Penalty Recap: Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens

Penalty Recap: Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens
news Late for Work 9/12: Lamar Jacksons Role Has Bengals and Pundits Talking Downfield throws
Baltimores leading rusher from its season-opening demolition of the Bills wont return to the field for some time.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported earlier Wednesday that Dixon was expected to miss several weeks. Dixon can be designated to return from IR after Week 8.

For all the speculation about whether Joe Mixon would actually be the guy in the Bengals backfield, Week 1 may have put that to rest. Mixon played 44 of 56 snaps and carried the ball 17 times while adding five catches on seven targets. He out-touched Giovani Bernard 22-2. (Bernard also only played 12 snaps). If this is any indication for the season, the Bengals are ready to ride the Mixon train.

Dixon paced the Ravens ground attack against Buffalo with a game-high 44 rushing yards and a score. Baltimores other tailbacks, Javorius Allen and Alex Collins, combined for 30 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries.

After rallying from behind to defeat the Indianapolis Colts in Week 2, the Cincinnati Bengals have a quick turnaround as they’ll play their home opener Thursday night against the Baltimore Ravens, a 47-3 winner over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Here are the big stories for the Bengals entering Week 2.

Dixons injury is an unfortunate setback for a promising player with terrible injury luck. The running back has missed 20 of a potential 33 regular-season games due to knee injuries or suspension. He sat out the entirety of the 2017 campaign.

At times on Sunday, Dixon looked like the Ravens most explosive back, offering a tantalizing complement to Baltimores remade receiving corps. Now the Ravens will have to regroup quickly with a clash with the division rival Cincinnati Bengals approaching on Thursday night.

Allen came into the game while it was already out of hand and while the stat sheet doesnt really show it, his performance was more positive than negative. On certain snaps, such as the would-be touchdown to Kelvin Benjamin in the third quarter, the rookie quarterback demonstrated an ability to stay in the pocket, go through his reads and deliver accurate passes. On others, Allens internal clock would go off and he would decide to abandon the pocket too early, just as wide receivers were earning separation. His offensive line and his wide receivers didnt do him many favors. Regardless, Allen peppered in NFL-level throws during his time on the field and gave Bills fans at least some hope.

The Ravens have to love how much attention rookie quarterback Lamar Jacksons role in the offense is getting.

After a shaky first quarter, Edmunds found his groove in the second. To start the game, the Ravens offense featured a lot of misdirection runs, weak-side runs and faked sweeps that made the rookie linebacker hesitate and react late. Edmunds, and the defense as a whole, seemed to adjust in the second quarter and started to make some positive plays. On the same series, Edmunds tackled a fleeing Joe Flacco for a sack, broke up a pass intended for the tight end, and then forced a fumble. Like Allen, this was a performance to build off of.

Jackson was only on the field for five plays with the first-team offense Sunday against Buffalo, but plenty of pundits have taken notice. More importantly, the Cincinnati Bengals are paying attention leading up to Thursday nights Week 2 matchup.

Share Share Bills-Ravens Rookie Report: Allen and Edmunds provide hope for the future tweet share Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports The Buffalo Bills got thrashed by the Baltimore Ravens in their first game of the 2018 season on Sunday. If theres anything positive to take away from the game however, it was the play of the Bills two 2018 first rounders. Read about the performance of the Bills entire 2018 rookie class below.

During a conference call with Baltimores media yesterday, Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis was asked about Jackson, and what he saw against the Bills.

Phillips was in a rotation with the rest of the defensive tackles and really failed to make much of an impact with his limited time on the field. While the game was still competitive in the first few quarters, Baltimore tended to avoid him on run downs and the former Stanford Cardinal only had a few opportunities to rush the passer, which were largely ineffective.

Hes a good athlete and hes a good football player, Lewis said. Theyre going to utilize him a little bit in the offense, and we have to respond.

Johnson was called for pass interference on a Ravens first-quarter drive that eventually resulted in a touchdown. It did not appear to be warranted. While his effort in the run game was noticeable on a few plays in the first and second quarter, Johnson was forced to exit the game halfway through the second quarter with a shoulder injury and did not return.

Lewis isnt the only Bengal focused on Jacksons role, as defensive end Carlos Dunlap spoke about it with NFL Networks Omar Ruiz.

