Odell Beckham Jr. got his first touchdown as a Raven out of the way. Now he's looking to check another box this Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.
Beckham will go against his former team, the Cleveland Browns, for the first time since they released him on Nov. 8 of 2021, nearly two years to the day ago.
Any extra feelings going into this one?
"Nah. I mean, I made great bonds and memories with those guys over there," Beckham said. "Once you're on a team, you build a brotherhood that lasts way longer than anything else.
"Not to be like, 'Oh, it's another game to me,' but it will be fun to go against these guys who are friends and brothers of mine. But definitely no animosity on my end for sure. A lot of love and respect."
Beckham spent two-plus years in Cleveland. When the Browns granted his release, they made a statement that, "we've just reached a point where it is best that we move forward as a team without Odell."
Beckham went on to sign with the Los Angeles Rams, helped them get to the Super Bowl, then scored a touchdown in their championship win before his career took another turn with a second major knee injury.
It's been a long road back, and Beckham finally got to taste the end zone once again last week with a late touchdown in the Ravens' rout of the Seahawks. Beckham did say Thursday that the touchdown took some weight off his shoulders, but he wants more.
"A little bit, but at the same time I try to be realistic with myself knowing that my expectations are way higher than just one touchdown," he said.
"It does feel good. I worked very hard just to be able to get back on the field just to make a catch. The goal was always to be able to score touchdowns, but at the same time keeping the mindset that it's one week and finding ways to get better."
Keaton Mitchell Has Earned More Reps in NFL's Top Rushing Attack
The Ravens enter Week 10 leading the NFL in rushing, and Keaton Mitchell is the latest problem for teams trying to stop them.
After exploding for 138 yards on just nine carries in Week 9, Mitchell is clearly a homerun threat that opponents will be preparing to stop. The Ravens have a deep rushing attack that includes Gus Edwards, Justice Hill, and the league's most elusive running quarterback in Lamar Jackson.
However, Mitchell's performance has earned him reps, although Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken wouldn't specify how much Mitchell will be involved Sunday against the Browns.
"Obviously, I think like with any player, when you get your opportunity, if you take advantage of it, that leads to more opportunities. He's earned that," Monken said.
It wasn't just Mitchell's speed that impressed, but his ability to gain yards after contact. After a 40-yard touchdown run, Mitchell broke several tackles on a 60-yard scamper, and he ran with authority between the tackles.
"I thought he did a great job playing behind his pads, he showed good vision," Monken said. "There were runs that should've been four or five, he got seven or eight. Runs that should have been seven or eight got nine or 10, besides the ones that showed his speed."
The Ravens averaged 160 rushing yards last season and are averaging almost exactly that (160.3) through nine games this season. Monken credited the players and coaching staff for helping him find balance between adding new wrinkles to the rushing attack, while keeping the foundation of what Baltimore had already built.
"Our coaches do a great job of scheming the run each week," Monken said. "Having a 40 or 60-yard run helps that. Lamar adds to that. You have a quarterback that each week may account for 50 to 60 yards, some planned runs, some scrambles.
"We've got good backs, were physical front. We're pretty versatile with the type run game that we have, and Lamar is certainly a big part of that."
Mike Macdonald Says Sacks Are Overrated, Even as Ravens Lead the League in Sacks
The Ravens lead the league with 35 sacks, but Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald isn't pretending that's the metric to rule all metrics.
New York Jets Head Coach Robert Saleh gave a long, detailed explanation Wednesday on why he feels sacks are overrated, which has been widely shared.
On Thursday, Macdonald shared his perspective.
"There's a lot that goes into it. You can win rushes at a certain rate and the ball is out. Or if you're winning rushes at a lower rate and the guy's holding the ball," Macdonald said.
"I think sacks are important for sure because they affect the game, yardage, quarterback psyche and that sort of thing. But there is definitely more that goes into it in terms of affecting the quarterback and winning downs on a situational basis."
Saleh was explaining why defensive tackle Quinnen Williams only has a half sack so far this season, saying opponents are spending a lot of resources on slowing him down and that's opening up opportunities for other Jets players.
The Ravens, meanwhile, have 13 different players with at least one sack so far this season, the most in the league. Production is coming from across the lineup, with defensive tackle Justin Madubuike (7.5) leading the way.