The Baltimore Ravens will have one of their biggest tests of the season when the Detroit Lions come to town. The Ravens have looked good and even had leads for the majority of the game in both of their losses. However, there have been some players who have stepped up to change the outcomes of those games. Which players on the Detroit Lions could have that same effect?
3. The Baltimore Ravens must keep eyes on Detroit Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown
Amon-Ra St. Brown has been one of the best wide receivers in the NFL so far this season. He missed a game but still is right outside the top in most receiving stats and ranks 11th amongst qualified wide receivers in yards per route run. What is interesting about St. Brown is that he works primarily out of the slot.
This year, St. Brown has a 53.3% slot rate, and that is actually down from 66.5% in his career. He has 20 catches for 214 yards from the slot so far this season, averaging 2.23 yards per route from the slot.
It will be interesting to see how the Baltimore Ravens defend this. Of all of their cornerbacks, they are weakest in the slot, with Arthur Maulet starting. The Lions have Josh Reynolds and hardly have a third threat to worry about on the field, but because St. Browns get those matchups to take advantage, the Lions can pepper him with the football.
The Ravens have two ways to combat this. First, Kyle Hamilton could come back into the slot. It looks like they want him to play strong safety, and with Marcus Williams likely out, it gets hard to move him there.
So, the Ravens could also just have Marlon Humphrey follow him. Humphrey went from 55% of the snaps to 82% last week, so he should be ready for a full workload. We know that Humphrey can play from the slot, and they pay him big money for this. So, the team can have Humphrey in the slot at times, and it would let them use Brandon Stephens, Ronald Darby, and Rock Ya-Sin outside. This is their best defense for Amon-Ra St. Brown. Do they do it?