Ravens look to Josh Johnson with Tyler Huntley shelved due to COVID-19

It looks like the Baltimore Ravens will start Josh Johnson against the Bengals

The Baltimore Ravens are in quarterback trouble as they get ready for an AFC North clash with the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

Lamar Jackson is already unlikely to play due to the bone bruise in his foot. And now news Tyler Huntley has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the battle for first place in the division.

The next quarterback up? How about Josh Johnson, who signed a contract 10 days ago.

To say Johnson is well-traveled would be the understatement of the season.

ESPN.com with some more information on the situation in Baltimore:

Lamar Jackson hasn’t practiced in two weeks after injuring his ankle in a 24-22 loss in Cleveland on Dec. 12. Chris Streveler, the Ravens’ practice squad quarterback, was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Thursday.

Jackson, who is listed as questionable, might have to be active because Baltimore is so thin at quarterback. Punter Sam Koch has long been considered the Ravens’ emergency quarterback.

Tyler Huntley reminds of Lamar Jackson on wild scramble

Tyler Huntley shows Lamar Jackson isn’t the only Raven QB who can scramble

The Baltimore Ravens saw Lamar Jackson go out with an ankle injury in the first half against Cleveland on Sunday.

Forgive the Browns’ defense if they thought the elusive quarterback had returned in the third quarter.

However, this scramble was not Jackson but rather backup Tyler Huntley, who showed moves the Heisman winner from Louisville usually displays.

The play was good for 13 yards while it seemed like Huntley ran for many more than that.

Ravens’ Marlon Humphrey lost for season after tearing pec

Ravens’ star CB Marlon Humphrey is done for the season due to a torn pec

The Baltimore Ravens suffered a jarring loss Monday the day after they lost a tough game.

The AFC North leaders revealed star cornerback Marlon Humphrey has torn a pec and is out for the season.

Coach John Harbaugh addressed the issue Monday with the media.

Harbaugh had said Sunday his decision to go for a 2-point conversion after closing within 20-19 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the final seconds was due to having no cornerbacks left to play.

The conversion failed when Mark Andrews was unable to reel in a pass from Lamar Jackson.

Lamar Jackson, Mark Andrews combine for pair of amazing pass plays

Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews hit the Browns with the ol’ 1-2

The second half is different than the first for Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens.

Jackson, who threw three interceptions in the first 30 minutes, first found enough time to look down the field for tight end Mark Andrews.

Despite being interfered with, the tight end came down with the pass, which was good for 39 yards.

And for an encore, Jackson once again showed his bewildering ability to extend a play and found Andrews wide-open in the end zone for six points.

The ball was on the 13-yard line when it was snapped. Jackson backpedaled all the way to the 35 before releasing the touchdown thrown.


How the Dolphins upended the Ravens with Cover-0 (and other things)

The Dolphins upset the Ravens on Thursday night with a definitive defensive performance. Did they give a “blueprint” to stop Lamar Jackson?

Every upset has its own anatomy. In the case of the Dolphins’ 22-10 win over the Ravens on Thursday night, the defense was the thing, and it allowed the now 3-7 Dolphins to look far superior to the 6-3 Ravens on that side of the ball. Specifically, it was a series of Cover-0 concepts — no deep safeties, man coverage, and blitz looks that not only kept Lamar Jackson tied to the pocket, but often turned into coverage drops that Jackson found tough to anticipate.

Jackson finished the game with 26 completions on 43 attempts for 238 yards, one touchdown, one interception, and a passer rating of 73.8. He was sacked four times, and was pressured on 19 of his 53 dropbacks. When under pressure, per Pro Football Focus, Jackson completed five of 13 passes for 50 yards, one touchdown, one late desperation interception (the first regular-season pick he’s thrown in the red zone in his career), and a passer rating of 45.4. Through the first nine weeks of the season, Jackson had completed 36 of 75 passes under pressure for 517 yards, four touchdowns, two interceptions, and a passer rating of 77.5, so it wasn’t just pressuring Lamar. There were other things afoot.

How different was the game plan put together by Miami defensive coordinator Josh Boyer? Per Next Gen Stats, safeties Jevon Holland and Brandon Jones were all over the field, and they blitzed at a rate Next Gen Stats had never seen before.

