The Ravens are aiming for a fourth-straight win Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium against the Seattle Seahawks.
Here are my thoughts on the week and game, all in 50 words or less:
Odell Beckham Jr. was forced to be patient coming back from a second major knee injury. Now back on the field, maintaining that patience is tough when things aren't going as well as expected. Beckham is doing a good job at self-talk, it seems, but he needs a breakout badly.
Lamar Jackson is playing better than he did during his MVP 2019 season. That year, he made plenty of eye-popping plays with his legs, including an 8-yard fourth-down touchdown in Seattle that seemed to springboard the Ravens' season. This year, it's every week that he has "wows" us with his arm.
Mark Andrews isn't a stats guy, but he did admit it would be "very cool" to capture the Ravens' all-time receiving touchdowns and receiving yards records. He would surpass Todd Heap's touchdowns mark with two scores Sunday and he's about 1,000 yards behind Mason. Heap on Sunday, Mason next year?
536: Mark Andrews on His Dawg Mentality, Lamar Jackson's Maturation, Freelancing, Todd Heap's Record
Ravens TE Mark Andrews joins Mink and Garrett to talk about his hot stretch of games, the possibility of breaking Todd Heap's touchdowns record, playing back home in Arizona, and much more. Plus, a preview of Sunday's Week 9 game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Gus Edwards' 19 carries last week were the second-most he's had since his rookie season. Edwards said he's prepared to shoulder a heavy load, but that's what every running back says. Don't expect it to be the new norm. The Ravens like Justice Hill and (healthy) Keaton Mitchell, too.
The Ravens were reportedly in the running back trade market but nobody went anywhere. Despite all the offseason debate about the value of running backs, teams didn't want to give them up. A game-changer would've been a nice luxury item, but I feel good about the current rotation.
A third-round pick is generally the currency required to make a significant deadline deal. Some of the Ravens' recent third-round picks are defensive tackle Justin Madubuike (2020), cornerback Brandon Stephens (2021) and defensive tackle Travis Jones (2022). They're all critical pieces of this year's defense playing on affordable rookie contracts.
Todd Monken's offense isn't where it wants to be yet, but let's appreciate where the Ravens are so far. They've scored the fourth-most points in the AFC – more than the Kansas City Chiefs. What's especially encouraging is that when problems have arisen, they've been quickly rectified.
This will be its most formidable group of wide receivers since Week 2 against the Bengals. Brandon Stephens has been the league's most targeted cornerback and I expect him to get a lot of work from the Seahawks. DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are both tough assignments for different reasons.
Looking around the AFC, the Ravens can put a stranglehold on their playoff spot during this upcoming three-game homestand. Win the two divisional games, and the Ravens are in good position to win the AFC North. Win all three, and they're probably in pole position for the top seed.