Ravens vs. Titans: Setting expectations for Dez Bryant is key
The Baltimore Ravens have activated Dez Bryant. What expectations should the Ravens have for him?
The Baltimore Ravens activated Dez Bryant for their game against the Tennessee Titans. The last time Bryant was activated he played two snaps against the Indianapolis Colts. It was a lot of build-up for what was essentially a nothing burger.
Some may say he wasn’t ready, but that doesn’t sit right with me. What was the point of putting him out there if he wasn’t ready? Why would they activate him if he wasn’t a full force go? Bryant may not have played since 2017, let’s not pretend he doesn’t have a wealth of experience. Bryant is ready.
Bryant is going to get more than two snaps against the Titans. I would pencil him in for 30 percent of the snaps today. If the Ravens have 60-70 plays on offense against the Titans, Bryant could see about 20 plays on the field. This way he is used, his presence will be felt and he’s not being forced into the fold too much.
The Ravens will probably make an effort to get him going early, yet a lot of it depends on his chemistry with Jackson. The Ravens could plan to use Bryant to spark the offense yet if Jackson doesn’t take the shots to him, it won’t equal up to a lot. See how Bryant starts. If he gets a couple of targets in the first quarter, that will be a positive sign.
Bryant probably isn’t going to get 10 catches for 100 yards. That can’t be the expectation. Sadly, that really isn’t where the bar is for any Baltimore receiver. Bryant is more of a possession receiver though.
Expect the Ravens to do two things with him. First, he could get one on one matchups on the outside. His physicality and experience could win matchups that Miles Boykin would struggle with. Secondly, look for the Ravens to give him in breaking routes to get him the ball in the middle of the field. Bryant is probably still a ferocious ball carrier.
That will add up to five receptions for 60 yards. That may not sound like a lot yet it would be huge for this offense. Bryant getting things done at the receiver position that Baltimore can’t get out of Boykin is the only thing they really need.
So it’s Dez Bryant season. Don’t get too excited, but feel good about it. I’ll say what I have said the whole way through, this experiment cannot hurt. Any positives will boost this offense.