Category Archives: Baltimore Ravens

NFL Week 6 Power Rankings

The NFL season continues to move along. Week 5 saw some surprising finishes, but there are still a pair of undefeated teams that remain. After those two powerhouses, the NFL power rankings are muddied a bit. We take a look at teams 1-10 again this week, trying to sort out who is for real and which teams still have a bit more to prove:

1) The Los Angeles Rams           2018 Record: 5-0          Previous Week: 1 ( – )

The Rams were able to hold off their division rival, the Seattle Seahawks, to move to 5-0. Jared Goff converted a crucial 4th-and-1 late in the 4th quarter on a QB sneak to end the game. The Rams offense has been amazingly efficient, as they lead the NFL in yards per offensive play (7.4) and rank T-4th in fewest turnovers lost (5). Goff ranks 2nd in the league in passer rating (119.7); behind only Drew Brees. The Rams defense also currently ranks 6th in points allowed (19.6 PPG) and has allowed the 3rd fewest attempts inside the red zone (12).

2) The Kansas City Chiefs          2018 Record: 5-0          Previous Week: 2 ( – )

The Chiefs rolled right through the Jags 30-14 and remain one of two unbeaten teams. Kansas City’s defense stepped up big, intercepting Blake Bortles four times. The Chiefs defense came into the game with only two interceptions in the team’s first four games. Patrick Mahomes  had his first game this year without a TD and threw his first two interceptions of the season, but was able to get enough offense going to down the Jags. The Chiefs offense ranks 2nd in points per game (35.0) and ranks T-1st in fewest turnovers (3). The Chiefs are also the 3rd most efficient team at scoring inside the red zone (76.2%).

3) The New Orleans Saints        2018 Record: 5-0         Previous Week: 9 ( +6 )

Drew Brees, this week, became the new all-time leader in passing yards in the NFL. He did so in a 43-19 drubbing of the Redskins in the Superdome. Brees leads this Saints offense that ranks 1st in points per game (36.0) and 2nd in first downs (128). The Saints also got RB Mark Ingram back this week from suspension, and he contributed immediately rushing for two TDs. Brees found rookie WR Tre’Quan Smith three times for 111 yards and two scores, the first of which a 62 yard TD that gave his QB the all-time passing yards record.

4) The Chicago Bears            2018 Record: 3-1            Previous Week: 3 ( -1 )

The Bears had a week four bye after their week three win over the Bucs. For a team that came into the season with modest expectations, the Bears find themselves ranking 2nd in scoring defense (16.3 PPG) and have allowed the fewest trips inside the red zone (7). The Bears’ next matchup is a Dolphins team that ranks 28th in scoring (19.8 PPG).

5) The Cincinnati Bengals           2018 Record: 4-1          Previous Week: 5 ( – )

The Bengals moved to 4-1 after overcoming a 17-0 2nd half deficit to beat the Dolphins. A Bengals defense, which has struggled this season, blanked the Fins for the final 24 plus minutes of game time. The Bengals’ only blemish thus far was a loss on the road in Carolina. The Bengals rank 4th in scoring offense (30.6 PPG) and continues to have a top five scoring offense in the red zone (70.6%).

6) The New England Patriots        2018 Record: 3-2           Previous Week: NR

The Patriots, after some early season offensive struggles, have rebounded with back-to-back wins. They dominated the Dolphins last Sunday, and then beat the Colts last Thursday on a short week to move to 3-2. In the process, the Pats have moved to 6th in red zone scoring (68.8%) and rank 9th in points per game (26.6). The Patriots defense also ranks 9th in scoring (21.6) and has forced 10 turnovers (6th).

7) The Los Angeles Chargers         2018 Record: 3-2         Previous Week: NR

The Chargers took down the Raiders this past week to move to 3-2. Philip Rivers currently ranks 3rd in the NFL at QB rating (116.4) and leads this Chargers offense that ranks 8th in scoring (27.4 PPG). The Chargers offense has also taken care of the football, ranking T-4th in turnovers lost (5). The 2018 Bolts’ defense are T-10th in turnovers (8), and their only two losses have come against the Chiefs and Rams.

