Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Ravens Receivers Could Shine vs Buccaneers’ Wounded Secondary

Ravens Receivers Could Shine Against Buccaneers: Given the injuries to the Tampa Bay secondary, Baltimore's receivers could shine.

The Baltimore Ravens face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football in Week 8.

The highly anticipated matchup promises to showcase two of the league’s most talented rosters. The Thursday Night Football curse of boring football also seems to have been broken after the Arizona Cardinals beat the New Orleans Saints 42-34 last week.

The Ravens’ receivers could shine against the Buccaneers, given the injuries that the Buccaneers are facing in their secondary. Tampa Bay is without Logan Ryan, Carlton Davis, Sean Murphy-Bunting, and Antoine Winfield for the matchup.

Lamar Jackson‘s receiving corps is far from elite, but they come up against a Tampa Bay secondary low on quality starters and confidence. Without key starters in the secondary, the Buccaneers are relying on Jamel Dean and Zyon McCollum, a fifth-round selection from the 2022 NFL Draft.

Tom Brady’s Buccaneers struggled against the Carolina Panthers in Week 7. They lost 21-3 in an embarrassing display.

Baltimore, meanwhile, managed a lucky 23-20 victory against the Cleveland Browns. They once again had a scare in the fourth quarter, relying on a blocked field goal to salvage the win.

Ravens WRs Could Shine vs Bucs’ Wounded Secondary

Against the Panthers, the Buccaneers’ defense gave up 177 yards and two touchdowns to Carolina’s third-string quarterback, P.J. Walker.

The injuries to the Buccaneers’ secondary bode well for quality mismatches across the field for the Ravens. It will be down to Baltimore to exploit these. They currently have their own injury crises, with Mark Andrews and Rashod Bateman both listed as questionable to play.

And, aside from the injuries, the Ravens are a team reluctant to use their wide receivers anyway. They field three or more wide receivers just 16% of the time, the lowest in the league. Against the Cleveland Browns in Week 7, Devin Duvernay had the highest offensive snap percentage of Ravens receivers at just 66%. Bateman was second at 56% but Demarcus Robinson managed just 23% and James Proche saw only 12%.

If the Ravens are to adapt to Tampa Bay’s deficiencies, they should consider utilizing more wide receivers. Duvernay showed good flashes in Week 1 and Week 2 when he was partnered with a fully healthy Bateman. He was also used as the WR1 in Bateman’s absence. If he is matched up against rookie McCollum, it would be a matchup that the Ravens should look to exploit.

Another option could be to give Isaiah Likely more time as a receiver. Likely saw just seven offensive snaps against the Browns. He impressed coaches in the off-season and was touted as the team’s third receiver by many. He has shown some decent flashes this season, such as against the New York Giants, but has yet to see an expanded role in the offense.

The Ravens receivers could shine against the Buccaneers given how banged up their opponents are. It will be down to the Ravens’ coaching staff to decide how best to exploit this clear deficiency.

Lamar Jackson’s Struggles Need to be Fixed

For the receivers to thrive, however, the team needs Lamar Jackson’s slump to end. Over the first four weeks of the season, many viewed Lamar Jackson as an MVP candidate.

Jackson’s play has deteriorated since though. His struggles have predominantly come in the third and fourth quarters, making the Ravens vulnerable to huge comebacks. The 2019 MVP’s slump in form has seen him miss open receivers on regular occasions. He also tends to overthink situations in the fourth quarter. Refusing to take the check-down, Jackson seems to want to make every play a big play, resulting in an inability to move the chains and, sometimes, turnovers (such as against the Buffalo Bills in Week 4).

Much of the blame is clearly on Jackson. In his contract year, it is expected that Jackson should be making most of his throws and making good decisions. Despite this, some of the blame needs to go to Greg Roman’s offensive gameplan.

Roman has developed a strong running scheme in Baltimore, but his passing playbook seems to lack creativity. Simple concepts such as rub routes, picks, and curls seem to never be used for his wide receivers. For Jackson to regain his confidence, Roman needs to assess the passing plays available.

The Ravens’ receivers could shine against the Buccaneers and their depleted secondary. But, to do so, they need Jackson and the passing gameplan to improve.

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images


More Posts

Send Us A Message