Various thoughts on various things, all in 50 words or less:
Beginning Monday night against the Colts, a run of four straight home games gives the Ravens a chance to stack wins. But they have injuries and NFL home teams have a .476 winning percentage in 2021. Stuff happens. I'd avoid greedy expectations. A 3-1 homestand bolsters the Ravens' playoff chances.
Given the NFL's mega-unpredictable nature, I'm hesitant to rank the four home games in terms of degree of difficulty. The Colts are just 1-3 but well-coached by Frank Reich, a former Maryland Terrapin quarterback. If pressed, I'd say facing the up-and-coming Chargers on a short week is the thorniest situation.
It's not surprising the Colts' return to Baltimore is now an insignificant angle for most fans. (Yes, diehards, I know you're out there.) The Colts were in Baltimore for 31 years, but moving vans took them to Indianapolis 37 years ago. The "time to move on" bell has long clanged.
Underrated issue for the Ravens is players on injured reserve continue to count against the salary cap. Paying them and the extra guys who ARE playing leaves the Ravens even less cap room than usual. They had no hope of obtaining star cornerback Stephon Gilmore when he suddenly became available.
Regarding the Ravens-Broncos rushing-record brouhaha: After a lopsided loss years ago, Joe Gibbs was asked if he was upset Bill Belichick ran up the score. Gibbs replied he was upset only that his team was so bad. In other words, I'll just coach my team, not his. Good advice.
My hunch is Marquise Brown and Sammy Watkins will continue to get the most snaps after Rashod Bateman and Miles Boykin return and the Ravens have six quality wide receivers vying for playing time. I'm hoping James Proche II and Devin Duvernay don't get lost just when they're becoming productive.
It's already a lock that Lamar Jackson is the Ravens' MVP in 2021. But when compiling a list of candidates for "Best Supporting Actor," you can't leave out Anthony Averett, whose solid play as a starting cornerback opposite Marlon Humphrey has helped ease the sting of losing Marcus Peters.
Bradley Bozeman is another "Best Supporting Actor" candidate. If the first four games are any measure, his switch from guard to center is a roaring success. Pro Football Focus currently rates Bozeman as the fourth-best center in the league, earning higher grades than he ever did as a guard.
Easily the biggest question for the Ravens heading into Monday night is who'll play tackle other than Patrick Mekari and can they get the job done. The Ravens will be into their "deep depth" if Alejandro Villanueva can't go because of the knee injury that has limited him in practice.
When the season began, I'm sure no one was predicting rookie Odafe Oweh would lead the Ravens' edge defenders in playing time. But it's a measure of his impressive versatility that he has played 68 percent of the defense's snaps so far, just ahead of Tyus Bowser's 66 percent.