5 things we learned from the Baltimore Ravens' Week 6 win over the Titans

2T27JYT Baltimore Ravens safety Geno Stone (26) in action during an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023, in London. (AP/Gary McCullough)

• What to make of Geno Stone: With Marcus Williams still visibly hampered by his early-season pectoral injury, the Ravens might be wise to insert Stone into the starting lineup.

• Lamar Jackson on track for a career year: The box-score stats are less than flattering, but Jackson is getting the ball out quickly and more accurately.

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Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

The Baltimore Ravens moved to 3-2 with a 24-16 win over the Tennessee Titans in London in Week 6.

The team continues to get healthier but is also finding ways to keep opponents in games with their own mistakes.

Here are the five things we learned from Sunday and this season so far.

WR:CB Matchup Chart

Todd Monken’s offense continues to manufacture open receivers

The Ravens' offense hasn’t reached its full potential yet, but Todd Monken's impact on the passing game is undeniable. Gone are the social media images showing Baltimore receivers clumped in one area play after play, holding the offense back. The Ravens are now one of the better teams in the league at getting receivers open.

In 2022, Baltimore had three or more open receivers on 23.9% of their passing plays and four or more open on 7.9% of passing plays. This season, those numbers have jumped to 32.0% and 11.7%, respectively. Their 74 dropbacks with three or more open receivers is tied for the fourth-best mark in the league, while their 27 dropbacks with four-plus open receivers are more than any other team in football. This is leading to more opportunities for Lamar Jackson in the passing game, which brings us to the second observation.

Lamar Jackson is heading for a career year

Jackson's raw passing numbers aren’t going to get anyone too excited, with the Ravens' signal-caller currently on track for 3,550 passing yards with only 14 touchdowns to eight interceptions. Those 3,550 yards would be a career high, though, and more importantly, so would his 86.2 PFF passing grade.

He simply missed wide receiver Rashod Bateman on the interception against the Titans in London but had an efficient game as a passer outside of that. He added another two big-time throws to his season tally and is currently on track for a career-high 5.5% big-time throw rate. He’s getting the ball out quicker than ever before, averaging 2.98 seconds to throw — the lowest of his career — while recording what would be another career high in adjusted completion percentage (78.9%).

John Simpson is the weak link on the offensive line

Allowing pressure has been an issue for the Ravens' offensive line, though the unit had one of its best games of the season in Week 6, with four of the five starting offensive linemen earning a 73.5-plus PFF pass-blocking grade. The weak link, as it has been for much of the season, was left guard John Simpson. The former Raider has now earned a PFF pass-blocking grade below 55.0 in five straight games and is making enough mistakes that the Ravens probably need to consider their options at the position.

Simpson won the job over rookie Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu, who earned just a 27.9 PFF grade in three games. He’s likely not ready to start in the NFL based on what we saw from him in the summer, but perhaps a move for a veteran would make sense. Mike Onwenu of the New England Patriots hasn’t played as well as in previous years but earned PFF grades of 79.0 or better in each of the first three seasons and has spent time at left guard. PFF’s Brad Spielberger suggested him as a trade candidate earlier this week.

Patrick Queen’s progression continues

Queen is having a career year, and that shouldn’t come as a surprise, given his development trajectory. He struggled heavily as a rookie in 2020, earning just a 29.7 PFF grade before improving to a still-poor 43.5 mark in 2021. He set a career high with a 69.7 PFF grade last season, and he is now the 11th-highest-graded linebacker in the NFL through six weeks in 2023 (79.9).

The LSU product had one of the best games of his career against the Titans, recording a sack as a pass-rusher, a tackle resulting in a defensive stop against the run and another two defensive stops in coverage. Queen also allowed only one reception for seven yards.

Through six weeks, Queen has earned a positive grade on 37 plays, 13th among linebackers, but the real success has been in his ability to avoid negatively graded plays. He has been downgraded on just 5.3% of his snaps this season, down from 8.7% in 2022, 11.8% in 2021 and 14.0% in 2020. After whiffing on more than 14% of tackle attempts in every season from 2020 to 2022, Queen has missed just 6.4% this season. The big plays are one thing, but his ability to limit mistakes is just as important in his improvement as a player in a contract year.

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Should Geno Stone be starting at safety?

When healthy, Marcus Williams is one of the best coverage safeties in the NFL. But he doesn’t look healthy right now. Williams recently returned from a pectoral injury, although it appears to be impacting his ability to secure tackles. He has missed one in each of the past two weeks and looks hesitant to use his left arm much. Deputizing for him, Geno Stone has been one of the Ravens' best players on defense, currently trailing only linebacker Roquan Smith with an 86.4 PFF grade through six weeks.

Stone’s 88.7 PFF coverage grade ranks behind only Jevon Holland of the Miami Dolphins among safeties this season, and he is tied with seven other players for the NFL lead in interceptions (three). The interceptions obviously have boosted his grades, but even in the three games where he hasn’t picked the ball off, he has still earned 60.0-plus marks. If Williams isn’t fully healthy, the combination of Stone and Kyle Hamilton gives the Ravens a better chance at forcing turnovers and avoiding big plays.


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