clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Baltimore Ravens v New York Jets

Filed under:

Patriots vs. Ravens preview: Get to know New England’s Week 3 opponent

The Patriots will open their home slate on Sunday afternoon.

Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

After back-to-back road games, the New England Patriots will open their home slate on Sunday. They will go up against a potent foe: the Baltimore Ravens will come to town for the two club’s first meeting of the Patriots’ Mac Jones era.

The team of head coach John Harbaugh is entering Week 3 after back-to-back games against AFC East clubs. The Ravens beat the New York Jets on the road with a final score of 24-9, before dropping their Week 2 home opener against the Miami Dolphins 42-38 — an epic battle that saw Baltimore allow its opponent to come back from a 21-point fourth-quarter deficit.

Despite that collapse and some recent insufficiencies on the defensive side of the ball, the Ravens are a talented team and potential playoff contender. A quick glance at where they are standing statistically heading into this week illustrates this:

  • Record: 1-1 (2nd AFC North)
  • Offense: 31.0 points/game (4th), 373.5 yards/game (12th), 0.170 EPA/play (6th)
  • Defense: 25.5 points/game (23rd), 463.5 yards/game (32nd), 0.103 EPA/play (26th)
  • Turnover margin: +3 (t-4th)

While Baltimore’s defense has been uncharacteristically mediocre this season, in part due to injuries, the team’s offense is one of the best in the business. Led by dual-threat QB Lamar Jackson, it ranks near the top of the league in EPA per play (0.170; 6th), DVOA (31.9%; 1st) and, most importantly, points.

With all that said, let us now jump right to the Ravens’ active roster to get to know each of the players currently with the Patriots’ Week 3 opponent.

(Note: The 53-man roster is up-to-date as of Wednesday 7 a.m. ET)

Quarterbacks

Lamar Jackson, Tyler Huntley

Two games into the season, Lamar Jackson is already establishing himself as a candidate for the league MVP award. The fifth-year quarterback has completed 64.4 percent of his pass attempts so far for 531 yards as well as six touchdowns and an interception. Additionally, he has accounted for almost two thirds of Baltimore’s rushing yards: Jackson has gained 138 yards on just 13 non-kneel down carries; he also scored a TD.

Jackson is undisputed as Baltimore’s starting QB, but Tyler Huntley offers experienced depth behind him. Huntley started four games in place of an injured Jackson last year.

Offensive backfield

J.K. Dobbins, Kenyan Drake, Justice Hill, Mike Davis, Patrick Ricard

The Ravens’ running back group faces some questions heading into Week 3. Not only have Kenyan Drake, Justice Hill and Mike Davis been only moderately successful over the first two games of the season, the team’s usual RB1 is also still dealing with the effects of a torn ACL suffered in 2021.

J.K. Dobbins has yet to play this year, but there is a chance he will take the field against the Patriots. He was a full participant in practice three times last week, and a similar output would seemingly put him on track to make his season debut on Sunday.

Wide receivers

Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay, Demarcus Robinson, Tylan Wallace, James Proche

Baltimore’s wide receivers have accounted for 303 yards so far this season, and 167 of those came via Rashod Bateman. The Ravens’ WR1, Bateman has been targeted 12 times by Jackson through two weeks and he hauled in six of the pass attempts; he also found the end zone twice.

That said, the duo of Devin Duvernay (6-96-2) and Demarcus Robinson (3-31-1) has also looked good in prominent roles. Both are starting-caliber players in their own right, and capable of putting pressure on a defense.

Behind them, Tylan Wallace and James Proche offer additional depth.

Tight ends

Mark Andrews, Isaiah Likely, Josh Oliver, Nick Boyle

While typically not mentioned in the same breath as Travis Kelce or George Kittle, Mark Andrews is one of the best tight ends in the NFL as well. What he also is is the Ravens’ leading receiver: he has caught a team-high 14 passes so far, taking them for 157 yards and one TD.

The Ravens are not opposed to using multi-tight end sets, however, and both Isaiah Likely and Josh Oliver have also seen regular playing time as a result. Fourth-round rookie Likely in particular has been busy, catching four passes on nine targets for 43 yards.

Offensive tackles

Ronnie Stanley, Morgan Moses, Patrick Mekari, Daniel Faalele

Like other positions on the Ravens’ roster, offensive tackle is also dealing with some injury issues. Ja’Wuan James suffered a torn Achilles in the season opener after having started the game at left tackle. In his place, Patrick Mekari entered the lineup but there is a chance he will be replaced by Ronnie Stanley soon: the long-time starting left tackle is preparing for a comeback after ankle injuries forced him to miss most of the last two years.

