Eisenberg: 50 Words or Less

100221-Eisenberg
Left: QB Lamar Jackson; Right: G/C Bradley Bozeman

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

While dealing with various absences and up-and-down performances early in the season, the Ravens have never needed big things from Lamar Jackson more than they do now. Where would they be without a playmaking quarterback who has generated 1,012 total yards (combined rushing and passing) in three games? Don't ask.

Jackson is simultaneously ranked No. 4 in the league in rushing – to be clear, that's among all ball carriers, not just quarterbacks – and No. 1 in average yards per pass completion. It's surely unprecedented and thrusts Jackson right into the league MVP conversation. Yup, here we go again.

Jackson's absence from several practices earlier this week isn't really a big deal. He practiced Friday and surely will be ready Sunday. But if those absences stem from his absorbing more hard hits in 2021, which seemingly is the case, that's a very big deal that needs to be monitored.

Marquise Brown's teammates, coaches and especially Brown himself have made it clear that a pro receiver should just move on from the kind of difficulties Brown experienced in Detroit. My hunch is he'll be fine, but to make sure, I'd get him several touches early Sunday to ease the pressure.

The Ravens want wide receivers Rashod Bateman and Miles Boykin back because of their playmaking potential, but also, because it'll ease the pressure on Sammy Watkins, who has played 85 percent of the offense's snaps in three games. He is performing well, but that's a heavier load than anyone wants.

I'm expecting Boykin to return to the field before Bateman. Remember, the rookie underwent groin surgery less than two months ago. You don't just snap your fingers and put that behind you. Although it's encouraging to see him practicing, Bateman likely will need time to get into game-ready shape.

Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has been highly efficient, posting triple-digit quarterback ratings without throwing an interception in three straight games. The Ravens' first priority defensively will be to generate some pressure that disrupts Bridgewater's rhythm. He has been sacked seven times in three games, so it's not impossible.

Yes, it was surprising Ty'Son Williams received just five carries against the Lions after totaling 22 in the first two games. But no backs had many carries in what became a pass-centric offensive game. I'm expecting more carries for Williams Sunday. The reconfigured running game needs his speed and explosiveness.

Having said that, the Ravens seemingly are still trying to ascertain what they can/should expect from their various running back options, which, remember, includes Le'Veon Bell and rookie Nate McCrary, two guys on the practice squad. Beyond Latavius Murray being a solid power-back piece, not much is clear yet.

It came and went kind of quietly this week, but what big news that Ronnie Stanley will seek to return "sooner rather than later," according to an NFL Network reporter. Just as his absence has been a destabilizing force in the offensive line, his return would be a huge difference-maker.

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