Last night, the Baltimore Ravens lost to the Las Vegas Raiders 33-27 in overtime. The Ravens held multiple leads throughout the game but couldn’t hang on in the final few moments.
One of the main reasons that they lost is because of the play of their offensive line. Lamar Jackson was under constant pressure all night from the Raiders defense.
Both tackles Alejandro Villanueva and Ronnie Stanley were particularly bad. Yannick Ngakoue and Maxx Crosby consistently beat both of them on the edge.
Stanley most likely will be better coming off that horrible ankle injury from last season.
According to Next Gen Stats, Jackson was under pressure on 54.5 percent of his dropbacks. This led to three sacks and seven quarterback hits. He also fumbled twice which led to 14 points for the Raiders.
Honestly, if it wasn’t for Jackson’s elite elusiveness, he would’ve been hit even more. Although the Ravens ran the ball fairly well on Monday, the pass protection has to be better.
In order for them to take that next step in the passing game, Jackson needs time to throw.
What’s most alarming is that the Raiders were able to do this without sending many extra rushers. The Ravens were beaten badly in the trenches last night and they need to fix it quickly.
If they continue to allow this much pressure on Jackson with just a four-man rush, then it is going to be a long season for the Ravens.
Injuries already starting to hit the Ravens offensive line
Although the Ravens haven’t announced the severity of his injury, because he is on IR the earliest he can return is after three weeks.
With the Ravens already missing their top three running backs and first-round receiver, they can not afford to sustain any more injuries on offense.
Big-time pass rushers are coming
Although the Raiders’ defensive line is much improved, they do not possess a star-studded front. The Ravens are in the AFC North, a division that is featured with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Clevland Browns.
Imagine if that was T.J. Watt or Myles Garrett rushing against the Ravens’ offensive line on Monday night. It would have been disastrous.
Watt obliterated a Buffalo Bills offensive line that is viewed to be one of the best in the league. And Garrett destroyed former Ravens tackle Orlando Brown Jr. in the matchup against the Cheifs.
Those guys are on their way when the division games come later in the year and it will not be pretty for the Ravens.
The good news is that the Ravens have time to improve and come up with schemes to help protect Jackson.
However, if Monday night was any indication of what’s to come, Jackson will have long nights against those teams. And if it makes matter worse, Baltimore will most likely have to deal with Frank Clark and Chris Jones next week when they host the Cheifs.
Final thoughts on the Ravens offensive line
The offensive line in terms of pass protection is an issue. While Ronnie Stanley should return to his All-Pro form by midseason, the rest of the line is a major concern.
Villaneuva has major problems with speed rushers and the left guard position has been a question mark since last season. Tyre Phillips seemed to have improved but he’s again out due to injury.
Everyone knows the Ravens will go as far as Lamar Jackson can take them.
If the Ravens ever want to be a playoff team this season, they need to do a better job of protecting their franchise quarterback.