Baltimore Ravens: First Quarter Report Cards – Offense Edition
The offensive line is missing the largest cog of the offense in recent memory. Marshal Yanda is one of the all-time greatest Ravens of all time. Yanda’s loss was very large, but the Ravens brought in many players to potentially take his role. Between veteran free agent signing D.J Fluker and draft picks Tyree Phillips and Ben Bredeson the Ravens have gotten solid production. On the line, they have moved guys all over due to injury but have found a way to be successful.
Between All-Pro tackle Ronnie Stanley dealing with injuries and the unknown return of Matt Skura the team has prepared itself for many different scenarios. To start the season Skura was healthy before expected and has played solidly thus far. Pro Bowl Tackle Orlando Brown Jr. has also been playing very well coming off a great year last season. This past week with Stanley out, they started Baby Zeus to start at Left Tackle for the first time since college and he thrived. Between him and Fluker, the offensive line didn’t miss a beat against a good Football Team defensive line.
Besides these guys guard, Bradley Bozeman has been just as consistent as he was last year, and Phillips, the rookie has held his own. For the season the team is running the ball well compared to other teams and isn’t allowing Jackson to get sacked very much. This could be more of the Lamar Jackson effect than anything though. Jackson has had a lot of pressure this season and has had to create a lot with his legs.
Looking ahead the Ravens have Stanley coming back healthy and Fluker has proven himself valuable. Brown is a stud and the Ravens love Bozeman and Skura. The only position that looks to be potentially unstable is the right guard. Whether Phillips continues to start is up to him. There is a bevy of options behind him including Fluker, Bredeson, Patrick Mekari, and Ben Powers.
Although visually the offensive line has looked to be struggling the stats say they have been average. According to ESPN’s blocking statistics, Ronnie Stanley has been a top 10 pass and run blocking lineman, while Bozeman and Skura have been top 10 at their position groups. As a team, they rank only 14th though in pass blocking, but look much better as the eighth-best run-blocking group. It will be interesting to see how the group progresses, but if it continues to have small lapses they may look to insert a veteran like Fluker into the lineup permanently. For now, they must look to see if the group can mesh together and continue to toy with different combinations.