8) The Carolina Panthers          2018 Record: 3-2          Previous Week: NR

This past Sunday, the Panthers held off a Giants team desperate for a win. Graham Gano kicked a game-winning 63 yard FG with 0:01 remaining. The Panthers offense ranks 12th in scoring offense (26.0 PPG), and have only committed four turnovers thus far, which is good for 3rd in the NFL. The Panthers defense is ranked 15th in scoring defense (22.8 PPG) and is T-5th best at stopping conversions on 3rd down (30.8%).

9) The Jacksonville Jaguars         2018 Record: 3-2         Previous Week: 4 ( -5 )

The Jaguars hit a lofty speed bump in their 2018 season last week, falling to the red hot Chiefs 30-14. The Jags have had trouble scoring this season; their 20.4 PPG ranks 26th in the league. That said, they still rank T-3rd in scoring defense (17.2 PPG) and are the 2nd stingiest team on defense inside the red zone (33.3%). That defense is also the 6th best in the NFL at getting off the field on 3rd down (30.8%).

10) The Baltimore Ravens           2018 Record: 3-2           Previous Week: 6 ( -4 )

The Ravens lost a tough, divisional game on the road in OT this past week to a reinvigorated Cleveland Browns team. The Ravens struggled mightily on 3rd down (4/16) against their division foe. The Ravens defense, however, still ranks 1st in scoring defense (15.4 PPG) and 1st at getting off the field on 3rd down (28.8%). Their defense is also T-3rd fewest red zone attempts allowed (12). The Ravens offense has come up big inside the red zone, ranking T-8th in converting red zone scores (65.0%).

NFL Week 5 Injury Updates

Dalvin Cook is not expected to play for the Vikings in week 5. Cook has battled hamstring woes all season and sources tell Ian Rapoport of NFL Network that it would take an impressive turnaround for him to be on the field.

Here’s a rundown of more updates on player injuries:

  • Tight end Hayden Hurst is expected to make his debut for Ravens against the Browns, according to Adam Schefter’s twitter feed.
  • Larry Fitzgerald, who is dealing with back and hamstring injuries, is expected to play for the Cardinals against the 49ers.
  • 49ers RB Matt Breida is expected to play in the game as well.
  • Aaron Rodgers is no longer on the injury report for the Packers.
  • Davante Adams remains listed as questionable with a calf injury and is expected to play. Randall Cobb is not expected to play in the contest against the Lions.
  • Marvin Jones is expected to suit up for the Lions.
  • Greg Olsen won’t play in week 5, though there’s a chance he suits up for the Panthers in week 6.

 

NFL Week 5 Power Rankings

The NFL season is a quarter way finished, and we are down to only two unbeaten teams: the Rams and the Chiefs. Those teams were 1-2 in last week’s rankings, and there isn’t any good reason to change that this week. But as for positions 3-10, a little shakeup this week as per usual, and some surprising entrants into the top five and top ten. Will the Patriots or Packers re-enter the list after dominant performances against AFC East competitors? Which teams crack the top ten for the first time in 2018? Full list:

1) The Los Angeles Rams          2018 Record: 4-0          Previous Week: 1 ( – )

The Rams took down the Vikings last Thursday to move to 4-0 this year. Jared Goff racked up over 450 yards and five TDs, finishing the game with a perfect passer rating. The Rams defense was finally tested, but their high powered offense proved too much for Minnesota to overcome. The Rams rank 2nd in the league in points per game (35.0) and also have the most 1st downs (105) through the first four weeks. The Rams are tied for 3rd in the NFL with a +4 turnover margin, and are also T-2nd best in the league at converting on 3rd down (48.8%).

2) The Kansas City Chiefs         2018 Record: 4-0          Previous Week: 2 ( – )

The Chiefs appeared to be on their way to their first loss this week at Mile High. That was before Patrick Mahomes led the Chiefs down the field for two fourth-quarter TD drives, the second of which was the game-winner capped off by a Kareem Hunt four-yard rushing score. In the process, the Chiefs broke the Broncos‘ streak of 65 straight wins when leading by at least ten points in the 4th quarter. It was also the first time in 37 games that the Broncos had surrendered over 300 net passing yards; which had been the longest streak in football. A full quarter into the 2018 season, it is hard to argue that Patrick Mahomes isn’t the front-runner for NFL MVP.

