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Mailbag: Will Ravens Add Another Pass Rusher?

Chiefs OLB Terrell Suggs
Chiefs OLB Terrell Suggs

Mink: The Ravens didn't sack Patrick Mahomes despite bringing a lot of pressure and new blitz packages the Chiefs had never seen. Part of that is because Mahomes was a magician Monday night avoiding pressure with his legs. He is so good at making quick identifications. Another part of it is the Chiefs offensive line got away with a number of holding penalties (referees have been calling fewer league-wide).

The Ravens have six sacks this year, which is the 12th-fewest in the NFL, but I don't think the pass rush is as bad as people are making it out to seem. Baltimore faced two quarterbacks who are excellent at moving around the pocket the past two weeks and the defense was dominant in the first two weeks, so it wasn't a problem then. Yes, the Ravens would of course like more pressure and more sacks. And they do need to win more up front. I'm sure Matthew Judon is itching to get his first this year.

I don't think Baltimore is going to sign someone off the street right now. Those options, such as a Terrell Suggs or Clay Matthews, have been out there for months and the Ravens didn't pull the trigger. I don't see them doing so now. With that said, if Baltimore was going to make a Marcus Peters-like trade splash, I do think it would be for a pass rusher. They were reportedly courting some big names, including Jadeveon Clowney, this offseason. But I don't know who would be available around the league.

Downing: We received plenty of questions about this in the mailbag this week. Edwards has rushed for 129 yards on 18 carries and has been the team's most productive running back in limited opportunities this year. Based on his performance, Edwards is making a strong case for a larger share of the workload. The Ravens have said since training camp opened that they would keep all their running backs involved, but that they would distribute the carries based on how the backs perform. Edwards averaged more than five yards a carry in each of his first two NFL seasons, and now that he's averaging more than seven yards per carry, he looks like he could get an even bigger slice of the pie.

But even with that said, I don't expect Edwards to suddenly get 80-90 percent of the workload. The Ravens still have plenty of confidence in Mark Ingram II, and J.K. Dobbins has been impressive in limited action. This offense will likely continue to utilize a backfield-by-committee, even if Edwards finds himself getting more work. Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman also pointed out that they like Edwards coming on strong in the second half, like he did against Houston, and compared that to a baseball team having a great closer. Roman seemed to indicate that he likes the role they have for Edwards, so it will be interesting to see how they use Edwards this week in Washington.

Mink: Head Coach John Harbaugh said today that the Titans' and Chiefs' defensive game plans weren't all that similar. There are a lot of factors in play here, but to put it simply, the Ravens have to make defenses pay for loading up to stop the team's biggest playmakers. If opponents use one or more spies to contain Lamar Jackson's running, keep Mark Andrews in check and drop more defenders to clog up the run, well then Baltimore has to hit outside and big plays to the receivers.

Downing: Yes. Duvernay clearly has speed and playmaking ability, and we all saw that in his 93-yard kickoff return touchdown. The third-round pick has flashed in limited opportunities on offense, and Harbaugh and Roman said this week that Duvernay is earning a larger role for himself. Duvernay provides a diverse skillset; he's a good receiver out of the slot and can even be used in creative ways as a ball carrier when in motion. Keep in mind that the rookie class had a unique offseason because of the pandemic, so the Ravens have put a little more on their plate every week. Duvernay is showing he can handle the responsibilities he has on offense and special teams, and that may mean more offensive work is coming his way. It's also worth noting that both Harbaugh and Roman said fellow rookie James Proche II could also see some more reps on offense.

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