The Baltimore Ravens matchup with the Detroit Lions will be the first real test of how good this team can be. The Ravens have taken care of business and have two upset losses, but the Lions come in with a better record, the first time the Ravens have seen that from their foe.
If the Ravens want to win this game they have to make some adjustments. What can they do?
3. The Baltimore Ravens need to lean towards heavier personnel
One thing the Ravens have to do is look toward their heavier personnel. Last week, they activated Charlie Kolar for the first time since Mark Andrews has been healthy. They technically had a fourth tight end active because Patrick Ricard plays there so often.
Isiah Likely has seen his snaps reduced dramatically, but it may be time to ramp him back up. First, with the struggles of Odell Beckham and Rashod Bateman, these tight ends may provide more value. Through six weeks, the Ravens rank 12th in expected points added when an extra tight end is on the field with 0.06 and 12th when Patrick Ricard is on the field at 0.11.
When both Likely and Ricard are on the field together, they rank 4th, although that is just 15 snaps, but the EPA is still 0.12. Then, in the 11-personnel, which is three wide receivers, the Ravens rank 26th with an EPA of -0.14. It is costing the team right now.
On the flip side, the Lions rank ninth against 11-personnel, but when you sub out a wide receiver for a tight end, they rank 12th. Even worse, the Lions rank 20th when 13-personnel is on the field, which means three tight ends. It is by far the worst this defense looks against any personnel formation.
The team that took advantage the most was the Seattle Seahawks, who scored 37 points in a road win against the Lions. Noah Fant had 56 yards, Colby Parkinson had 41 yards, and Will Dissly had 35. The Ravens should lean into this, and we should see something similar to beat the Lions