Various thoughts on various subjects, all in 50 words or less:
I probably don't have enough fingers to count the moves Ravens GM Eric DeCosta will contemplate before the Oct. 29 trade deadline. In the end, the moves that actually get made tend to be ones you don't see coming (hello, Marcus Peters), as opposed to ones long rumored and debated.
No surprise, the pass rush sits atop of my list of areas that could be addressed, especially since Jaylon Ferguson is the Ravens' only outside linebacker under contract for 2021. As with Peters, a move that makes both short-term and long-term sense is preferable. But that's easier said than done.
The Ravens' defense has a long history of making rookie quarterbacks look like rookie quarterbacks, mostly through the use of disguised schemes and ramped-up pressure. But buckling the knees of the Bengals' impressive Joe Burrow won't be typically easy. An early pick or sack (or two) would help.
It's quite impressive in hindsight that Burrow, Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson shared a huddle in 2019. Now they're all among the NFL's top rookies of 2020. Talk about a loaded college offense. It's no wonder LSU won the national title going away.
The Ravens have their own rookie from LSU, of course. Patrick Queen has experienced some highs and lows in his first month of games, but for me, those big tackle totals from a guy who turned 21 during training camp are a clear indication of very good things to come.
So far in 2020, teams from the AFC North, one of the NFL's strongest divisions, are 4-0-1 against teams from the NFC East, clearly the league's weakest division. How many of the remaining 11 games between the divisions will the NFC East win? My bet is two.
Lamar Jackson has targeted Hollywood Brown and Mark Andrews on 46.9 percent of his pass attempts through four games. That's a testament to the productive connection that has developed between the Ravens' quarterback and his favorite receivers. But the offense would benefit from having at least one other Jackson favorite.
Ravens punter Sam Koch has been around so long he's older than Sunday's opposing head coach. (He's 38 and the Bengals' Zac Taylor is 37. They were teammates at Nebraska.) But that oddity would really be something if the Ravens were playing, say, the Patriots, coached by 68-year-old Bill Belichick.
Their much-publicized, 16-year streak of carrying one out of training camp ended last month, but cornerback Khalil Dorsey's full-time promotion from the practice squad to the 53-man roster this week means the Ravens ARE now carrying an undrafted free agent rookie in 2020. Asterisk, please.
I know the past isn't always an accurate indicator of what's coming, but the winning margins in the past seven games between the Ravens and Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium were 6, 3, 4, 5, 4, 7 and 3 points. You might want to set your expectations accordingly.