Eisenberg: 50 Words or Less

091320-Eisenberg
M&T Bank Stadium

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

A big unanswered question about the NFL season is whether the home-field advantage will hold despite fewer or no fans attending games, depending on the locale. The Ravens certainly hope so as their .750 home winning percentage under John Harbaugh is tied for second-best in the league since 2008.

I was surprised to discover NFL home teams won just 52 percent of the regular-season games in 2019. That's the lowest figure since 1972 and some analysts consider it evidence that the effects of home-field advantage are waning, with the Ravens' dominance at M&T Bank Stadium something of an outlier.

Before Greg Roman came along, many Ravens fans pined for the days when Gary Kubiak was the team's offensive coordinator. Now, a close facsimile of Kubiak's offense will appear in Baltimore, cast as the enemy, when the Cleveland Browns deploy it Sunday under new head coach Kevin Stefanski.

Stefanski came to Cleveland from Minnesota, where he was OC and Kubiak was hired as a consultant in 2019 and installed the blueprint he'd used as a head coach in Houston and Denver and an assistant in Baltimore. Get ready to see a lot of tight ends and one-cut runs.

Apologies to Calais Campbell for calculating this math, but when he makes his Ravens debut Sunday, he'll line up against a tackle who was all of nine years old when Campbell broke into the NFL in 2008. (Cleveland's Jedrick Wills was the No. 10-overall pick in the 2020 draft.)

In a weird season, it's surely nice for the Ravens to have the same head coach, coordinators and starting quarterback as a year ago. But they don't have continuity entirely across the board as they have four new defensive starters in Campbell, Derek Wolfe, DeShon Elliott and Patrick Queen.

I don't know how carries will be divided between running backs Mark Ingram II, Gus Edwards, J.K. Dobbins and Justice Hill, but one benefit of having so many quality candidates is they'll be crazy-determined to make the most of it every time they touch the ball.

According to multiple reports, Jadeveon Clowney could have landed with the Ravens instead of the Tennessee Titans if the league had OK'd a complex sign-and-trade maneuver involving multiple teams and shared salary. It didn't happen, but look no further for evidence that the Ravens' front office is creative and aggressive.

A lot has been made about the Ravens' schedule being relatively forgiving, but their Week 2 and Week 3 games are anything but. They'll be the visitors in the Texans' home opener, then host the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Chiefs. Makes a Week 1 win all the more valuable.

A final reminder that while opposing defensive coordinators spent the offseason designing ways to slow down Lamar Jackson and his offense, Roman was anticipating those designs and sketching out new wrinkles of his own for the Ravens' offense. Very much looking forward to watching that chess match unfold, beginning Sunday.

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