This had all the makings of a bounce-back spot for the Baltimore Ravens after losing their first game of the season last week to the offensive juggernaut that resides in Kansas City. And that’s exactly what it was. Baltimore was able to gash the Washington Football Team for several big plays and held a comfortable lead for much of the game.
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STORY OF THE GAME
The Ravens' offense looked a lot like the offense that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing over the last year — unlike what they put on the field last weeks against the Kansas City Chiefs. Baltimore was one of the more efficient offenses in the NFL from an EPA per play (0.311) and yards per play (7.3) standpoint through the first three quarters of this game.
Lamar Jackson broke off a 50-yard touchdown run, and he hit multiple downfield passes to Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown. There are few vertical connections in football right now that look more comfortable than Jackson hitting Andrews over the middle of the field.
This showing isn’t going to make up for the disappointment of last week, but then again, nothing would have. Their only recourse in that department is for Jackson and the rest of this offense to light up the scoreboard in a similar fashion under the bright lights and in the postseason.
On the other side of the field, Dwayne Haskins was in the news heading into the game — his job being called into question after an abysmal start to his second season. Haskins came into this game as the lowest-graded quarterback in the NFL through three weeks, and though this wasn’t the flashiest of games, it was a step in the right direction against a defense that can make life difficult on opposing quarterbacks with the way they bring the blitz.
Haskins completed over 70% of his passes and crossed the 300-yard mark passing, but his average depth of target was less than 5 yards downfield; 67% of his passing production came after the catch, signaling that his receivers did a lot of the work on his stat line.
Still, the fact that he didn’t put the ball in harm’s way, as he did in Week 3, is a positive to take away from the game. Until he starts showing that he can produce the big plays to offset those negatives, mistakes will have to be kept to a minimum.
J.K. Dobbins came off the board 11 picks before Antonio Gibson in the 2020 NFL Draft, but it was the Memphis product who really popped in this game. Gibson has made more of his touches than any other Washington back this season, and it’s hard to see him not gaining more opportunities down the line. He saw eight fewer offensive snaps than J.D. McKissic but took advantage of those snaps to the tune of 128 total yards and a touchdown on offense.
Dobbins is in the midst of a true three-back committee in Baltimore, and his 21 offensive snaps were sandwiched between Gus Edwards (22) and Mark Ingram (14) in this game. Dobbins has stepped forward as the receiving threat of the three when looking at how many routes each player runs, but he dropped one of his two targets here. He gained just 16 yards on five carries this afternoon.
Coming off his best game of the season against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3, right guard Tyre Phillips continues to struggle in the run game. There weren’t a ton of pass-blocking reps to be had in this one, but Phillips was not able to keep his first clean sheet of the year against a talented Washington defensive line, either. Replacing Marshal Yanda is not an easy task.
Three rookie wide receivers took the field in this one. For Washington, undrafted rookie Isaiah Wright once again played a larger role than fourth-round pick Antonio Gandy-Golden. Wright ran 32 routes from the slot — most on the team — and brought in 4-of-5 passes for 20 yards. Gandy-Golden ran just six routes and was held without a reception. For the Ravens, Devin Duvernay ranked fourth among Ravens’ wide receivers in routes and touched the ball just one time on offense.
With Chase Young sidelined with injury, Baltimore’s Patrick Queen was the only defensive rookie to see starter’s snaps. He was around the football all game, recording 12 total tackles, and he flashed against the run. Queen did give up some production in coverage, however, which will likely have his overall grade for this week come in lower than the counting numbers (such as tackles) would suggest.
Broderick Washington, Malik Harrison, Kamren Curl, James Smith-Williams and Khalil Dorsey all received some playing time — led by Curl’s 23 defensive snaps for Washington — but none did much of note. Dorsey did give up a big reception to Terry McLaurin late in his limited time on the field.
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