Week 1 – Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns
The Baltimore Ravens played their season opener at home to an empty stadium due to the COV-19 and blew the roof off M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens crushed the Cleveland Browns on Sunday in a score of 38-6. With no preseason games, there were so many unknowns. The team had to just hit the field and play football and they did just that.
The rookies were expressive on defense and offense. Defense was no surprise. First-round draft pick linebacker Patrick Queen led the team with eight tackles (four solo), a sack and a forced fumble. He proved his first-round status early. His strength allowed him to push forward on a rushing attempt and knock the ball out of Brown’s running back Nick Chubb’s hand, causing the fumble. Beside him was linebacker Malik Harrison, who had four solo tackles.
Offensive keeps getting better. Wide receivers Devin Duvernay and James Proche made good contributions on special teams. Duvernay had two kick returns totaling 64 yards. Proche had two returns for 26 yards. Running back J.K. Dobbins rushed for seven yards on two carries with two touchdowns, a first in Ravens franchise history for a rookie.
The veterans showed their expertise, as usual. Defensive end Calais Campbell batted down three quarterback passes in 45 defensive snaps. Cornerback Marcus Humphrey snagged an eight-yard interception. Safety Chuck Clark has exploded into a valuable player, recording six combined tackles and a forced fumble. Entering the final year of his rookie contract in 2020, Clark signed a three-year contract extension.
Marquise “Hollywood” Brown was shining brightly. He had five receptions for 102 yards, averaging 20.2 yards per carry. Tight end Mark Andrews had five receptions for 58 yards and two touchdowns along on six targets. That tight end-quarterback relationship has become dynamic.
Lamar Jackson stole the show. Each season, he has shown improvement. No hype but with a desire to get better, practice and motivation. He went 20 of 25 and threw for 275 yards and three touchdowns along with seven carries for 45 yards.
The Baltimore Ravens made a statement that they are back to win another division. The next game is on Sunday, September 20th at the Houston Texans.