Photo Credit: USA Today

Studs and Duds From the Ravens’ Week 9 Loss

November 05, 2018 - 9:49 am
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By Joe Schiller

Studs

Mark Andrews

Amid a struggling passing game on Sunday, the rookie tight end was one of Joe Flacco’s favorite targets. He caught three passes for 50 yards on six targets, finishing as the second-leading receiver for the Ravens.

Andrews, not Hayden Hurst, has surprisingly been the standout rookie tight end so far this season. He’s seemed to have developed a rapport with Flacco and is a big-bodied target the Ravens were looking to add to the passing offense. Andrews saw multiple targets in the end zone and his stock only should continue to rise.

 

Orlando Brown Jr.

The offensive line as a makeshift unit struggled but Orlando Brown Jr. has been a bright spot. Brown has stepped in at right tackle in the absence of an injured James Hurst and has shown much to be excited about. On a play in Sunday’s game, Brown stonewalled Steelers’ outside linebacker T.J. Watt and finished him into the grass.

Browns’ size and strength makes him an excellent candidate to retain the tackle position even when Hurst returns. Hurst is arguably better on the inside at guard, anyways.


 

Duds

Jermaine Eluemunor

Ronnie Stanley’s absence gave Jermaine Eluemunor his first career start at left tackle. He struggled against the pass rush of Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt and committed a slew of penalties. Eluemunor is not far removed from being on the practice squad and isn’t a long-term solution on the offensive line but a mere emergency replacement given the injuries.

The Ravens allowed just two sacks but Flacco was consistently pressured throughout the entire game.

 

Brandon Carr/Jimmy Smith

Randy Fitchner and the Steelers offense took advantage of two aging corners on the opposite side of the ball. Both Jimmy Smith and Brandon Carr were beat on one-on-one matchups across the middle of the field. Carr gave up a large gain to Jesse James after being beat on a double-move in the second half.

Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster looked one step ahead of their coverage and the defense couldn’t do much to stop the Steelers, if anything.


 

Brandon Williams

Williams finished Sunday’s game with just two total tackles. The Ravens inability to rush the passer or stop James Connor rests on the front seven, most notably on the highest paid nose tackles.

Williams is one of the better run stoppers in the trenches but he doesn’t create consistent pass rush up the middle. In today’s NFL where quarterbacks are slinging passes everywhere, it hurts Williams’ ability, limiting him as a two-down player at times. That showed against the Steelers.


 

Terrell Suggs, Za’Darius Smith, Matt Judon

Since their 11 sack performance against the Tennessee Titans, the Ravens’ pass rush has combined for two total in the following three games. One against the Saints, zero against the Panthers and one against the Steelers.

Against a mobile quarterback like Ben Roethlisberger, who kills teams with plays outside of the pocket, the Ravens weren’t able to contain him. The inability to get pressure on quarterbacks like him, Drew Brees and Cam Newton has a direct correlation with struggles in the secondary.

When quarterbacks have consistent time in the pocket, even those of a lesser degree, they’ll find ways to beat defenses.