3) The Chicago Bears           2018 Record: 3-1            Previous Week: 6 ( +3 )

For most of the year, the buzz surrounding the Bears has been focused on their new look defense. This past Sunday, the defense again was dominant, as they held the fiery Buccaneers offense to only ten points. But the bigger story was Mitchell Trubisky’s six TD passes en route to putting up a near 50 burger on the Bucs. The Bears currently rank T-3rd in scoring defense (16.3 PPG) and 8th in scoring offense (27.8 PPG). Perhaps more impressive, the Bears have forced 11 turnovers already on defense while only coughing the ball up five times. That +6 turnover ratio ranks 2nd in the NFL to the Browns.

4) The Jacksonville Jaguars           2018 Record: 3-1          Previous Week: 4 ( – )

The Jags dominated the Jets this past Sunday, nearly doubling them up in time of possession. Blake Bortles was able to connect with Dede Westbrook nine times for 130 yards. Bortles also found Donte Moncrief five times for 109 yards, most of which came from a big 67 yard TD pass late in the 3rd quarter. I don’t think we learned a whole ton about the Jags this week that we didn’t already know. Four games in, the Jags have the best scoring defense in the league (14.0 PPG). They also commit too many penalties and have turned the ball over seven times already. Their -4 turnover margin is tied for worst in the NFL.

5) The Cincinnati Bengals          2018 Record: 3-1           Previous Week: 8 ( +3 )

The Bengals beat the Falcons this last week in a shootout 37-36. Andy Dalton led a 75 yard game winning TD drive that was capped by a 13 yard score to AJ Green. This Bengals offense has been electric thus far, ranking 4th in the league in scoring (31.5 PPG). They are also the most efficient team inside the 20 yard line, scoring on 11/13 attempts (84.6%). The Bengals are also T-3rd in first downs (98) and are the 5th best team converting 3rd downs (46.5%). The upcoming schedule for this red hot offense looks promising. They play a Miami team next week that was just routed by the Patriots. After that, their next four opponents all are among the bottom eight teams in points allowed (PIT, KC, TB, and NO).

6) The Baltimore Ravens            2018 Record: 3-1           Previous Week: 9 ( +3 )

The Ravens secured a huge win Sunday night in Pittsburgh, downing the Steelers and holding them to only 47 second-half yards. The Ravens defense stepped up huge down the stretch, and Joe Flacco was able to handle the not so elite Steelers defense for 363 yards and two TDs. He also connected with the speedy John Brown three times for 116 yards and a score, including a 71 yard catch and run in the 2nd quarter. The Ravens are one of two teams, the other being the LA Rams, to rank within the top five for both scoring offense (5th; 30.8 PPG) and scoring defense (T-3rd; 16.3 PPG). The Ravens defense is also 2nd best in the NFL at getting off the field on 3rd down, allowing conversions on just 27.8% of attempts.

7) The Philadelphia Eagles          2018 Record: 2-2          Previous Week: 3 ( -4 )

I do not see a three-point OT loss to a better than expected Titans team as a dagger to this Eagles season. And most weeks, it wouldn’t cause them to slip this far at all. What does worry me slightly is the Eagles rank T-26th in scoring (20.5 PPG) through the first four weeks. Another troubling stat about this Eagles team is they have put the ball on the ground 11 times so far, losing five of those fumbles. Their -3 turnover ratio is T-2nd worst in the league. Defensively, Philly has been solid. They rank 3rd in the league in defensive 3rd down conversions allowed (28.3%) and have only allowed seven scores on 16 red zone attempts. Their 43.8% defensive red zone percent ranks 6th best in the NFL thus far.

8) The Tennessee Titans          2018 Record: 3-1           Previous Week: NR

Last week, I mentioned the Titans were tied with the Jags stout defense for best red zone percentage and best at keeping teams out of the red zone entirely. This past Sunday, they found themselves backed up in the red zone at the end of regulation, but held tough forcing a FG to take the game into OT. Again in OT, the Eagles had a 1st and 10 inside the Tennessee 20, but had to settle for a FG. The Titans defense has come up big inside the 20, allowing a league-best 20% of drives inside the red zone to result in a score. They also rank 6th best in the NFL in overall scoring defense (18.3 PPG). Marcus Mariota led the Titans from 14 points down midway through the 3rd quarter. Mariota finished with 344 yards and three total TDs (1 rushing). He also found his #1 target, the 5th overall pick of 2017’s draft Corey Davis, nine times for 161 yards that included the ten yard score in OT.

