Various thoughts on various subjects, all in 50 words or less:
Although they’re doing their part with the coronavirus so far, the Ravens have been fortunate not to have their season disrupted by positive tests on other teams, which tend to create a ripple effect of schedule adjustments. Given the headlines, everyone probably should just prepare for it, expect the unexpected.
A seven-team playoff field is going to be different, but the importance of winning a division endures. Because the 4-1 Ravens trail the 4-0 Steelers in the AFC North, they’d earn the No. 5 seed if the postseason began today. They’d play the Bills in Buffalo in the opening round.
The state of the Ravens’ pass rush has been a popular talking point, but the chatter might quiet down now that Baltimore ranks No. 5 in sacks, with no individual contributing more than two – fulfilling what Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale wants to do with the rush, i.e., share the wealth.
Sam Koch certainly deserves an ovation as he prepares to become the Ravens’ all-time leader in games played Sunday. And what makes it even more special is Koch is still at the top of his game at age 38. The coaches’ level of trust in him is off the charts.
The Ravens drafted Koch in the sixth round in 2006, and when you look it up, they’ve been especially adept at finding quality players in that round over the years. Their selections have included Tyrod Taylor, Chuck Clark, Darren Waller, Bradley Bozeman, Adalius Thomas and Chester Taylor.
I get the concern about Lamar Jackson rushing just twice for three yards last week, but he is still on pace to finish 2020 with 762 rushing yards, which would rank as the ninth-best rushing season by a quarterback in NFL history. So maybe the situation isn’t that dire.
The Ravens don’t need any extra incentive Sunday in Philadelphia, but a game against the 1-3-1 Eagles offers a good opportunity to bank a win they’d appreciate later. Baltimore’s next five scheduled games after that are against the 4-0 Steelers, 3-2 Colts, 4-0 Titans, 3-2 Patriots and 4-0 Steelers.
After completing a four-game suspension for violating the league policy on performance enhancing drugs, former Ravens offensive tackle James Hurst suited up and played for the Saints Monday night. I’m guessing few Baltimore fans miss him, but he wouldn’t have been the worst option as a “swing” backup tackle.
I’m having a hard time deciding whether it’s more impressive that the Ravens have won eight straight road games by a combined score of 269-123, or that they’ve scored at least 20 points in 28 straight games, which is four games shy of the all-time league record.
This might not be the week to worry about the Ravens developing more receiving targets. Rams tight end Tyler Higbee caught three touchdown passes against the Eagles in Week 2 and 49ers tight end George Kittle caught 15 passes for 183 yards against them in Week 4. Hello, Mark Andrews.