By Chris Schisler
- The Baltimore Ravens have had their adversity start early. J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, Justice Hill, and Marcus Peters have all been lost to injuries.
- The Ravens added as much as they could to the running back position. New Ravens include Le’Veon Bell, Devonta Freeman, Latavius Murray, and Trenton Cannon.
- Monday Night Football will be the first look of 0Marquise Brown this season. Brown didn’t play in the preseason. Rashod Bateman and Nick Boyle still haven’t returned.
- The Ravens will be playing a familiar opponent, Yannick Ngakoue signed with the Raiders this offseason. The running back position isn’t the only new look spot on the roster. The outside linebacker positions have been impacted heavily by the offseason with Justin Houston and Odafe Oweh being the most notable additions.
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- The Raiders’ biggest problem last year was stopping the run. It makes for a good test drive of the Ravens’ new backfield rotation. If the Ravens can keep the run game as a core strength it will be a huge deal.
- This is your first real look at the difference that Keith Williams has on the passing schemes as the pass game coordinator. The preseason probably didn’t show many of the Ravens’ new tricks.
- There is a lot of pressure on both Greg Roman and Lamar Jackson this season. The Ravens need more from the passing game. They ranked last in passing attempts and yards last season, despite being a very efficient offense.
- One thing to watch is the turnover battle. The Raiders were -11 in the turnover ratio last season. This is a huge opportunity for Baltimore to take the football away on defense.
- Richie Incognito has reportedly missed practice time. The Raiders may not have Incognito starting at left guard on Monday Night. This could be an area for the Ravens to attack.
Players to watch:
- Darren Waller had promise and potential with the Ravens. He’s realized that potential with the Raiders. The tight end has become a star who had over 1,000 yards in the 2020 season.
- Derek Carr has shockingly good statistics on his resume. He’s had three straight years over 4,000 yards passing. Last year he had 4,103 yards, 27 touchdowns, and nine interceptions.
- Maxx Crosby had seven sacks last season. The 6’5″ Eastern Michigan product is entering his third season. He has 17 sacks tallied already in the NFL. With the help of Yannick Ngakoue, the offensive line could get a test.
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- Speaking of offensive tackles, Alejandro Villanueva is getting his first test in the regular season as a Raven. He needs to show that he’s still got a season or two of good football in the tank.
- For the Ravens, it’s all about Lamar Jackson. It always is, the injuries sustained before the season even kicked off made that even clearer. The Ravens need Jackson to have another MVP type of season.
- Anthony Averett, you’re up! Averett may need more help than Marcus Peters did, but Averett has to hold his own in this game as the first fill-in for Marcus Peters.
Things to think about:
- Lamar Jackson has excelled in primetime games in the regular season. He has two prime-time games with five touchdown passes and he’s only entering his third full year as the starting quarterback of the Ravens.
- The rotation of running backs is an experiment. This is something that will grow and develop over the first four or five weeks of the season. Trial and error is the only approach Baltimore can really take with this make-shift group.
- The Ravens’ success in season openers under John Harbaugh, especially with Lamar Jackson, is at the very least an encouraging thought in the back of the collective mind of the Ravens Flock.
NEXT POST: Ravens vs. Raiders: 3 keys for the offense post Gus Edwards injury
It’s almost go-time for the Ravens season. Even with the adversity, the team has already faced, there is a new hope brewing in Baltimore. This still has the chance to be a special season.
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