While there is some uncertainty surrounding the left tackle spot, there is no doubt who will start on the right side: Morgan Moses signed a three-year, $15 million contract earlier this offseason to do just that. Behind him and the other tackles on the roster, fourth-round rookie Daniel Faalele serves as a depth piece.

Interior offensive line

Ben Powers, Tyler Linderbaum, Kevin Zeitler, Ben Cleveland, Trystan Colon

The Ravens’ interior offensive line is a mix of experience and youth. Left and right guards Ben Powers and Kevin Zeitler have been in the league since 2019 and 2012, respectively, and have formed the staring duo at their position since last year. They are flanking Tyler Linderbaum, a first-round rookie center out of Iowa.

Ben Cleveland and Trystan Colon are offering depth behind them; Cleveland is a former third-round draft pick in his second year; former undrafted free agent Colon is in his third season with the club.

Interior defensive line

Calais Campbell, Michael Pierce, Justin Madubuike, Broderick Washington Jr., Brent Urban, Travis Jones

Even at age 36, Calais Campbell continues to be a handful for opposing offensive linemen and a core member of the Ravens’ defensive line rotation. He is playing a starter-level role alongside Michael Pierce and Justin Madubuike, who are disruptive players in their own right.

The depth chart is filled out by third-year man Broderick Washington Jr. and third-round rookie Travis Jones. The latter has yet to see the field this season, despite his intriguing upside.

Defensive edge

Odafe Oweh, Justin Houston

The Ravens’ defensive edge has been hit hard this year.

After the death of former third-round draft pick Jaylon Ferguson in the offseason, the team was also forced to place several of the other outside linebackers on the roster on injury-related reserve lists: Tyus Bower remains on PUP after tearing his Achilles last season, while second-round rookie David Ojabo (ACL) and veteran Vince Biegel (Achilles) will both miss the remainder of the season on injured reserve

Odafe Oweh and veteran Justin Houston are left as the two pure edge defenders left on the active roster. Oweh is a former first-round draft pick, while long-time veteran Houston is the current team leader with two sacks.

Off-the-ball linebackers

Patrick Queen, Josh Bynes, Malik Harrison, Kristian Welch, Del’Shawn Phillips

Led by 2020 first-round draft Patrick Queen, the Ravens have a talented and athletic linebacker corps. Veteran Josh Bynes is the current No. 2 alongside Queen, with Malik Harrison also used in a rotational capacity; Harrison has seen action both in an off-the-ball role and on the edge.

Kristian Welch and Del’Shawn Phillips are both core special teamers, ranking first and third in kicking game snaps this season, respectively.

Cornerbacks

Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, Damarion Williams, Jalyn Armour-Davis, Daryl Worley

With offseason acquisition Kyle Fuller suffering a torn ACL in the season opener, the Ravens turned to another veteran coming off the same injury: Marcus Peters, who has taken over as the starter on the outside opposite Marlon Humphrey. Peters has considerable experience, as does Humphrey — who, of course, is one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL.

Damarion Williams, meanwhile, is the Ravens’ slot cornerback. Fourth-round rookie Jalyn Armour-Davis rotated in and out of the lineup in place of Peters and Fuller the last two weeks; he will see his fair share of snaps against in Week 3 Versus new England.

Worley is an emergency depth option behind the other four.

Safeties

Marcus Williams, Chuck Clark, Kyle Hamilton, Brandon Stephens, Geno Stone

The Ravens made some major investments in their safety group this offseason. Not only did they sign Marcus Williams to a five-year, $70 million contract in free agency, they also used the 14th overall selection in this year’s draft to bring Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton on board.

The investments have paid off: Williams has recorded all three of Baltimore’s interceptions this season, while Hamilton is part of the team’s three-safety packages. Sixth-year man Chuck Clark is the third member of the group, who, like Williams, has been on the field for all 155 defensive snaps so far.

Brandon Stephens and Geno Stone offer depth behind them, with Stone a prominent member of Baltimore’s special teams units: he is ranked second in kicking game playing time.

Specialists

Justin Tucker, Jordan Stout, Nick Moore

Justin Tucker needs to introduction. A future Hall of Famer now in his 11th season in the league, he remains arguably the best place kicker in the NFL. Rookie punter Jordan Stout and long snapper Nick Moore round out the Ravens’ specialists group.

Patriots Opinion

Coping With Loss: Baltimore Ravens Edition

Patriots Links

New England Patriots links 9/27/22 - Breaking down the breakdowns, bright spots from Week 3

Patriots First Read

Matthew Slater minces no words after Mac Jones injury: ‘If we don’t handle it the right way, this thing can spiral away from us’