Thanks to the blowout, Foster saw time on offense, playing 25% of the teams offensive snaps. He was targeted twice but failed to come down with a reception.

Carlos Dunlap told me what stands out about this 2018 version of the Ravens offense is that limited Lamar Jackson role, Ruiz said. He told me as limited as it might be, this is the NFL. If they dont stop it, the Ravens are going to continue to go to it.

Ruiz also spoke with Bengals linebacker Preston Brown, who added, That will be a priority – preparation for Lamar Jackson.

Share Share Ravens @ Bengals: 5 Key Matchups tweet share Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images The Baltimore Ravens travel to Cincinnati on Thursday with an opportunity to claim an early lead in the race for the AFC North title. John Harbaughs club will be out for revenge after the Bengals ended their playoff aspirations in heartbreaking fashion last season. Following their beatdown of the Bills, oddsmakers have installed Baltimore as one-point favorites despite the challenges of a divisional road game on a short week.

After a game in which the starting offense scored 40 points, it must be music to the ears of the Ravens that the Bengals have to, on a short week, prioritize planning for a package that didnt result in any scores or much yardage against the Bills.

On the other side of the ball, James Hurst has not proven to be an effective tackle throughout his career. And the Ravens cannot afford to slide protection away from All-Pro defensive tackle Geno Atkins, as he is fully capable of beating even Marshal Yanda one-on-one. Coordinator Monrhinweg must devise a gamelan that helps Hurst with chip blocks and moves the pocket to prevent Dunlap from causing havoc in the backfield.

This was, of course, one of the bonuses of involving Jackson in the first team offense. While the Ravens definitely want those plays to gain major yards, having Jackson on the field means defenses will have to dedicate time to stifling him, compared to previously when they only had to focus on stopping starting quarterback Joe Flacco.

What the Ravens are putting on film with Jackson now can set up things later as teams try and get a read on how the team will use the fast and athletic rookie quarterback, The Athletics Jeff Zrebiec wrote.

WNSTs Luke Jones was less complimentary of the plays involving Jackson with the first-team offense.

Ravens safeties Tony Jefferson and Eric Weddle will be tested by Tyler Eifert, yet A.J. Green is the receiver the Ravens fear most. Green led Cincinnati with 92 yards and score in Week 1 and tortured Baltimores defense earlier in his career. Lately, the secondary has bottled up Green for the most part, but he remains one of the top downfield playmakers in the game.

None had a negative impact, but the Ravens didnt get much of a return on the five offensive snaps Lamar Jackson played before relieving Joe Flacco in the second half, Jones wrote. Its something for which opponents must prepare, but you sometimes worry about upsetting the overall rhythm of the offense.

Fortunately, Bobby Hart is merely a below average journeyman. Against Indianapolis, Hart allowed five pressures and two sacks against mediocre competition. Judon can use his motor and strength to bully Hart. The Ravens need a strong showing from their edge rushers, they do not want to allow Dalton to find his rhythm.

NFL Networks James Palmer thinks the Ravens could give Jackson more touches against Cincinnati if running back Kenneth Dixon is unavailable. Dixon is dealing with a knee injury, and hasnt practiced this week.

Evans serves a crucial role as the Bengals primary coverage linebacker, especially while Vontaze Burfict serves his latest suspension. Evans played well in the December meeting between these divisional rivals, but had an inconsistent season overall. He can be exposed in coverage against tight ends and tailbacks.

The Ravens could bring up running backs Gus Edwards or DeLance Turner from the practice squad to replace Dixon Thursday night, but they would have to cut a player from the 53-man roster, which they may not want to do. With Jackson in the fold, Palmer thinks it could be possible for the Ravens to just have running backs Alex Collins and Javorius Allen on the active roster to play against Cincinnati.

Allen is quietly emerging as a reliable chain-mover out of the backfield. Buck appears quicker and more elusive this season and may eventually lead the team in receptions. Assuming the Bengals pass rush comes to play, Baltimore will need Allen in the short passing game to help the offense stay on schedule.

Not to say Jackson is going to be a running back on this team by any means, but its an added element that the Bengals are going to have to prepare for on a short week, Palmer said. What they wanted to show with him is that its not just a threat – it is a realistic goal for them to make Jackson a part of this offense, and carry the ball.

