Eisenberg: 50 Words or Less

11202021_Eisenberg

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

Although the Bears rank second-to-last in the NFL in total offense, they have the league's fifth-best rushing attack. You can be sure they'll begin Sunday's game at Soldier Field by challenging a depleted Baltimore front that never had Derek Wolfe in 2021 and will also be without Brandon Williams Sunday.

Given those D-line absences, Calais Campbell's excellent 2021 season has been invaluable. It was fitting that he was praised repeatedly during press conferences earlier this week. If you ever want to take your eye off the ball and follow action elsewhere, I'd recommend watching Campbell dominate inside. It's a treat.

Another little-known feather in Campbell's cap is his determination to help in ANY way possible at age 35. He averages almost 10 special-teams snaps per game, more than any starters except Tyus Bowser and Anthony Averett, who are considerably younger. Campbell blocks on kicks and also tries to block them.

If Latavius Murray can play Sunday after missing the past three games with an ankle injury, it would give the Ravens the potential for a classic inside-outside combination at running back. DeVonta Freeman has lately exhibited the ability to get to the edge, despite limited carries. Murray runs hard inside.

The Ravens' rationale for moving on from Le'Veon Bell isn't hard to discern, as he averaged just 2.7 yards per carry over five games. But it's still somewhat of a gamble considering Pro Football Focus graded Bell quite a bit higher as a pass blocker than either Freeman or Murray.

If the Ravens' defense can make stops and force punts Sunday, there'd be the possibility of a major value-added component. The Bears have allowed more punt return yardage than any team in the league, and the Ravens' returner, Devin Duvernay, ranks No. 1 in the NFL. File that one away.

Moving on from losses has been a hallmark of the Ravens under Head Coach John Harbaugh. They've posted a .645 winning percentage (49 wins in 76 games) since 2008 in games following losses. Only two other teams have a higher percentage in that time. An encouraging sign going into Chicago.

Interesting to hear several players and Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman say the Dolphins' defense didn't do anything schematically that the Ravens hadn't seen on tape or prepared for. They just didn't handle it well. Keep in mind if the Bears try the same approach, i.e., heavy blitzes and "Cover Zero."

The Ravens only wanted Josh Bynes to step in at age 32 and stabilize a young and unsettled situation at inside linebacker. But they're getting all that and more. According to PFF, Bynes is the NFL's third-best ILB in 2021. His effectiveness in pass coverage has boosted his grades.

I've been in more press boxes than I can count, but the Ravens' last game in Chicago marked the only time someone from the host team got on the in-house microphone and warned, "Please get away from the windows," amid reports of a tornado swirling nearby. I did as told.

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