Ravens Eye View: Keaton Mitchell Is the Real Deal; How Tyler Linderbaum Keeps Getting Better

Baltimore Ravens running back Keaton Mitchell (34) runs with the ball during an NFL football game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023 in Baltimore.

When you win 37-3, there's a lot to like from the film.

The Ravens' dominance of the Seattle Seahawks in Week 9 was evident on both sides of the ball and upon further inspection.

Here's what stood out:

With all due respect to the Ravens' defensive mastery, undrafted rookie running back Keaton Mitchell's breakout was the best story of the game. Mitchell hadn't had a carry yet this season (just one reception), but he showed why he will add another dynamic to this offense in the second half of the season.

Mitchell's calling card is his speed, and his top speed of 20.99 mph on his 40-yard touchdown was the fastest recorded of any Ravens ball carrier this season.

But it wasn't just speed that Mitchell used to do his damage. He showed a bit of everything on just nine carries, indicating that this wasn't just a flash-in-the-pan performance.

On some runs, it was excellent change of direction and lateral quickness. On others, it was Mitchell's excellent vertical burst through small holes. When there wasn't much of a hole to start with, Mitchell showed excellent vision and patience.

Mitchell went undrafted out of East Carolina because of concerns about his 5-foot-8, 191-pound size. That's why his contact balance and power with a ridiculous eight forced missed tackles was possibly the most impressive part of his game. Mitchell picked up 108 yards over expected, the most of any running back in the league since 2020, per Next Gen Stats.

The man leading the way on Mitchell's 60-yard gallop in the fourth quarter was none other than center Tyler Linderbaum, who put two blocks on Seahawks linebacker Jordyn Brooks on the play.

Linderbaum's run blocking was superb again as the Ravens piled up 298 yards on the ground. But his biggest improvement this season, which was on display against the Seahawks, has been in his pass protection.

Linderbaum isn't the only Ravens offensive lineman thriving. Patrick Mekari had another strong game stepping into the starting lineup, this time at right tackle for Morgan Moses.

Left guard John Simpson is also taking off. Head Coach John Harbaugh said Simpson made some technical changes in both run blocking and pass protection that have "paid off big time." "John has really fit in great," Harbaugh said.

It's easy to see with Simpson's physicality. Taking over for departed free agent Ben Powers this season, Simpson and the offensive line haven't skipped a beat.

Gus Edwards continued his torrid scoring stretch with his fifth touchdown in the past two weeks. "The Bus" also finally won the "Angry Run" of the week with his 42-yard wrecking ball of a run in which he trucked Seahawks rookie cornerback Devon Witherspoon and had others bouncing off him.

Part of the reason why Edwards and the Ravens have had so much success in recent weeks running in the deep red zone is because of the blocking of fullback Patrick Ricard, who has been an invaluable hammer in Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken's scheme.

One of the stranger twists of the game was that the Ravens scored 37 points but Lamar Jackson didn't account for a single touchdown. Still, the tape shows that Jackson had another strong game, highlighted by more off-platform throws and extended plays.

In other offensive notes, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. ran six of 21 routes from the slot. He had only run nine routes from the slot previously this season. Could that be a sign of altered usage moving forward?

The Ravens also got second-year tight end Isaiah Likely more involved in the passing game, as he had a season-high four catches for 42 yards. He had four receptions over his previous eight games.

Defensively, the Ravens got after the quarterback once again with four more sacks, upping their league-leading total to 35. Kyle Van Noy got two, Odafe Oweh had one, and Justin Madubuike had the other.

The Ravens continue to get results across the board from their linebackers, including up-and-coming rookie Tavius Robinson. Baltimore also did a much better job against the run this week, limiting the Seahawks to just 28 yards on 15 carries, thanks in part to Jadeveon Clowney.

A major reason why the Ravens defense is thriving, and players across the board are stepping up or having career years, is because of Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald's scheme and play-calling. Macdonald continues to bring creative pressure packages and change the picture for quarterbacks from pre-snap to post-snap.

Geno Stone got his sixth interception of the season and now has an interception in four straight games. He extended his lead across the league (two other players are tied with four).

Last week, Stone made an excellent play in zone coverage to undercut a route. This week, he seemingly capitalized on a Seahawks communication error.

"The ball's finding him. He's finding the ball," Harbaugh said. "I guess, probably, all of it goes together."

Related Content