Eisenberg: 50 Words or Less

M&T Bank Stadium during the Ravens-Saints preseason game.

Various thoughts on various things, all in 50 words or less:

Heading into Monday night, I was skeptical to the point of dismissive about the possibility that a sellout crowd would impact the game. But fans in Las Vegas did create what Head Coach John Harbaugh called a "tough environment." The Ravens could sure use one of those environments Sunday night.

The Raiders played a lot of zone and didn't blitz much, and I'm guessing that trend will continue as a strategy for trying to corral Lamar Jackson. But Jackson and his unit generated 27 points and 406 yards of offense, so can we agree that the strategy worked just OK?

Sorry, it's just too easy to second-guess the trade of Orlando Brown Jr. now that Ronnie Stanley might miss more time and the Ravens might be reaching into their depth for starting tackles. Brown pretty much forced his way out of Baltimore with his stated desire to play left tackle.

When do you know you're having a lot of injuries? When your projected Week 2 starting offensive line features not one or two but three changes from Week 1. (Villanueva at the opposite tackle. Patrick Mekari at right tackle and Ben Powers at left guard after being Week 1 reserves.)

Calais Campbell only posted one solo tackle and one assist Monday night, but he was easily the Ravens' highest-graded player, according to Pro Football Focus. In other words, stats aren't everything, especially deep in the trenches. Campbell also played the most snaps in a game (60) since joining the Ravens.

Tavon Young had some tough moments Monday night, but remember, it was just his third regular-season game since December 30, 2018, because of various injuries that have sidelined him. Talk about needing to shed rust. Give Young some breathing room as he re-acclimates to playing instead of rehabbing.

Since 2018, according to Pro Football Focus, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has a 134.0 passer rating against Baltimore blitzes while every other quarterback has a 74.0 passer rating against Baltimore blitzes. There are a lot of interesting stats to peruse, but this one seems especially worthy of consideration.

One of the Ravens' offseason goals was to give Jackson more viable receivers after Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown combined for 48 percent of the team's targets in 2020. There was improvement in Week 1. Sammy Watkins led the team in targets (8) and Andrews and Brown totaled 38 percent.

The Ravens' use of fullback Pat Ricard pretty much sums up their original approach to offense in the NFL of 2021. None of the league's 31 other teams used a fullback for more than 25 snaps in Week 1, but Ricard logged 41 snaps and had three pass targets.

I entirely get why Jackson says he doesn't see a game against the Chiefs as being his personal battle with Mahomes. Because it isn't. But rest assured, if the Ravens win Sunday night, the result will be framed as Lamar finally winning against the rival who'd had his number.

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