There's not enough time really to get a RB in the building and get him ready for a Thursday game so you'd have to think the Ravens will either go w/2 RBs Thursday or call up Gus Edwards or De'Lance Turner from the practice squad. Going w/just 2 RBs seems more unlikely scenario.

Judon is aiming to build on his breakout eight sack sophomore campaign. Thus far, he has not flashed as much as some of the other young pass rushers on the depth chart. Yet with Terrell Suggs lined up across from competent tackle Cordy Glenn, Judon will need to help apply pressure on Andy Dalton.

PennLives Aaron Kasinitz thinks its possible the Ravens will actually give Jackson less touches on Thursday than he got on Sunday because Flacco did so well in the opener, which left the offense with little need for gadget plays.

Will the Ravens keep mixing in calls for Jackson or might they move away from that strategy and stick with what worked Sunday? Kasinitz asked. Perhaps some clues to their long-term plan will materialize Thursday.

He was our third-highest graded player at the position this week, with only Ryan Fitzpatrick and Drew Brees grading higher than Flacco, who came in at 86.8. While one of the biggest criticisms of the Ravens offense last season was that they were too conservative, that wasnt the case on Sunday, with 10 of Flaccos passing attempts traveling 10 or more yards downfield, including going 2-for-2 for 41 yards and a touchdown on throws 20-plus yards in the air. On those throws of 10-plus yards or longer, he produced a PFF passing grade of 91.2, which ranked fifth among quarterbacks this week.

In the wake of Baltimores 47-3 victory over the Bills on Sunday, Pro Football Focus gave Flacco an 86.8 rating, which was the third-best amongst quarterbacks for Week 1. PFFs Gordon McGuinness took a closer look at why Flacco was able to go 25-for-34 for 236 yards and three touchdowns, which tabulates to a 121.7 quarterback rating.

The Ravens will see tougher tests in 2018, starting with a trip to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals on Thursday Night Football this week, McGuinness wrote. But this was the start they were hoping for and more.

McGuinness believes a couple factors led to Flaccos big game, the first of which was his success throwing the ball downfield. He had the lowest yards per passing attempt (5.7) last season in the NFL, as Flacco regularly relied on check-downs, especially early in the season when he was still recovering from a back injury.

On Sunday, Flacco was anything but conservative in the passes he was attempting. He finished 10-for-10 on passes of more than 10 yards, which included going 2-for-2 on passes of more than 20 yards. His numbers are even more impressive when considering the awful rain and wind conditions he had to contend with.

Having already sent one message Sunday, the Ravens would certainly send another by winning Thursday night. The Bengals opened the season with a road win, always a promising sign for a team. Thursday nights game is their home opener. Its a challenging situation for the visitors, in other words. If the Ravens win, it would send a loud-and-clear message that things really are different in Baltimore this year.

On those throws of 10-plus yards or longer, he produced a PFF passing grade of 91.2, which ranked fifth among quarterbacks this week, McGuinness wrote.

Yes, it was just one game, as Terrell Suggs repeatedly said, and the new season is certain to include ups and downs, as all seasons do. But the game offered evidence that, at the very least, the Ravens recent status quo – an albatross of sorts for the organization by the end of last season – has been whacked into submission and replaced by a new one.

McGuinness was also quick to credit those around Flacco for his success, particularly the offensive line. Much was made of how effective the unit would be in 2018 after there was plenty of debate as to which personnel would occupy certain positions along the line, but the group dazzled against the Bills, giving Flacco a clean pocket to work in on 29 of his 35 dropbacks.

Cautious fans may want to reserve judgement until the 2018 Ravens have a few more games under their belts. Last season, Baltimore recorded four wins of 20 points or more, before ultimately missing the playoffs. The 2016 season also included a pair of blowout home victories. Nonetheless, dismantling the Bills in Week 1 certainly beats the alternative.

As Russell Street Reports Tony Lombardi pointed out, when Flacco did get pressure from the outside, there was room to climb the pocket in large part because [Alex] Lewis, [Matt] Skura and [Marshal] Yanda were solid at the point of attack.

Dunlap led the way with 79 percent of the snaps, right end Michael Johnson took 56 percent, Carl Lawson had 51 percent at right end, Jordan Willis had 48 percent bouncing between tackle and end and even though Hubbard played just nine percent he played up and down the line.

Though Lombardi was particularly complimentary of Yanda, writing it looks like he hasnt missed a beat, left tackle Ronnie Stanley caught the eye of McGuinness.

