Marquise Brown

© Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens Receive Early Returns on Newcomers

Vinny & Haynie
September 10, 2019 - 9:13 pm

By Tim Barbalace

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On the Ravens first play from scrimmage of their season, Mark Ingram bulldozed his way for a 49 yard gain. Seven plays later, Ingram capped off the season-opening drive with a one-yard touchdown run. Ingram finished the game with 14 carries for 107 yards and two touchdowns.  

Baltimore finished with the second-best rushing attack in the NFL, but Eric Decosta opted to sign Ingram to a three-year $15 million contract with $6.5 million guaranteed. He has already taken on a leadership role in a young Ravens offense and was one of five new Ravens who has made an impact.

The Ravens don't typically make splashy signings during free agency, but Decosta did just that in inking Earl Thomas to a four-year $55 million deal. Thomas didn't wait too long to make an impact as he collected an interception on the Dolphins fourth offensive play of the game. He figures to be an integral part of the defense that is trying to reclaim its number one ranking.

John Harbaugh has always had a priority of displaying strong special teams play. Baltimore's third unrestricted free agent signing Justin Bethel was brought in to uphold that tradition. Bethel collected a fumble recovery off a Jakeem Grant muffed punt in the second quarter.

Ravens fans hold plenty of apprehensions when it comes to drafted receivers given their poor history in wideout development, but both of their rookies made their presence felt against the Dolphins. Marquise Brown's first two receptions went for 47 and 83-yard touchdowns respectively. Despite playing only 14 snaps, he finished the game with four receptions for 147 yards and two touchdowns.

Miles Boykin was a standout throughout the offseason and was able to score a five-yard touchdown on his only target of the afternoon. His playtime was also limited as he was in for 16 snaps. I would expect the Ravens to continue to ramp up their involvement with the offense as the season progresses.  

It's no coincidence that the Ravens will be counting on all five of those players in addition to Justice Hill, who had seven carries for 27 yards Sunday, in order to return to the postseason. Ravens fans have to be pleased with Eric Decosta's first year as General Manager.