1. What is the biggest difference you have seen with the Ravens’ offense under Todd Monken?
Passing game has been completely revitalized. The Ravens are setting up in 11 and 21 personnel and have the players and scheme to gain yardage on the ground. They’re able to move the ball short and intermediate passing plays. This, combined with the rushing attack from Lamar Jackson, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill have really combined into a solid offense. If only they could get out of their own way with ball security issues and drops.
2. The Lamar Jackson saga was crazy this offseason. Does everything seem to be settled there? How is he playing so far this year?
Everything seems settled. Jackson’s done with the outside noise. There hasn’t been a murmur of frustration or otherwise. It’s a refreshing experience after covering the nightmare that was late last season and the offseason.
Jackson is among the NFL’s most accurate passers this season. He also is finding the end zone on the ground at an exciting rate when they’re in the red zone. He was the No. 1 player according to PFF last week, though his teammates eight drops utterly failed him. Jackson seems rejuvenated in a way that things are gaining in positivity.
3. This Ravens defense has been really good so far. What is the biggest strength of the unit? Is there a weakness you are afraid the Titans can attack?
The biggest strength has to be the linebacker unit. Roquan Smith is the best in the NFL and beside him is Patrick Queen, who is flying around the field and making plays. You can dislike the positional value but those two are a violent pair and shut down so much of the middle of the field.
The pass rush is inconsistent. That’s where the Titans will find success. The Ravens have guys that can explode for big plays but also go silent for multiple quarters.
4. Give us a player we haven’t heard of that will have an impact on this game.
The run defense will be heavily focused on Derrick Henry, so look to defensive tackle Michael Pierce as the Ravens’ answer. He’s a bit of a bigger name, so I’d also say defensive tackle Broderick Washington will be the other player worth noting. Both are big, strong tackles with excellent noses for the run game. They have strong rush discipline and clog lanes that will make it difficult for the Titans run game.
5. As of this writing, the Ravens are a 4-point favorite over at DraftKings and the total sits at 42. What is your favorite bet for this game and how do you see it playing out?
The Ravens seem locked in after blowing an easy game against the Steelers. This, combined with getting to London on Monday and having a 45-minute team meeting to get their issues solved and get on the same page has me confident the Ravens take care of business in this game. They also have more guys back healthy as they search for the boost they need from losing their stars earlier this offseason. Ravens -4 is my most confident bet here.
You can head over to Baltimore Beatdown to see Kyle’s questions and my answers.