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Twelve Ravens Thoughts ahead of Week 11 meeting with Carolina

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Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Ravens and Orioles beat reporter for WNST BaltimorePositive.com and is a PFWA member. His mind is consumed with useless sports knowledge, pro wrestler promos, and movie quotes, but he struggles to remember where he put his phone. Luke's favorite sports memories include being one of the thousands of kids who waited to get Cal Ripken's autograph after Orioles games in the summer of 1995, attending the Super Bowl XXXV victory parade with his father in the pouring rain, and watching the Terps advance to the Final Four at the Carrier Dome in 2002. Follow him on Twitter @BaltimoreLuke or email him at Luke@wnst.net.

With the first-place Ravens hoping to extend their season-long winning streak to four games against Carolina on Sunday afternoon, I’ve offered a dozen thoughts, each in 50 words or less:

1. Watching Baker Mayfield will remind of the first showdown between him and Lamar Jackson in that exciting 2018 finale in which Baltimore clinched the AFC North title. As Marlon Humphrey said, “I thought the Lamar-Baker thing would [last] a long time.” Mayfield’s career sure has taken a turn. 

2. It’s uncertain whether Mark Andrews will play after limited practice participation this week, but Carolina ranks 24th in pass coverage efficiency against tight ends. As much as you’d like to see Andrews back on the field, the Ravens should be cautious if he’d benefit from another week. 

3. Double-digit underdog Carolina needs a fast start to have any shot, but the Panthers have scored a touchdown on four of 54 first-half drives — 31st in the NFL — while the Ravens have allowed touchdowns on seven of 49 drives — second in the league — before halftime, according to Sharp Football

4. Those trends continuing wouldn’t help a ground game that is one of Carolina’s few strengths as D’Onta Foreman has performed well since the Christian McCaffrey trade. After a shaky start to 2022, the Baltimore run defense has surrendered under 3.3 yards per carry in three of the last four contests. 

5. After three straight 1,100-yard receiving seasons, former Terps star DJ Moore is on pace for career lows in several categories because of Carolina’s immense struggles at quarterback. However, Moore remains fully capable of hurting the Ravens if they get sloppy in the secondary. 

6. Baltimore could really use such big-play potential at wide receiver. After registering eight pass plays of 25 or more yards over the first three games of the season, the Ravens have just two since, both coming in the Week 7 win over Cleveland. 

7. Sporting Pro Football Focus’ top pass-blocking grade, the Ravens offensive line will need to account for Pro Bowl edge rusher Brian Burns and talented defensive tackle Derrick Brown. Carolina has talent in its front seven and ranks ninth in the league in blitz rate, which is always notable against Jackson. 

8. After surrendering 546 rushing yards over the last three weeks, the Panthers can’t be feeling good about trying to slow Jackson and an offense that’s rushed for more than 150 yards in eight straight games, which is tied for the fifth-longest streak of the Super Bowl era. 

9. Discussing the benefits of an expanded rotation at outside linebacker, Justin Houston said, “If you can put a fresh edge guy out there all game and put pressure on their [offensive] tackles, they play all game — they don’t get a break.” Second-round rookie David Ojabo could join that mix Sunday.

10. It’s been quite a calendar year for Bradley Bozeman, who went from potentially getting a long-term contract with the Ravens to settling for a modest one-year deal in Carolina and beginning the season as a backup. Bozeman has played well since stepping into the starting lineup in Week 7, however. 

11. Sunday’s forecast pales in comparison to the historic snow prediction that prompted the Buffalo game to be moved to Detroit, but going from the bye week and what’s been a mild fall to a high of 37 degrees doesn’t sound like fun. It’s that time of year again in Baltimore. 

12. Watching Mayfield and Sam Darnold — two of the first three picks in the 2018 draft — languish on the same second team highlights how fortunate Baltimore was to land Jackson with the 32nd pick that year. And it should remind everyone why a long-term contract remains so critical. 

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