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50 Words or Less: Derrick Henry Could Have Another Big Game Against Chiefs

RB Derrick Henry
RB Derrick Henry

The release of the NFL schedule always provides food for thought, and the Ravens certainly have a challenging slate in 2024.

As the Ravens get ready to kick off their OTAs, here are my thoughts, all in 50 words or less:

— In six games against the Kansas City Chiefs including the playoffs, Derrick Henry has averaged 112.0 yards and 5.6 yards per carry with eight touchdowns. Think the Chiefs are happy the Ravens signed Henry?

— The Ravens and Chiefs have months to think about their Week 1 matchup. That makes the opener even more fascinating. I'd love to be a fly on the wall when Todd Monken and Lamar Jackson share thoughts this summer plotting for their next crack at Kansas City's defense.

— Jackson has said on several occasions that he loves being an underdog. That's what the Ravens will be against the Chiefs in Week 1, and that scenario often brings out Baltimore's best performances.

— After Week 1, the Ravens have six games that they'll enter with more than seven days off. Yes, the Ravens have some tough stretches, including playing three games in 10 days from Week 15-17. But they also have some longer-than-usual breaks that should help them.

— The Ravens won't face any opponent who's coming off a bye in 2024. That's another scheduling quirk that should work to their advantage.

— Offensive lineman Josh Jones might be happy the Ravens are playing in Houston on Christmas. Jones grew up there and attended the University of Houston. As for now, Jones is focused on winning a starting job as Baltimore retools its offensive line.

— There's been plenty of talk about the difficulty of the Ravens' schedule. But they've won at least 10 games in five of the past six years. Jackson and Head Coach John Harbaugh know a lot about winning, regardless of the schedule.

— I expect Isaiah Likely will have a bigger role in 2024 after his strong finish to 2023. Using 12 personnel packages (2 WRs, 2 TEs, 1 RB) featuring both Mark Andrews and Likely takes advantage of a talented tight end group that also includes Charlie Kolar.

— Speaking of offensive weapons, Zay Flowers doesn't seem to be resting on last year's outstanding rookie season. Flowers' tireless work ethic is one reason the Ravens drafted him, and he was cooking during an offseason workout he posted on social media.

— Trenton Simpson went from 28 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks as a freshman at Clemson to 65 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks as a sophomore. The Ravens would love to see a similar jump from Simpson as the presumed replacement for Patrick Queen.

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