Share Share Ravens News 9/12: Sneaky good WR corps, changing status quo and more tweet share Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images Debrief, Week 1: Chargers, Chiefs among teams on familiar path – Gregg Rosenthal Sneaky good weeks

Stanley, a player whose development will be key for the Ravens this year, allowed just one total pressure over the course of the game, McGuinness wrote. On those plays, Flacco produced an adjusted completion percentage of 88.9 percent and a PFF passing grade of 88.1.

Adding proven veteran pass catchers in free agency is not a new strategy for Ozzie Newsome. Synergy among the play caller, quarterback and receivers within a refined scheme will hopefully produce better results this time.

Yesterday, LFW profiled where the Ravens stand in various power rankings being put out by the national media. Among the nine different power rankings considered, the Ravens finished between No. 15 and No. 8.

Even though the Bills were awful, the Ravens demonstrated to the rest of the NFL that things arent the same in Baltimore this year.

Fox Sports The Herds Colin Cowherd has since listed his Top 10 teams in the NFL, and placed the Ravens much higher than any pundit had previously – at No. 2 in the entire NFL.

Said it before the season started, but my dark horse to win it all is the Baltimore Ravens, Cowherd said. Theyre good on the lines, that was the most points scored in four years in the NFL. Held Buffalo to 153 yards.

As for why hes picking the Ravens, Cowherd was impressed with how the defense handled Buffalos offense, saying it had a Mike Tyson quality about it. But more than anything, Cowherd is buying into the Ravens because he expects a Flacco resurgence.

There is something about Joe Flacco. Joe Flacco when he feels a little heat is a different quarterback – he just is, Cowherd said. Remember that Super Bowl run? He was looking for a contract, and he was outstanding. Joe Flacco is 10-5 in the playoffs. Joe Flacco has gone into Foxborough and beaten Tom Brady.

This is quite a statement coming from Cowherd. He has the Ravens one spot ahead of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, and trailing only the Los Angeles Rams.

1. Rams2. Ravens3. Eagles4. Chiefs5. Patriots@ColinCowherd ranks the Top 10 NFL teams heading into Week 2 pic.twitter.com/10aZgsZv26

Though Jackson and rookie tight end Mark Andrews both stood out against the Bills, no Ravens rookie looked quite as impressive as linebacker and fourth-round pick, Kenny Young, according to Russell Street Reports Kyle Casey.

Young played 44 snaps Sunday, finishing with four tackles, including his first NFL sack. The majority of Youngs work came in the fourth quarter after the final result was already decided, but Casey saw enough to think Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale should find ways to get Young on the field.

Casey was particularly encouraged by how Young played in run defense. On one play, Young displayed the ability to quickly diagnose the ball carrier, shed a blocker, then beat the running back to the outside to make the tackle.

Possessing the instincts, agility and closing speed to shed a block and close off a run lane outside is a trait the Ravens defense desperately needs, and Young brings that to the table, Casey wrote.

Young later made a good play in pass defense, which resulted in his sack. To start, Young did a good job of remaining patient in tight pass coverage, and waiting for the play to develop.

As quarterback Josh Allen begins to leave the pocket, Youngs patience pays off, allowing him to follow the fellow rookie to the outside, Casey wrote. Youngs closing speed yet again impresses, as he beats Allen to the outside and takes him down in the open field for a sack.

Kenny Young shows great closing speed to chase down Josh Allen for a sack. Ravens coaches have raved about his speed to the ball all summer, and why he is competing for a starting job as a rookie

Veteran Patrick Onwuasor got the start next to C.J. Mosley as its a shared role right now, but Young could see more snaps if he continues to do well.

For his first meaningful NFL snaps, Young looked comfortable, instinctive, quick and confident, Casey wrote.

#Ravens were very creative with pre-and post-snap movement. Gave #Bills zone defenders a lot to process. Looked like a totally different offense than the stagnant one we saw last year.

Really hope we get to see a lot of Marlon Humphrey covering A.J. Green. Allowed just six yards in coverage against the Bills, but that would be a great test of his ability early in his second season.

On The Ballhawks 40th birthday, just remember: 2/3s of the Earth is covered by water, the rest is covered by Ed Reed. pic.twitter.com/KTbmJYLBCm


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