After watching Mark Andrews catch two touchdown passes in Week 1, opponents have paid even more attention to stopping him.
Andrews had just one catch in Week 2, and in Monday night's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Pro Bowl tight end was held to three catches for 22 yards.
He was targeted eight times against Kansas City, but Andrews did not make the most of those opportunities. He would like to have several chances back, including a potential touchdown pass from Lamar Jackson that Andrews failed to control after he dove in the end zone.
The chemistry between Andrews and Lamar Jackson is well known, and opponents are rotating coverage toward the Pro Bowl tight end's direction.
"Doubling him, trying to knock us off our pivot," Jackson said. "But it's all good. It's just Week 3. We're going to get better as the season goes on."
It's no surprise that stopping Andrews has become a priority for Baltimore's opponents after he made the Pro Bowl in just his second season. However, even if Andrews is limited, it should not stop the Ravens' offense. Head Coach John Harbaugh said if opponents are denying Andrews, the Ravens must use other weapons to find success.
"They know who he is, that's for sure," Harbaugh said. "A lot of those plays are plays that we'll make a lot of times. Sometimes that's the difference. You make a couple of plays and things open up. If they're going to give Mark more attention, we're going to have to find other ways to make them pay for that. If they overcommit one place, we've got to attack them somewhere else. That's something we're looking at very hard, to make sure that we can do that."
Brandon Williams Flourishing at Nose Tackle
The additions of defensive linemen Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe have allowed Brandon Williams to play nose guard this season, the position he enjoys most and where he has been most effective. Williams had an outstanding game against the Chiefs in defeat with seven solo tackles, making it tough for the Chiefs to do business running the football up the middle.
Williams is enjoying his role in the defense.
"Those guys are great, Calais and Wolfe," Williams said. "Those additions to the defensive line, they've been amazing. They come and add another aspect to the defensive line room. You get another voice in Calais Campbell, his stature, his mentality, all the years of football he's seen just bringing it to the room. He's sees things sometime that I don't see."
Named to the Pro Bowl in 2018, Williams is willing to take on any role to help the Ravens win a Super Bowl. But he's not complaining about being at nose tackle.
"I'm a nose guard," Williams said. "That's where they have me. That's where they trust me to be. I love being back where I am. I feel at home, nice and cozy where I am. I feel good."
According to ESPN.com, holding penalties have plummeted 56 percent during the first three weeks, which has made Williams' job even more difficult. Because according to Williams, it's not like offensive lineman have stopped holding him, yet he's still getting into the backfield.
"Our equipment staff keeps having to stitch my jersey up," Williams said. "That's all I'm going to say on that."
Steelers-Titans Postponement Is Reminder of COVID's Danger
The Pittsburgh Steelers-Tennessee Titans game scheduled for Sunday has been postponed to Monday or Tuesday due to four Titans players testing positive for the coronavirus, along with five team personnel members.
It's a reminder of how quickly circumstances can change during the 2020 season.
"A breakout can happen at any time," Harbaugh said. "Be as vigilant as we can, do the best we can. Respect one another as much as we can. Respond when something does happen, which I'm sure the NFL and the Titans will do. Just know, the next team could be us. Let's do the best we can to hope it doesn't happen, and if it does happen try to work through as best we can. What else can we do?"
Duvernay, Proche Could Have Greater Impact
The most exciting Ravens highlight of Monday's loss was Devin Duvernay's 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
It was a play that showed off Duvernay's breakaway speed, and he has also caught four passes for 38 yards despite not playing regularly on offense. Does Harbaugh think Duvernay is earning a larger role in the offense moving forward?
"I think he is," Harbaugh said. "I think also James Proche is."
So far, the two Ravens rookies have made their biggest impact on special teams.
"That was an awesome play," Harbaugh said of Duvernay's return. "He and I a conversation before the game. For whatever reason I saw it. I knew it. I told him, 'You're going to have a huge play in this game. You're going to score." I didn't know if it was going to be a kick return or a catch. Right after the play, he came running off and he said, 'You called it coach.' Those are the things as coaches we live for."