The Baltimore Ravens face the lowly Carolina Panthers in Week 11, but they’re not one to underestimate their opponents.
Carolina appears to be in a rebuilding era after trading away top running back Christian McCaffrey and firing head coach Matt Rhule; however, the franchise chose to retain a few young talents including wide receiver D.J. Moore.
Moore was picked 24th overall by the Panthers in the 2018 NFL Draft and has since put together three consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons. In 2022, he’s hauled in 478 yards so far along with three touchdowns despite Carolina’s ongoing quarterback dilemma.
The Ravens had the 25th overall pick in 2018 which they used to take tight end Hayden Hurst. Had Moore been available at the time, though, Baltimore very well could have gotten their No. 1 wideout for years to come.
Ravens’ defense is prepared for Panthers’ top wideout D.J. Moore in Week 11
Head coach John Harbaugh had only good things to say about Moore ahead of Week 11:
"“We loved D.J. Moore, and that was a guy we talked a lot about. He’s thriving; he’s one of the best receivers in football. He’s a great route runner; he runs all the routes. He’ll block, he runs the wide screens. He’s kind of public enemy No. 1 along with [Laviska] Shenault [Jr.], so he’s doing a great job.”"
Baltimore holds one of the easiest remaining schedules in the league after the bye week, yet complacency won’t do the team any favors.
The Panthers may hold a losing record but are coming off a crucial win against the Atlanta Falcons and have a decent run game spearheaded by D’Onta Foreman.
The Ravens are especially relishing this matchup since they will be facing former AFC North rival quarterback Baker Mayfield, who has been hot and cold throughout 2022.
Mayfield and Moore haven’t been able to generate much chemistry through ten weeks, and the Ravens’ secondary has improved drastically since the start of the season.
Don’t be surprised if Baltimore picks off Mayfield once or twice this game, but Moore is also capable of a big performance as the Panthers’ most targeted weapon.