Baltimore Ravens News Roundup Entering Week 4

Ravens News and Roundup Week 4

The Baltimore Ravens saw off the New England Patriots by a score of 37-26. The win takes Baltimore to 2-1 and joint top of the AFC North. Here is a roundup of all the Baltimore Ravens news from the week as they face off against the Buffalo Bills in Week 4.

Baltimore Ravens News Roundup: Lamar Jackson, Daniel Faalele, Injury Update

Week 3 Recap

The Ravens were always favorites against the Patriots and their dominance showed. With the top offense in the league currently, Baltimore was able to move the ball against New England comfortably.

Lamar Jackson had a standout performance yet again as he threw for 218 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. He managed 18 completions on 29 attempts. What made his performance even more impressive were his 107 yards and one touchdown through the ground (on 11 carries).

Jackson’s rushing production was essential to the Ravens success as the return of J.K. Dobbins failed to kickstart the run game. Justice Hill showed some good burst as a change-of-pace back, however, and managed 60 yards on six carries.

Through the air, Mark Andrews proved yet again why he is invaluable to the Ravens. He caught the ball eight times for 89 yards and two touchdowns. Jackson was able to spread the ball out to seven different receivers but, outside of Andrews, none managed more than two catches.

On the other side of the ball, the Baltimore defense was inconsistent but stepped up when they were called upon. In Week 2, the Ravens gave up a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter, losing to the Miami Dolphins. Many criticised the defenses inability to contain Miami’s receivers, with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle getting the better of Baltimore’s thin secondary. Week 3 was a different story though. With the Ravens trying to hold onto a lead, the defense stood up and generated four turnovers.

Jackson Making MVP Case

Jackson currently leads the NFL’s top offense, leading the league in points per game. He is not a pedestrian in it either – he is the centrepiece. Over the first three games, Jackson has accumulated 739 passing yards, 10 passing touchdowns and just one interception. On the ground, Jackson has been Baltimore’s sole rushing threat, producing 243 yards and two touchdowns. To show for his performances, Jackson was named AFC Offensive Player of the Month.

The elite performances come at a time when contract talks between the 25-year-old and Baltimore have come to a standstill. At the start of the regular season, it was announced that the contract negotiations would be put on hold after the parties could not come to an agreement. It is believed that Jackson wanted more guaranteed money than what the franchise was offering.

Baltimore’s reluctance to deliver on Jackson’s request was due to a patchy 2021 season. Jackson missed a lot of time through injury and the team failed to make the playoffs. The difficult season saw Jackson pass for just 2,885 yards and 16 touchdowns, but that was accompanied by an ugly 13 interceptions through 12 games.

2022 has been a different story though. Jackson is returning to his 2019 MVP form and has demonstrated efficiency through the air and ground. Indeed, through the off-season, Jackson worked a lot on his throwing, and the progress is certainly noticeable. There was a slight injury scare prior to the Patriots game as Jackson was seen wearing an elbow brace, but it turned out to be minor.

Left Tackle a Concern

Ronnie Stanley was a full participant at practice on Wednesday, but John Harbaugh refused to commit to starting Stanley in Week 4. Stanley’s backup, Patrick Mekari, logged a DNP after he sprained his ankle against the Patriots. Mekari’s status for Week 4 is leaning towards doubtful, leaving rookie Daniel Faalele as the starting left tackle.

Faalele, a fourth-round draft pick, struggled in his debut against the Patriots. Up against edge rusher Deatrich Wise, the 22-year-old gave up three sacks. The Ravens were able to limit Wise’s impact in the second half by double-teaming him, however. On several occasions, Kevin Zeitler shifted out to help Faalele and, on a few runs, Faalele was used as a lead blocker.

While the Ravens were able to help Faalele on this occasion, they realistically need Stanley back in the long term. If Faalele is forced to start against the Bills, Jackson could have a tough time throwing the ball.

Injuries

A significant loss for the Ravens was Michael Pierce. Pierce tore his bicep against the Patriots and is due to receive surgery soon. His loss will certainly be felt as he has been an anchor on the defensive line for the Ravens.

Edge rusher Justin Houston is also a concern for Week 4. However, new signing Jason Pierre-Paul is expected to get his first reps against the Bills.

Week 4 Preview

The Baltimore Ravens play the 2-1 Buffalo Bills in Week 4. This will be a hotly contested matchup against two of the AFC’s best teams so far. A win against the Bills would certainly be a statement victory for the Ravens.

In their most recent game, the Buffalo Bills lost to the Miami Dolphins, 21-19. Their offense failed to find any rhythm and stalled throughout the game. This should be taken as a freak occurrence though, as Josh Allen should not be underestimated.

The Bills defense could be a particular point of interest for Greg Roman’s Ravens offense. Against the Dolphins, the Bills were without Tre’Davious White, Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde. They will continue to be without White and Hyde, but Poyer could return against the Ravens. Given Baltimore’s excellent deep threat this year, the team could look to use this mismatch. Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay have been particularly impressive as deep-threat receivers.

On the flip side, if the Ravens start Faalele against the Bills, then Buffalo could look to exploit the rookie’s inexperience. While physically very gifted, Faalele’s deficiencies in pass protection were evident against the Patriots. Faalele versus Von Miller would certainly be a matchup that the Bills would look to take advantage of.