Eisenberg: 50 Words or Less

QB Lamar Jackson

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

Greg Roman's comment that the Ravens used 36 running plays against the Chiefs is especially eye-popping when you do the math. They ran 41 times. So they almost never used a play twice and rushed for 251 yards. I have to believe it's tiring just thinking about taking that on.

Speaking of that, the schedule isn't doing the Lions any favors this week even though they're hosting the Ravens Sunday. Preparing for Lamar Jackson and the Ravens' unique offense is challenging enough when you seldom play them. Doing it on a short week, after playing Monday night, is even tougher.

With their many injuries, the Ravens of 2021 were already a case study on the importance of constantly searching for quality depth – more than you think you need. The importance of that search could be reaffirmed again Sunday in Detroit with fill-ins for players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.

After beating the Chiefs, a road contest against the winless, rebuilding Lions fits the description of a "trap game." But the Ravens have long been adept at keeping their focus in such circumstances, and I'd be very surprised if that changed Sunday, especially with possible subtractions posing a new challenge.

It's early, but through two games, the Ravens are on their way to achieving their goal of making their passing game more productive. They ranked dead last in yardage last season; now they're No. 20 with a per-game average (223.5 yards) that is some 30 percent higher over last year's.

Pretty startling to see the Ravens ranked No. 31 in total defense. But while the unit is dealing with injuries and subtractions right now, it's hard not to have confidence in the organization's ability to eventually figure things out on that side of the ball. That ranking will go up.

I'm still getting over the fact that Tavon Young's crucial interception last Sunday night was the first pick that Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes had ever thrown in a September game. Seriously? Mahomes is in his fifth season. Gives you some insight into how tough it was to win that game.

Right now, the Ravens are in a glop of 10 AFC teams with 1-1 records. But last Sunday's win could serve as a springboard. They'll play eight more games before taking on the Browns and Steelers starting in late November, and as of now, they'll be favored in all eight.

Given the uncertainty surrounding Ronnie Stanley's availability, the Ravens surely were mega-relieved to see Alejandro Villanueva play so well at left tackle against the Chiefs. Although Pro Football Focus grades his run blocking much higher than his pass protection, Villanueva appears quite capable of handling an important position.

You know the Ravens are delighted to see rookie linebacker Odafe Oweh getting so much attention for playing so well in his first two NFL games. Going forward, what they most want to see from him is the ability to disrupt offenses and pressure quarterbacks from one-on-one blocking situations.

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