Eisenberg: 50 Words or Less


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

In the locker room Monday night, John Harbaugh and his players didn't actually vote on which of their 2021 wins was the most improbable. But I'll go there. The most improbable was the late comeback from 19 points down against the Colts. A million things had to go right.

You know it's a series of unlikely outcomes when a game-winning buzzer-beater that is the longest field goal in NFL history is the second-most improbable win. But while Justin Tucker's kick was a Superman feat, he had previously hit from that far in practice, so it was not THAT improbable.

The above leaves me no choice but to rank the Week 2 win over the Chiefs as the third-most improbable, which is funny, because it was the most important of the three. A loss would have meant an 0-2 start for the Ravens, a deep hole to escape from.

This is not intended as a slight in the least of the company Lamar Jackson is keeping in the MVP race. Josh Allen, Justin Herbert, Tom Brady, Dak Prescott and Kyler Murray are playing lights-out. But through five games, no player has been more valuable to his team than Jackson.

Jackson is generating so many great statistics and records that I'm starting to glaze over. But the mother of them all is the chance of him becoming the first NFL quarterback to top 5,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a season. He is on pace to do it.

The fast-paced, wide-open offense Jackson operated late against the Colts certainly was effective. Why couldn't the Ravens use it more? Well, they could. But Sunday against the Chargers, they're facing the league's No. 32-ranked rushing defense. This is a good week to re-start the ground game that has stalled.

Marquise Brown is on pace to finish 2021 with 95 catches for 1,533 yards and 17 touchdowns, which, yes, are numbers a No. 1 receiver would generate. Regardless, he should just move on from his (admittedly harmless) disagreement with Bart Scott about his status. Scott is an all-world verbal combatant.

In terms of impact, veteran inside linebacker L.J. Fort's season-ending injury doesn't always get included with those that sidelined Marcus Peters, J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards. But it should. You know the Ravens are concerned about their ILBs when Harbaugh, who seldom airs public criticism, said, "We need more."

According to the NFL, games can be "flexed" to more prominent slots from Week 5 on, which means Ravens-Chargers could have been switched to later Sunday afternoon or Sunday night. It makes sense, but such moves are complicated, with countless moving parts, and seldom occur this early in the season.

If precedent is any indication, flags could be flying Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. Through five games, the Chargers are No. 1 in the league in most penalty yards accrued. Advantage, Ravens? Well, they're No. 8. Let's just say the team that best cleans things up will have the advantage.

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