have taken a significant step forward in 2023. His 16.7% pressure rate ranks second to Kyle Van Noy among the team’s edged defenders, while his 15.3% pass-rush win rate trails only Jadeveon Clowney.


Darby has earned a 66.8 PFF coverage grade on 166 coverage snaps, allowing 14 receptions for 167 yards on 29 targets with a pair of pass breakups. Ya-Sin has earned an 82.5 PFF coverage grade, allowing just five receptions on 12 targets from 80 snaps in coverage with four pass breakups. Stephens has started every game and has allowed 35 receptions for 356 yards on 55 targets. Crucially, he has yet to allow a touchdown in coverage and has an interception and three pass breakups to his name. His 66.3 PFF coverage grade is solid if unspectacular, but he has developed into a starting-caliber player for Baltimore.

With Marlon Humphrey back, and coming off his best game of the season against the Lions, the Ravens are suddenly very deep at a key position that seemed to be a likely weak spot heading into the season.

Ravens film study: Inside the surprises that Lamar Jackson and the offense had for the Lions

Jonas Shaffer, The Baltimore Banner

It was only fitting that subversion and misdirection powered one of the Ravens’ most unexpectedly dominant games in recent memory. When Monken wasn’t flummoxing a stout Lions defense with unexpected play designs, Jackson was improvising moments of out-of-structure brilliance.

On the Ravens’ fourth possession, they started running over Detroit’s defense. So on first-and-10 from the Lions’ 24, the offense lined up with the kind of personnel that suggested another carry was coming: two backs, two tight ends and just one wide receiver. But after Jackson started to follow a convoy of blockers on an apparent designed quarterback run, he pulled up and looked for tight end Mark Andrews downfield. He’d leaked out after pretending to block and was wide open for a 22-yard catch.

Two plays later, the Ravens caught Detroit off guard not only with their play call but also their pace. According to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats, the Ravens took only four seconds to get from their huddle to their snap. And when the ball was snapped, the Lions were not prepared. Andrews was lined up where left tackle Stanley was normally positioned, while Stanley was lined up between tight end Isaiah Likely and Flowers. That size advantage served Edwards well, who took a pitch from Jackson and wasn’t touched until he’d broken the plane for a 2-yard score.

Ravens film study: Rookie WR Zay Flowers joins Ja’Marr Chase with historic start — and continues to get open

Brian Wacker, The Baltimore Sun

“For seven games in, it’s probably as good as it can be,” coach John Harbaugh said of Flowers’ understanding of coordinator Todd Monken’s scheme. “He’s really diligent. He’s very smart, and yet, he’s not anywhere near where he’s going to be in terms of understanding the offense.”

There are also plenty of other numbers that stand out about Flowers.

For one, he has accounted for 27.8% of the Ravens’ air yards, according to Next Gen Stats, which is 7% more than that of tight end Mark Andrews, the team’s leading receiver each of the past two seasons. For another, he’s shown a dynamic ability once the ball is in hands. Flowers’ yards after catch above expectation — that is, a player’s ability to generate more yards than what might be expected based on how open the receiver is, how fast they’re traveling and how many defenders there are, among other factors — is 0.5. To put that in perspective, that currently rates higher than Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, New York Jets receiver Garrett Wilson, Lions receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and Arizona Cardinal and former Raven Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, among others.

Come Sunday in Arizona, Flowers and Brown will be on the same field when the Ravens (5-2) play the Cardinals (1-6). Both figure to be prominent parts of their respective offenses, with Brown having put up similar numbers (32 catches, 383 yards, three touchdowns) to Flowers this season.

NFL trade deadline: Derrick Henry, Danielle Hunter and players Ravens could target

Jeff Zrebiec, The Athletic

Denico Autry, DE, Titans

If the trade of standout safety Kevin Byard to Philadelphia on Monday is any indication, Tennessee is open for business. Autry, a pending free agent, should be a guy every team is asking about, including the Ravens. Baltimore loves versatile and physical defensive linemen. Autry can line up on the edge or inside, and he has a knack for getting to the quarterback. He has four sacks in six games this year and totaled 24.5 over the previous three seasons. He also probably won’t cost as much to acquire as guys such as Danielle Hunter and Brian Burns.

Cody Whitehair, OL, Bears

Left guard John Simpson has held his own, so the Ravens probably don’t feel a ton of urgency to add an interior lineman. But that doesn’t mean they won’t and shouldn’t consider opportunities to upgrade. Baltimore is an injury away from having major questions on the interior of its offensive line. Whitehair can play center, too.

NFL picks, predictions for Week 8: Bills, Lions bounce back; Browns upset Seahawks; Vikings keep Packers down

Bill Bender, The Sporting News

Baltimore Ravens (-8.5) at Arizona Cardinals

Sunday, 4:25 p.m., CBS

The Ravens have allowed 17 points or less in their last four games; with the lone loss coming against Pittsburgh. Arizona has lost four straight games, and they have failed to score more than 20 points. That is a large line for a road favorite, but Baltimore is hitting a groove at the right time. Lamar Jackson has completed 70% or more of his passes in all but one game this season. That is the impact of offensive coordinator Todd Monken.

Pick: Ravens 30, Cardinals 14