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Keaton Mitchell Is in Line for More Touches

Baltimore Ravens running back Keaton Mitchell looks to run past Cleveland Browns safety Grant Delpit during the first half on an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Baltimore Ravens running back Keaton Mitchell looks to run past Cleveland Browns safety Grant Delpit during the first half on an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Keaton Mitchell broke loose again for two long plays Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, and he's going to get more opportunities to do so moving forward.

Mitchell only had four offensive snaps in the second half of Sunday's 33-31 loss to the Browns after scoring a 39-yard touchdown and ripping off a 32-yard gain on a screen pass.

On Monday, Head Coach John Harbaugh said that's going to change.

"As you look back on it, [it's] part of the process of getting a young guy in there and working him into the gameplan as part of the process as we go. I don't think we felt probably as an offensive coaching staff we were going to throw the whole gameplan on him," Harbaugh said.

"Those are the plays that get called from the groupings that were called in the second half. Looking back on it, would we have wanted him out there more? Yes. I think that'll factor into this gameplan."

Mitchell has been a difference-maker the past two games in the Ravens offense. He had a chance for more against the Browns.

There were a couple opportunities for receptions in the second half, but the ball didn't go his way because of pressure on Lamar Jackson. Mitchell also was targeted on a wheel route touchdown pass in the first half, but he dropped it in tight coverage.

"Hopefully I get in the game a little more," Mitchell said. "Whatever happens happens. If it comes my way, I'm just going to make the best of it. We'll just have to see."

Asked what his emotions are heading into a big "Thursday Night Football" game, the undrafted rookie didn't seem to make much of it.

"It's just another game to me," Mitchell said. "I've never experienced anything like this. I don't really know how big this is supposed to be. But I know it's a division opponent."

No Time to Dig Into Psychology of Late-Game Struggles

The Ravens have been far-and-away the best team in the NFL in the first three quarters. The fourth quarter, however, has been a problem.

All three of Baltimore's losses have a reoccurring problem – finishing. The Ravens coughed up a 14-point fourth quarter lead to the Browns Sunday.

"We look at the football. You don't have time to dig into the psychology for the root causes," Harbaugh said. "Maybe there is some historical reason for it. I'm not exactly sure, but we're just looking at the football. We fix the football."

Harbaugh reiterated that an NFL season is a journey as all teams forge themselves for the final push. The Ravens will have more chances to finish games.

"You can't panic," Harbaugh said. "You don't get all upset about one game, just like you don't get over-happy about one game. You kind of try to keep an even keel and keep moving straight ahead through the water."

Harbaugh Believes Marcus Williams' Range of Motion Will Improve

Starting safety Marcus Williams, who has shown determination coming back from injuries this season, returned to the lineup against Cleveland and played all but one of the defensive snaps. However, Williams' upper body movement still seemed restricted at times from a left pectoral injury suffered in Week 1.

Williams opted not to have surgery and returned in Week 5, only to suffer a hamstring injury in Week 6 that sidelined him for another three games. Harbaugh believes Williams' range of motion will improve as the season progresses.

"I think it's going to keep getting better as he gets more comfortable," Harbaugh said. "He's got some limitation there with the protection he's got on it, but as it gets stronger and stays stronger he'll need less of that and it will give him a little more range of motion. I think he's going to be just fine, moving around good. He's a big part of what we're doing."

Keeping Joe Burrow in the Pocket Will Be a Priority

The Ravens were disappointed to let Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson escape the pocket numerous times on Sunday, and he hurt them by picking up first downs running or extending plays long enough to find open receivers.

Baltimore will face a similar challenge Thursday night against Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, who has excellent pocket awareness. Burrow was bothered by a calf injury when the Ravens faced him in Week 2, but he's healthy again and it's showing in his play. He's thrown for more than 300 yards in three of his last five starts, and he's eluding pass rushers with more regularity than he was able to earlier this season.

Harbaugh wants the Ravens to be disciplined while rushing Burrow, making it harder for him to find running lanes to escape.

"Basically, we pressed the pocket too close to [Watson], and he was able to get away," Harbaugh said. "It's a fine line with a quarterback that strong and that good. [He] broke a tackle or two.

"We have to do a better job of that. We have another one this week coming in, who does the same type of thing, just a different way. Joe Burrow is just as good at getting out of the pocket and making plays, so it's going to be a big point of emphasis."

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