Late for Work 9/16: Ravens Named Among Teams Who Could Pursue Allen Robinson 

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Bears WR Allen Robinson

Ravens Among Teams Who Should Pursue Trade for Allen Robinson

It's not often a Pro Bowl player is available well before the trade deadline, but that could be the case with Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson II.

Robinson, who is in the final year of a three-year, $42 million deal, reportedly deleted all Bears content from his social media yesterday.

The Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs reported that Robinson has asked for a trade, but Robinson's agent said otherwise.

"[Robinson] feels like he has been disrespected," NFL Network's Tom Pelissero said. "And the Bears' offers to this point have not reflected his fair market value."

Robinson caught 98 passes for 1,147 yards and seven touchdowns on a career-high 154 targets last season with the Bears. At 27, he's considered one of the league's most underrated receivers.

In a year where the Ravens are competing for a Super Bowl, CBS Sports' Bryan DeArdo and Fansided's Mike Luciano believe Robinson would be a good fit in Baltimore.

"Sure, the Ravens are already loaded with talent on the offensive side of the ball," DeArdo wrote. "But given Marquise 'Hollywood' Brown's injury history, along with the fact that rookie Devin Duvernay may need more time to develop into a reliable playmaker, trading for Robinson would make a lot of sense for the Ravens. … Adding Robinson to a skill position group that already includes Brown, [Mark] Andrews, Mark Ingram, and J.K. Dobbins would give Baltimore one of the NFL's most dangerous offenses."

The Ravens like what they have in their young receivers, but have reportedly been in the wide receiver market. They reportedly pursued a trade for All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins before he was dealt to the Arizona Cardinals this offseason, and Baltimore worked out veteran wideout Dez Bryant near the start of training camp.

"Robinson's ability to outmuscle defenders, catch anything thrown within the same zip code as him, and stretch the field vertically would make him ideal for a Greg Roman offense that likes to go deep more than most think," Luciano added. "Robinson could be that secret ingredient that gets Jackson and the Ravens over the playoff hump."

Ravens Remain Near Top of Power Rankings After Week 1 Win

This time last year, the Ravens made a big jump in the power rankings after a 59-10 win over the Miami Dolphins in Week 1.

With expectations already high for Baltimore, there wasn't much movement in the rankings despite a dominating performance against the Cleveland Browns.

" By the third quarter, Sunday's opener felt more like a preseason tune-up," NFL.com's Dan Hanzus wrote. "That's how easy and relaxed the Ravens looked in a 38-6 win over the overmatched Browns, Baltimore's 13th straight regular-season victory. … Is it possible that Jackson could be even better than he was in 2019? A scary thought for defensive coordinators across the league."

The Ravens moved up one spot from No. 3 to No. 2 in NFL.com's rankings. ESPN, Bleacher Report, and USA Today kept the Ravens at No. 2 behind the Kansas City Chiefs.

"When last we saw the Ravens, they were being stunned at home by the Tennessee Titans in the AFC divisional round," BR wrote. "The Ravens ensured that wouldn't happen again, dominating the hapless Browns from start to finish in the biggest blowout of the week. The Ravens, just like the Chiefs, looked to be in midseason form."

Added USA Today's Nate Davis: "They've scored at least 38 points in seven of their last 17 regular-season outings. And it seems Jackson's command of offense is only expanding."

Gone are the days of being the underdog. Coming off the season they had last year, pundits expect the Ravens to compete for a Super Bowl as one of the NFL's best teams and they proved that against the Browns.

Still, Sports Illustrated's Mitch Goldich and CBS Sports' Pete Prisco aren't as high on Baltimore as the rest.

"The Ravens went 14-2 last season, but spent this offseason answering questions about their second straight disappointing playoff loss," Goldich wrote. "They are in the unenviable position of having to go through the entire regular season without being able to prove their doubters wrong until the playoffs start, but it was encouraging to see them pick up where they left off last regular season when they were thrashing teams."

Prisco remains the lowest on the Ravens out of almost all of the publications out there pundits. He had the Ravens moving up one spot, but from No. 6 to No. 5. They still rank one spot behind the Pittsburgh Steelers, who handled the New York Giants 26-16 on Monday night.

