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Twelve Ravens thoughts following Week 3 win at New England

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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 Ravens winning in Foxborough for the first time in the regular season in a 37-26 final on Sunday, I’ve offered a dozen thoughts, each in 50 words or less:

1. I’ll gladly take a defense bending a little from a yardage standpoint to force more turnovers, but Baltimore finished Sunday ranked last in total yards, last in passing yards, 28th in passing yards per attempt, and 27th in yards per carry allowed. Much work remains to find that happy medium.

2. Mike Macdonald is still searching for a No. 3 cornerback with the Patriots picking on whoever was out there with both Jalyn Armour-Davis and Brandon Stephens having their struggles. While Stephens was returning from a quadriceps strain, Damarion Williams also saw snaps, making this a position battle to watch. 

3. Fortunately, Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey missed only four defensive snaps combined and looked like their old selves. Not only did each register a fourth-quarter interception, but Pro Football Focus credited them with allowing only three catches for 41 yards on seven targets.  

4. Patriots quarterback Mac Jones was an enigma as PFF credited him with an impressive six “big-time throws” to go with four “turnover-worthy plays” on 32 pass attempts. You obviously love the takeaways, but the Ravens still made someone widely regarded as a pedestrian passer look very good at times. 

5. Mark Andrews continues to look like the NFL’s best tight end after catching two touchdowns and registering eight catches for 89 yards. He’s recorded 12 straight games of 50-plus receiving yards, which is second to only Cooper Kupp’s 20 for the NFL’s longest active streak. Andrews makes it look easy.

6. In addition to his 43-yard punt return, Devin Duvernay made his third touchdown reception — a terrific grab — and has caught all eight of his targets so far this season. He’s doing all he can to prove his doubters — this writer included — wrong about stepping up at wide receiver. 

7. Credit Brandon Copeland for registering a sack and playing 26 defensive snaps after Justin Houston’s exit, but the pass rush remains a concern. Reinforcements are on the way with Jason Pierre-Paul arriving and Tyus Bowser eligible to return as soon as Week 5, but they carry their own question marks. 

8. J.K. Dobbins looked like someone still working his way back to full strength from a severe knee injury, which was expected. Thanks in large part to Justice Hill, Ravens tailbacks ran 13 times for 83 yards, more than doubling their rushing total from the first two games combined. Progress.

9. Between Houston and Michael Pierce leaving with injuries, Calais Campbell played a whopping 59 defensive snaps. That’s a workload the Ravens would clearly like to avoid for the 36-year-old, but they did what they had to do under the circumstances. 

10. Nick Boyle playing only four offensive snaps was telling even with Baltimore needing to turn to Daniel Faalele to play left tackle. Patrick Ricard had an outstanding day as a blocker and others helped out the rookie, but that scenario would have screamed for Boyle a few years ago. 

11. Speaking of tight ends, you could have won a nice chunk of money wagering that Josh Oliver would catch a touchdown pass before Isaiah Likely this season. Likely played a season-low 20 snaps, but the rookie was limited with a groin issue in practices all week. 

12. Winning eases the sting, but Patrick Queen will be thinking all week about what could have been on that dropped interception at the goal line that could have gone the other way for a touchdown. You don’t get many opportunities hitting you right in the No. 6 like that. 

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