9) The New Orleans Saints         2018 Record: 3-1          Previous Week: NR

The Saints took down the Giants this week to move to 3-1. Drew Brees leads this offense that ranks 3rd best in the NFL at 34.3 PPG. Brees has been extremely solid to begin 2018, he has 1295 yards, eight TDs, and zero INTs through the first quarter of 2018. The Saints have also added seven rushing TDs so far, five of those by the 2nd year man Alvin Kamara. Defensively, the Saints haven’t gotten off to as hot of a start this year. They rank 29th in the NFL in points allowed (30.3 PPG) and have surrendered the 3rd most yards through the air through four games.

10) The Green Bay Packers          2018 Record: 2-1-1          Previous Week: NR

The Packers rebounded from a tough loss to the Washington Redskins by blanking the Bills 22-0. That shutout was the Packers’ first in eight years, and included a total of seven sacks of Buffalo rookie QB Josh Allen. The Pack defense also forced three turnovers and held the Bills to just 3/16 on 3rd down. Aaron Rodgers, still suffering the lingering effects from a Week 1 knee sprain, wasn’t his normal self. However, RB Aaron Jones was effective on the ground, running 11 times for 65 yards and a score. He could prove to be a real difference maker going forward for this Packers offense. At the least, he could take some pressure off of Green Bay’s all-pro QB until his knee is 100%. This Packers defense is playing better than last year’s team that ranked 26th in scoring. So far in 2018, they rank 11th in scoring defense (20.8 PPG), are T-9th with five takeaways, and also rank T-4th in the league in sacks (13.0).

NFL Round-Up: Five Stats And Trends To Know

With week 2 of the NFL season complete, let’s take a look around the league at some stats and trends:

  • Blake Bortles exploded for 377 yards against the Patriots. He’s averaging 323 passing yards per game during the four games he’s played with Leonard Fournette on the sideline. He has nine touchdowns during that span. With the Titans up next, he’s a value play in daily fantasy, especially if his star running back sits out.
  • The Rams have run 68 passing plays through the first two weeks of the season. They’ve had three wide receivers on the all but one of those plays. There’s room for Brandon Cooks, Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp in the offense and in the fantasy realm.
  • The Raiders and Lions are the only two teams to allow at least 140 yards to each team they’ve faced this season.
  • Tight End Jonnu Smith didn’t receive a target during the Titans‘ win over the Texans, though he did play on all of the team’s 56 snaps. Delanie Walker‘s replacement could be someone to target in fantasy once Marcus Mariota returns.
  • Javorius Allen has played three more snaps than Alex Collins and has eight more targets so far this season. He should be owned in all leagues.

NFL Round-Up: Bengals-Ravens Injuries, Week 2 Fantasy Football

How bad are the Bills going to be this season? After the Ravens were down 21-0 to A.J. Green and the Bengals on Thursday night, it was the question everyone in the football community was wondering. Though as the second half went on, Baltimore climbed back in the game (sort of). Overall, it was a sloppy game where both teams lost a key player to injury.

Rookie center Billy Price left after the end of the first quarter. Cincinnatti’s new-look offensive line kept Andy Dalton clean and appears to be something the team can count on this season provided Price doesn’t miss too much time.

Baltimore lost C.J. Mosley on the defense’s first drive and the team struggled with its ballhawk on the field.

While we wait for the rest of week 2 to begin, check out some notes from around the league:

  • Jalen Richard saw 37 snaps, running for 24 yards on five carries while catching nine passes for 55 yards. Lynch missed some time because he wasn’t feeling well, so that gave Ricard some extra run. Still. he’s a must add in ppr leagues, as the Raiders will be down often this season.
  • Josh Gordon was on the field for 66 of the team’s 85 snaps, which includes 38 of the Browns 45 passing plays. Tyrod Taylor only sent three looks his way. He remains a borderline top-25 WR with upside, as his usage should increase as the season goes along.
  • Start Tom Brady against the Jaguars with confidence this week, Brandon Gdula of NumberFire contents. During the last seven games of 2017 (including the playoffs), Jacksonville’s defense gave up four 20+ point performances to quarterbacks.
  • Gdula, in the same piece, lists 11 quarterbacks to stay away from in week 2. Among the names is Nick Foles, who gets a plus-matchup with the Buccaneers.

