The snap counts and Pro Football Focus (PFF) grades from the Ravens' 25-9 Week 1 victory over the Houston Texans are in.
Here are the biggest takeaways:
- So much for breaking in the rookie slowly. Wide receiver Zay Flowers played 84% of the snaps in his first NFL game – all but 10 of the offensive snaps. After making nine catches for 78 yards, Flowers received the offense's third-highest grade from PFF.
- In his first game in 574 days (he was keeping count), Odell Beckham Jr. played 92% of the snaps, showing that his knee and conditioning are both in good shape. Beckham had a plan all along to ramp up his return and it worked well.
- In his first game back since Oct. 27 of last year and foot surgery, Rashod Bateman played 25 snaps (39% of the workload). Bateman got a late start to training camp as he continued his rehab, and he'll likely build up from here. Devin Duvernay only saw seven offensive snaps and Nelson Agholor had 24 (38%).
- John Simpson showed why he won the starting left guard position. Simpson was the highest-graded Raven at any position at 87.2 and received particularly strong marks for his run blocking.
- A talking point this offseason has been about what the role will be for four-time Pro Bowl fullback Patrick Ricard. Well, he still very much has a role. Ricard played 44% of the snaps and was frequently used as a blocker on the edge, including some one-on-one duty against No. 3-overall pick Will Anderson Jr. Ricard only had one game lower than a 44% snap share last season, so it's likely that Ricard's role will continue to be smaller than a year ago, but will still be significant.
- With J.K. Dobbins out for the rest of the season, focus will turn to how the Ravens will divvy up the backfield touches. It's an incomplete sample size, but Justice Hill played 19 snaps (30%) to 15 snaps for Gus Edwards (23%), indicating a fairly even split. Neither back received strong grades from PFF as Edwards averaged 4.0 yards per carry and Hill was at 1.1, but scored two goal-line touchdowns.
- Brandon Stephens got the start at cornerback and played every single one of the 77 defensive snaps. Ronald Darby was the Ravens' other starting corner and he played 69 snaps with Rock Ya-Sin stepping in for the other eight as he continues to ramp up from the knee injury that sidelined him during training camp. Stephens and Darby got middle-of-the-road grades and were credited with giving up a combined 14 catches for 137 yards on 21 targets. Texans wide receiver Robert Woods said after the game that the Ravens were playing conservatively outside trying not to give up any big plays. The strategy worked, as the Texans were held out of the end zone.
- Ar'Darius Washington was the Ravens' primary slot cornerback option, at least against the Texans. He played 73% of the defensive snaps. Washington had the Ravens' highest coverage grade (79.0) of any defensive back, allowing four receptions on four targets but only for 26 yards. He also notched a sack.
- Here's how the Ravens' outside linebacker rotation shook out: Odafe Oweh (64%), Jadeveon Clowney (60%), and David Ojabo (48%). Though Oweh didn't get a sack, he was credited with four quarterback hits and three hurries. Clowney saw a significant chunk of action in his first game after signing late in training camp. Ojabo made his sack count with a forced fumble.
- Malik Harrison (19%) and rookie Tavius Robinson (9%) subbed in some. Harrison played some of the SAM run-stopping snaps, allowing Ojabo to primarily rush the passer, and received one of the Ravens' highest overall defensive grades at 79.6.
- Justin Madubuike saw by far the largest share of defensive line snaps with 57. Michael Pierce played more than half (55%), and Broderick Washington was at 45%. The PFF grades for Madubuike and Jones took a hit because of their three combined personal foul penalties.