In preparing for Sunday’s matchup between the Ravens and Arizona Cardinals, Revenge of the Birds’ Seth Cox and I sat down for a short Q&A for one another’s publications.
On Friday, the Arizona Cardinals listed quarterback Kyler Murray as doubtful. Do you believe he’ll be on the field come Sunday? If so, what do you expect? If not, tell Ravens fans about Joshua Dobbs performance this season. Where does he excel? Struggle?
He is not going to play; I shouldn’t say that with such confidence, but between it only being nine days off the PUP and the fact they are playing one of the best defenses if not the best defense in the NFL this is probably not the week to do it.
Next week is probably not either, when you consider Cleveland, potential weather and of course another great defense.
So, it makes sense they would do it at home against an Atlanta Falcons team who is not of the same ilk as the Ravens.
For Dobbs, he is what he is. A competent backup who can do enough to keep you around, but as things start to go south and they are asking him to make plays to keep them in or win games, it gets bad.
His three game stretch was very good, easily the best he played in his career. Since then, it has been bad at best and catastrophic at worst.
In his good three-game stretch he was 66/93 for a nearly 71% completion percentage with four touchdowns and no turnovers. They went 1-2 in that stretch.
Then, the next three games he is 55/106 for a nearly 52% completion percentage, two touchdowns and five turnovers.
Dobbs can do okay when things are close and they don’t need to push the ball down the field or make big plays. When they ask him to, goodnight.
The Cardinals defense has their work cut out for them this week as they look to slow a white-hot Ravens offense ranked No. 5 by DVOA. And by the same metric, the Cardinals defense ranks No. 31. Where have teams been finding success against the Cardinals defense? Where will the Ravens attack most?
Wherever you guys want. The Cardinals had maybe their best defensive game of the season in their loss to the Seattle Seahawks, but it is a question if that was more Seattle missing plays or the Cardinals defense making plays.
However, the Cardinals defense lacks talent. When you look at the roster, there are maybe four players right now who would play on most average NFL defenses.
Budda Baker is a nearly universal starter, Kyzir White can start for most NFL teams, Jalen Thompson as well, and then from there you might get some playing time for Dennis Gardeck. Cam Thomas hasn’t developed, Dante Stills is a nice late round rookie, Garrett Williams has played one NFL game, so you are hopeful. But, if we are being realistic this is where the idea of tanking came in. This team didn’t have a ton of cap space and needed to fill out starters on every level outside of safety.
So, when you want to run the ball. You’ll be able to run the ball.
When you want to throw the ball, you’ll be able to throw the ball.
Hopefully with Baker back, with Williams playing and potentially getting Thompson back, they will continue to improve, but as you said, they are just not good right now. A talent turnover is needed and hopefully will be coming this offseason.
We’re two years into the Marquise “Hollywood” Brown trade between these two clubs. How has the trade worked out for the Cardinals? How has Hollywood performed?
It has worked out well for the Cardinals when he is on the field and this year he has been excellent. Dobbs has left roughly 175 yards and three touchdowns on the field with miss throws [to Hollywood] in the Cincinnati and Los Angeles games.
Hopefully, when Kyler comes back, they can pick up where they left off last year where he was on pace for 106 catches, 1130 yards and six touchdowns.
It seems like unless they move him at the deadline that they will look to keep him in the fold unless he gets more than most are expecting. So the Cardinals will get a compensatory pick or likely keep him.
Who are two Cardinals players (one offense/one defense) Ravens fans should pay specific attention to in this game that aren’t household names?
Running back Emari Demercado has been a revelation as an undrafted free agent and is running well. He had 13 carries for 58 yards and in the Bengals game where he took over for James Conner after Conner’s injury he finished with 10 for 45.
His 4.5 yards per carry is not bad when you consider this team cannot throw the ball at all.
On defense, I mentioned Garrett Williams and Dante Stills, both 2023 rookies who have seen impactful plays this year, but the guy who is the most impactful defender is Victor Dimukeje.
Dimukeje is a part time pass rusher, but he can rush the damn passer. He has 3.5 sacks, 10 hurries and one quarterback hit and only has 76 pass rush snaps played this year.
He has been a revelation and it shows what Nick Rallis and Jonathan Gannon can scheme up with talent that may not be what they need to be successful.
DraftKings Sportsbook set the line for this game at Ravens -9.5. Share why you agree/disagree.
Oh hell yeah. We did our weekly podcast on prop bets and the game overall, and I had the Ravens taking this one in a route. 37-7 and it is not close. If you like to gamble, buy that line up to 12 or even 15, because I just don’t see anyway with Josh Dobbs under center that they keep this one close.
The biggest question I have is do the Ravens get to 40 for the over to hit, because I just don’t see how the Cardinals help enough to get the 44.5.