Six Fantasy Football Facts To Help Your Draft

Check out Tuesday’s six pack of NFL stats to help you dominate your fantasy football draft:

  1. Davante Adams has never surpassed 1,000 yards during a season in his career, though it’s he’s a good bet to reach that milestone this season. Aaron Rodgers has produced 10 1,000 yard receivers and with Adams being the top target (he saw 19.3% of Rodgers throws last year, most on the team), he’ll likely be the 11th.
  2. Alex Collins is a guy I’m targeting in both .5 ppr and standard scoring drafts. He was RB8 in standard scoring from weeks 8-17 and had six top-15 finishes during that stretch.
  3. Golden Tate has finished 24th or better during every campaign in Detroit and he’s an underrated target in standard scoring. He earned WR3 numbers or better is 61.5% of his starts (better than Adam Theilen, who’s going in the third/fourth round). Tate will also face the 13th easiest schedule for opposing WR. Pair Tate with a guy like Tyreke Hill if you’re going RB-RB with your first two picks.
  4. Emmanuel Sanders is an underrated asset in fantasy. He’s got the attention of new QB Case Keenum and he’s got a favorable playoff schedule with the Broncos facing the 49ers, Browns, and Raiders in weeks 14-16.
  5. The 49ers are facing the 12th easiest schedule for WRs and Pierre Garcon is a player getting overlooked. Garcon was on pace for 134 targets, 80 catches and over 1,000 receiving yards prior to his injury. And that was without Jimmy GQ. He’s currently the 37th WR taken in Yahoo! leagues and he provides incredible value late in the draft.
  6. Robbie Anderson gets all the fantasy football attention out of the Jets‘ WR corps, but I’d rather take a flyer on Jermaine Kearse with a full offseason in New York under his belt than select Anderson at his 9th round price. Factor in Anderson’s potential suspension and Kearse, who can be had during the last couple rounds of the draft, will be the easy choice at the position if I’m looking for a WR from the Jets. It’s worth noting that I’m not too worried about Kearse’s abdominal injury, as the risk with drafting him late is extremely low.

AFC Target Notes: Ravens, Patriots, Bengals

Each team in the NFL has two preseason games in the books. Let’s take a look at how some of the quarterbacks from the AFC have fared and which pass-catchers they have thrown to.

Quoth The Raven…Disappoint Nevermore

Joe Flacco went 7-for-9 with 72-yards and a touchdown against the Colts on Monday. He looks rejuvenated this preseason and we could see a season akin to what the Chiefs saw with Alex Smith last season.

It also helps that Baltimore got him some new targets, bringing in Michael Crabtree, John Brown, and Willie Sneed in addition to drafting a pair of tight ends. Flacco has thrown to the end zone twice this preseason with one target going to Crabtree and one going to Brown. Here are all of his targets through two appearances:

  • Michael Crabtree: 4
  • Buck Allen: 3
  • John Brown: 3
  • Kenneth Dixon: 2
  • Nick Boyle: 1
  • Willie Snead: 1
  • Hayden Hurst: 1
  • Patrick Ricard: 1
Brady’s Bunch

Moving up the coast to Foxborough, Tom Brady threw the ball 26 times in his first action of the season. He gained 172 yards on 19 completions while tossing a pair of TDs. Here’s his target breakdown:

  • Chris Hogan: 6
  • James White: 6
  • Julian Edelman: 4
  • Phillip Dorsett: 3
  • Cordarrelle Patterson: 2
  • Will Tye: 2
  • Jacob Hollister: 1

Brady appears to already be in midseason form and Hogan has an opportunity to dominate during the first four weeks of the season with Edelman serving a suspension. Hogan caught five of his six targets for 25 yards and a touchdown. He dropped the other target, which would have been a 20-yard gain.

Red Rifling

Andy Dalton has gone 11-for-19 for 144 yards this preseason, mixing in impressive drives with lackluster ones. A.J. Green is still a favorite of Andy’s catching three of his five targets. One of the incompletion was a widely overthrown ball. The other was also a misfire. Here are Dalton’s targets so far this preseason:

  • A.J. Green: 5
  • John Ross: 3
  • Tyler Boyd: 2
  • Joe Mixon: 2
  • Josh Malone: 1
  • Tyler Kroft: 1
  • C.J. Uzomah: 1
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