1. The Baltimore Ravens defense is winning games
The Baltimore Ravens defense has been getting the job done.
It appears as though the Roquan Smith trade set off a chain reaction that caused things to click for Mike Macdonald. To be fair, it also probably took Macdonald some time to adjust to the NFL. Still, the combination of Macdonald improving and Smith giving them more talent coming at the same time seems to have turned this defense into a lethal unit.
Right now, they ranked third in expected points added, behind just the Cleveland Browns and Dallas Cowboys. They rank fourth against the pass and fifth against the run.
What is impressive is doing this without Marlon Humphrey and mostly without Odafe Oweh or Marcus Williams. These are names that could come back. They have had great depth: Kyle Hamilton is getting close to elite, Roquan Smith is elite, Michael Pierce and Jadeveon Clowney look young, the cornerbacks have held up, and Mike Macdonald has been on one.
If this can continue, this defense will continue to be one of the best in the NFL.
With Lamar Jackson at quarterback, and the defense being as close to elite as you can get with all of the missing members, this team has a sky-high ceiling. We will see if the Baltimore Ravens can reach it.