"You lost at home to a team whose quarterback threw for 100 yards," Prisco said last week, referring to the Ravens' playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans. "... I still think there might be a little regress there and I love the Steelers. I think the Steelers are going to be really good. Love their defense. … They're going to be a much better team."

Table inside Article
Source Ranking Last Week's Ranking Comments
ESPN No. 2 No. 2 N/A
NFL.com No. 2 No. 3 “By the third quarter, Sunday's opener felt more like a preseason tune-up. That's how easy and relaxed the Ravens looked in a 38-6 win over the overmatched Browns.”
Bleacher Report No. 2 No. 2 “The Ravens, just like the Kansas City Chiefs, looked to be in midseason form.”
USA Today No. 2 No. 2 “They've scored at least 38 points in seven of their last 17 regular-season outings. And it seems Jackson's command of offense is only expanding."
Sports Illustrated No. 3 No. 2 “They are in the unenviable position of having to go through the entire regular season without being able to prove their doubters wrong until the playoffs start, but it was encouraging to see them pick up where they left off last regular season when they were thrashing teams.”
CBS Sports No. 5 No. 6 “Jackson and the offense picked up right where they left off last season. The defense was dominant against the Browns and has the look for being improved from a year ago.”

Odell Beckham Jr: 'Ravens Beat the [Crap] Out of Us.'

There wasn't a more dominating performance in Week 1 than what the Ravens defense did to the Browns offense. Just ask Odell Beckham Jr., who was held to three catches for 22 yards on a team-high 10 targets.

"You kind of have to give your hats to the Ravens," Beckham said. "They came out there, they were the better team, they beat the [crap] out of us and we keep it pushing."

Substitute crap with a synonym that Beckham used and you have a good idea just how frustrated the Browns' pass catchers were on Sunday. The Ravens finished ranked first in Defensive-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA), according to Football Outsiders.

Baker Mayfield recorded a passer rating of 39.6, according to Pro Football Focus' metrics, and Penn Live's Aaron Kasinitz highlighted how the Ravens' defense slowed down the Cleveland passing attack.

"[D]efensive coordinator Don 'Wink' Martindale flexed his game-planning prowess in Sunday's win just like Jackson showcased his talents," Kasinitz wrote. "Martindale, living up to his reputation, unleashed all sorts of disguised coverages and creative blitzes Sunday that befuddled Mayfield, who routinely threw passes into crowds of defenders or failed to anticipate the angles of pass rushers."

Kasinitz noted that Martindale's defensive strategy was on display during the Browns' first drive, when Mayfield's pass was deflected by Calais Campbell and picked off by Marlon Humphrey.

"Before the play, a third-and-10 just shy of midfield, the Ravens crowded the line of scrimmage with seven defenders who appeared ready to rush toward Mayfield in an all-out blitz," Kasinitz wrote. "So Mayfield appeared to assume the middle of the field would be empty, allowing him a clear lane to throw — and he fell in Martindale's trap.

"... Mayfield, expecting to feel the heat from the blitz, delivered a quick throw that he would've completed had the 6-foot-8 Campbell not been in its path to deflect the ball. Humphrey intercepted it on the ricochet."

Mayfield finished 21-of-39 with a 53.8 completion percentage. While Kasinitz noted that some miscommunications led to big run plays by Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb, the Ravens' defense had a strong performance in their season opener.

"[I]t thrived more often than it struggled Sunday, partly because of scheme and partly because of the talent on the field," Kasinitz wrote.

League-Wide Kicking Struggles a Reminder of How Good Justin Tucker Really Is

Justin Tucker is still the best in the business. Even though he was called upon once, and connected on a 41-yard field goal, Tucker continues to provide stability at one of the league's most unstable positions.

"Not that Ravens fans need a reminder to appreciate the reliability of Tucker, but the Browns' Austin Seibert gave them one by missing both a field goal and an extra point Sunday," The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec wrote. "Seibert shouldn't feel so bad, though, because it was happening all around the league. There were 17 missed field goals over the first 13 NFL games this week."

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