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How the Offense Plans to Keep Rolling After Breakout Performance

Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Monken looks on before an NFL football game against the Houston Texans , Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023, in Baltimore.
Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Monken looks on before an NFL football game against the Houston Texans , Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023, in Baltimore.

The Ravens scored a season-high 38 points in Week 7, giving them a taste of how potent their offense can be.

Now the challenge is to keep building off that impressive performance. Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken still sees things the Ravens need to clean up, and hopes the breakout game against Detroit becomes a catalyst for more consistent play.

"Hopefully we can stack those types of games together," Monken said. "I think last Wednesday and Thursday were a couple of our best practices. They started feeling better about the things we were doing. The guys were on point.

"That's the way it should look. I don't think you ever anticipate scoring touchdowns on your first four drives. That's what you're paid to do. You're paid to put a product out there, maximize your players' potential. We did that. It feels good. And it feels like crap when it doesn't."

Monken was visibly moved to receive a game ball in the locker room on Sunday.

He has worked tirelessly since being hired in the offseason to take Baltimore's offense to the next level, and it's still an ongoing process just seven weeks into the season. The Ravens now rank 9th overall in offense (362.6 yards per game) and 10th in points per game (24.4). They're third in rushing and 16th in passing.

There have been plenty of analysts and former quarterbacks singing the Ravens' praises this week.

However, not everything is perfect yet. NFL Network analyst and Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner broke down tape of the Ravens' offense against Detroit and pointed out several instances where improper spacing on routes made it more difficult for Lamar Jackson to find throwing lanes and said Jackson's ability to adlib saved some plays from being unsuccessful.

"Although they threw for a bunch of yards, it's still not smooth and connected," Warner said. "Spacing isn't great, guys seem to be trying to figure out where they're supposed to be."

Monken didn't dismiss Warner's critique, and the Ravens don't take Sunday's performance as indisputable evidence that their offense has arrived.

"You're always looking for perfection. You're looking to be elite," Monken said. "I don't disagree with some of the things he's saying, in terms making sure we're on point, in terms of their spacing, in terms of everybody being on the same page. I think there were certain things we did that were outstanding, and there were other things that will get glossed over because we won. There were some elite things we did, and there were some things for sure we've got to clean up."

That said, it's been a positive week after their performance, and the Ravens hope to use it to build momentum offensively. Wide receiver Nelson Agholor noticed Monken's emotional reaction to receiving a game ball and wants to see Baltimore reach its full potential.

"It definitely means something to me, because I know he cares," Agholor said. "He cares about what we do. I have a lot of respect for him. We need to keep putting performances out there like that."

Ravens Preparing for Kyler Murray, Just in Case

Kyler Murray isn't expected to play in Sunday's game, per reports, but the Ravens are getting ready just in case.

Murray was a full practice participant Wednesday and was removed from the injury report Thursday, indicating that there are no more limitations on his surgically repaired knee. He's healthy enough to play.

"You have to be ready for him," Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald said. "Obviously, there's no reps [on tape] of him this year in this [offensive] system, so you would try to marry his skillset and what you've seen in the past with what they're trying to do. [It's] not an easy task. We'll see what happens throughout the rest of the week, but it's definitely something you have to be ready for if he is out there."

Joshua Dobbs has been the Cardinals' quarterback for the first seven games. He's thrown for 194 yards per game and has 232 rushing yards, the fourth-most among NFL quarterbacks.

"They still have their quarterback runs and Dobbs is running as well as anybody in the league from the quarterback spot," linebacker Patrick Queen said. "Kyler is a different player and more electric and stuff, but it should for the most part be the same offense."

A Special Game for Mark Andrews in Arizona

Coming off a two-touchdown game on National Tight Ends Day, Mark Andrews has even more to look forward to this weekend.

Andrews is going back to play in his home state, Arizona. State Farm Stadium is less than hour from where he grew up in Scottsdale, Ariz.

"Just the fact that last time I played in Arizona was in high school where I started my career, where my family is, where I grew up," Andrews said. "I'm excited about that opportunity, and I'm excited to get out there. It's going to be fun for me."

Andrews is two touchdowns short of tying Todd Heap for the most career receiving touchdowns in Ravens history.

Ravens Will Continue to Mix-and-Match Slot Cornerbacks

Arthur Maulet is playing at a high level and had arguably his best game against the Lions last Sunday, but the Ravens will continue to roll in different slot cornerbacks, Macdonald said.

Ronald Darby and Rock Ya-Sin continue to also play at a high level, as does starter Brandon Stephens. That gives the Ravens the flexibility to use Marlon Humphrey in the slot some if they want.

"We have a lot of good guys back there that we want to get on the field and that have deserved chances to be out there," Macdonald said. "I think you'll see us mix it up over the next few weeks based on matchups, and who's available and things like that, but definitely Marlon going to the slot [position] isn't out of the question.

"That's nothing against Arthur. He's obviously playing really good football, but you're always looking for ways to get your best guys out there based on the situation."

Jeremiah Moon Waived, One Spot Open on 53-Man Roster

The Ravens waived outside linebacker Jeremiah Moon on Thursday, making room for another player to move up to the 53-man roster.

Wide receiver Tylan Wallace (hamstring) was designated for return from injured reserve and has been a full participant in both practices so far this week. The Ravens could also need the spot for another running back if Keaton Mitchell (hamstring) isn't ready to play. He was limited in practice Thursday.

Moon has played in four games this season, filling in when Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo went down with injuries earlier in the year. Moon made five tackles against the Colts in Week 3.

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