Photo Courtesy: USA Today

Studs and Duds From the Ravens’ Week 2 Loss

September 14, 2018 - 2:15 pm
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By Joe Schiller

Studs

Kenny Young

Filling in for a Pro Bowl linebacker like C.J. Mosley is never an easy task – especially for a rookie – but Kenny Young stood out in his first consistent game action. He finished with eight total tackles, one for a loss and recorded one quarterback hit on Andy Dalton.

Young flashed in the preseason and showed that his play wasn't a fluke in a larger sample size. Depending on Mosley’s timetable, Young will likely be the starter going forward until his teammates’ return.

John Brown

Through two games, John Brown is panning out to be an absolute steal. The Ravens signed the 28-year-old to a one-year, $5 million, “prove it” deal in the offseason and it’s paid dividends. Brown totaled 92 receiving yards on four receptions, including a 21-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter.

Brown is more than just a flyer down the field, he’s shown sharp route running and the ability to find open pockets against defenses. Michael Crabtree was labeled as the trustworthy receiver coming into the season but Brown has earned that honor thus far.

Honorable Mention: Justin Tucker

Justin Tucker was called upon just once throughout the night but made the most of his opportunity. He nailed a crucial 55-yard field goal in the third quarter to bring the Ravens within of 11 points

It’s business as usual for one of the league’s best kickers, who’s now 2-for-2 on the season.

 

Duds

Joe Flacco

Where was Week 1 Joe Flacco? Where was the quarterback who threw for over 300+ yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions? Flacco kept the Ravens in the game with 55 pass attempts but turned the ball over three times, throwing two interceptions and coughing up a fumble towards the final minutes of the game.

Flacco missed open throws and regressed from the previous week. That comes with facing a better defense and if there’s any excuse to make for his play, it’s the lack of protection up front. 

Pass Rush

The Ravens’ defense failed to generate any pass rush against Andy Dalton in the pocket. He looked like an All-Pro quarterback and torched the secondary with four touchdowns in the process.

The lack of pass rush was a legitimate concern down the final stretch of last season and it’s showing again. I’m not sure there’s an interior defensive lineman aside from Willie Henry, who’s recovering from hernia surgery, that’s going to create a consistent pass rush. That’s concerning in a 3-4 defense when the outside linebackers aren’t doing their job.


Any Coverage Against A.J. Green

It’s no secret that A.J. Green is one of the most lethal receivers when healthy and he proved just that on Thursday night. He caught three touchdowns in the first half alone, exposing the Ravens’ secondary.

Green’s (6-foot-4) first two touchdowns came against Tavon Young (5-foot-11), a size advantage that was exposed.  I’m not sure what defensive coordinator Don Martindale was thinking when lining up those matchups but Jimmy Smith’s absence hurt and it will continue to do so for two more games.

 

Outside Pass Protection

As much as the blame falls on Joe Flacco, it also falls on his offensive line. They allowed four sacks and eight quarterback hits. Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap had their way into the backfield, while Ronnie Stanley and James Hurst both struggled on outside pass protection.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the o-line get reshuffled. This unit has to be better and the battle in the trenches only continues to get tougher.

Up next – a matchup against Von Miller and Bradley Chubb