Ravens Eye View: Zay Flowers Causes Havoc, Inside Linebackers Dominate in Week 1

ILB Roquan Smith

Here's a look at the film from the Ravens' 25-9 victory over the Houston Texans in Week 1:

Baltimore's inside linebacker duo of Roquan Smith and Patrick Queen dominated.

Their ability as blitzers is superb, and they feed off one another.

Smith finished with 16 tackles, a sack, and a fourth-down stop. Queen had 11 tackles, a sack, and a pass deflection. It's the first time in franchise history that two players recorded 10 tackles and a sack in the same game.

One of the most fun parts of the game was watching rookie first-round pick Zay Flowers. It's going to be a lot of fun to watch him all year long.

Looking back on the film, it's easy to see the path of destruction that Flowers leaves when he gets the ball in his hands in space.

It's unknown how much of Todd Monken's new scheme he wanted to show in Week 1 with a huge divisional game against the Cincinnati Bengals on deck, but there were some interesting wrinkles.

Baltimore's running game never really got going, as the Ravens churned out 110 yards on 32 carries (3.4 per rush). Edwards got loose on the one 13-yarder above, but otherwise, the Ravens didn't find many big gains outside of some Lamar Jackson scrambles, even when seeing lighter boxes.

Still, the Ravens did have some successful running plays near the goal line, which is a big deal considering their struggles in the red zone a year ago. A familiar face, fullback Patrick Ricard, proved crucial in that regard.

Part of the Ravens' offensive troubles against the Texans came against the blitz. That shouldn't be put squarely on Jackson. Protection issues were part of the problem. The Ravens will need more quick answers for Jackson against Cover-0.

Baltimore's offense played better in the second half, and Jackson made his best throw of the day on a 29-yarder to Odell Beckham Jr., who showed his wheels.

With Marlon Humphrey (foot) still sidelined, the Ravens turned to Brandon Stephens as a starting cornerback opposite Ronald Darby. Ar'Darius Washington also made a strong debut as the Ravens' nickel cornerback.

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