Ravens: 4 players with the most to prove against Raiders in Week 1

Ravens (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Ravens (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /
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Patrick Queen, Ravens
Patrick Queen, Ravens. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

2. Patrick Queen, LB, Ravens

They say Patrick Queen struggles in pass coverage. They say he missed 12 tackles in his rookie season, tied for second-most in the league.

They say he deserves his 29.7 overall PFF grade last season and won’t ever become the consistent inside linebacker the Ravens need him to be.

In the season opener against the Raiders, Queen can prove them all wrong.

In just one year, Queen has quickly become a crucial part of the Ravens’ defense and is often one of the top leaders on games’ stat sheets. That is, except for pass coverage.

The potential breakout star has been his own worst critic this offseason as he continues to learn Martindale’s defensive scheme, and already, his team can see the improvements.

In Baltimore’s preseason game against the New Orleans Saints, Queen tied with rookie safety Brandon Stephens for a team-high four tackles and didn’t miss a beat in coverage. He also recorded a sack against Taysom Hill for a 12-yard loss, which is always a good caveat.

But Queen faces his first serious test against Las Vegas, when he’ll likely be matched up against ex-Ravens tight end Darren Waller.

Waller has soared to elite ranks ever since leaving Baltimore in 2016, and last season for the Raiders he earned his first Pro Bowl nod after recording over 1,000 receiving yards and hauling in nine touchdowns.

Waller will put Queen’s improved pass-coverage skills to the test, and should Queen falter, his critics will only grow louder.

This is Queen’s chance to silence the noise and finally live up to his team’s expectations.