Approaching Week 13 in this NFL season and I think the majority of football fans would agree with me when I say that I have no idea what to expect from this Baltimore Ravens team anymore.
The Good of the Baltimore Ravens
Just over a month ago, I was writing about how this is the worst Ravens defense we’ve ever seen. As of recently, it has been the complete opposite.
Over the past three weeks, the Ravens’ defense has only allowed four total touchdowns. This wasn’t against great offensive teams, but it is still a glimmer of hope for this defense that everybody (including myself) doubted all year.
I believe last Sunday was their most impressive defensive performance. They held the Cleveland Browns, who entered the game averaging a league-best 156.8 rushing yards a game, to a season-low 40 rushing yards.
It wasn’t a huge shock to see the run defense perform as well as they did, since that is one of the only consistent parts of this Ravens team. Baltimore is still ranked second in rush defense, giving up only 84.2 yards a game.
Another great sign for this defense is it seems like Marlon Humphrey is back to playing at an All-Pro level. After a slow start for him, he now leads the league in incompletions caused. Humphrey also has an active streak of eight straight games with a pass defended, which leads the league.
Patrick Queen may have had the biggest improvement out of anyone on the defense. Earlier in the year, many people were thinking Queen was about to be a big draft bust, but he is proving everyone wrong with his play recently.
When it comes to offense, the run game has been the only game they’ve had recently. They rank second in the NFL with 150.7 rushing yards a game and have only been held to under 100 yards twice this year (Miami and Indianapolis).
Baltimore’s rushing stats can be bittersweet if you truly look at them. Out of the 10 games Lamar Jackson has played in, he has been the leading rusher in eight of them. Compared to a full season last year, Jackson was the leading rusher seven times.
Obviously, key injuries in the offseason play a crucial part in that, but since this is still “The Good” section — I’ll focus on the running backs and others in the next section.
The most impressive part of this team is how they seem to always find a way to win. They are 6-1 in games decided by one possession, with the one loss being the first game of the year.
Of the Ravens’ eight wins, they have been trailing at one point in six of them, and by double-digits in three. This team always has a chance, no matter how ugly it looks.