So, this wasn’t just about the usual Cover-0 “blitz or die” plan — there was a lot more going on.  And it wasn’t the first time the Dolphins under Boyer and head coach Brian Flores had upended a dynamic offense with a young quarterback with a ton of Cover-0 looks that morphed into other things. Ask the Rams of Sean McVay and Jared Goff about that.

Anatomy of a Play: How the Dolphins beat Jared Goff with Cover-0 pressure

In this game, Jackson was pressured on 20 of his dropbacks, the most he’s faced in his career. And the Dolphins sent defensive back blitzes on 24 of Jackson’s dropbacks, which was also the most he’s faced in his career. When Jackson is pressured 15 or more times this season, the 6-3 Ravens are 0-3. The Ravens had two plays of 20 or more yards in this game — they had averaged 5.5 per game before. Per NFL research, the Ravens scored fewer than 14 points for the first time in their last 53 games. Their 52-game streak with 14 or more points was the second-longest such streak since 1940.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was not amused.

“That’s something they’ve done all year,” Harbaugh said of the safety blitzes. “We worked on it all week. We didn’t have a good enough plan for it, you know, as a group, and we didn’t execute well with the plan we had.”

Well, yeah, but this was a case of the Dolphins throwing the ice cream factory at the Ravens from a DB blitz perspective.

If you’re wondering why Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman didn’t have a plan to attack Miami’s Cover-0 stuff when it started, one reason could be that the Dolphins, with all the talk about zero blitzes, didn’t show one defined defensive profile in this game. They weren’t playing zero all the time, and when they did, they threw all kinds of stuff at Jackson with it. They had either a single high safety, or a two-safety look spun to single-high, on their first seven defensive snaps.

The Ravens caught a delay of game penalty on the first Cover-0 look. The next play, third-and-9 from the Miami 28-yard line, had Jackson overthrowing receiver Sammy Watkins in the end zone. Watkins had defensive back Justin Coleman beaten downfield for the touchdown, but because Miami brought three defensive backs on the backside blitz, and safety Jevon Holland was the free blitzer, Jackson couldn’t make the connection. You could easily argue that this was a touchdown if Watkins reached for the ball, but the effect on Jackson and the offense was obvious.

“Actually, you know, I was hot [blitzed],” Jackson said of this playa, nd whether Watkins could and should have brought it in. “I was hot. And I had to throw the ball in the air and give him a chance. But, you know, if he’s not sitting with the back in the backfield, it would probably be hard to try to track the ball, if I’m just throwing it up trying to make something happen. So, nah, I didn’t talk to him about it.”

The Dolphins played Cover-3 on the first play of Baltimore’s next drive, a quick screen to receiver Devin Duvernay for 11 yards, and they stayed with that strategy for the next few plays. The next time we saw Cover-0 in an aggressive fashion (Miami played some of what I would call “soft” Cover-0 with four defenders across 7-10 yards off the ball in man/match coverage) was the last play of the first quarter. It was third-and-5 from the the Baltimore 28-yard line, Holland followed from defensive right to left, lined up as a blitzer again, and did a great job of tying pressure to coverage. Once again, Jackson wasn’t sure what was going on, and the result was a sack split by Jaelan Phillips and Andrew Van Ginkel.

From there, as ESPN’s Matt Bowen pointed out, the Dolphins were able to be creative with their blitzes and coverages because they were so good at showing one thing and moving to another. The match element was crucial to the success of the overall plan.

The obvious question, and it was extended to Jackson after the game, was whether this provided any sort of “blueprint” for defenses down the road to shut the Ravens down, and how the Ravens should counter that.

“Play our game. You know, do us. Do our thing. We’ll be good. There were some plays we left on the field, some things we left on the field. Little mishaps. Just be us. That’s it.”

Per Sports Info Solutions, Jackson faced more Cover-0 than any other quarterback in Weeks 1-9, and he wasn’t great against it — five completions in 15 attempts on 16 dropbacks for 28 yards, 12 air yards, no touchdowns, no interceptions, and a sack. The Dolphins were tied with the Chiefs in Weeks 1-9 with a league-high 20 snaps of Cover-0 in pass defense, allowing 11 completions for 150 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.

No matter how you run it, Cover-0 is a boom-or-bust defense by its very nature. It’s an adjunct concept, not a staple. There are other teams that play it well in small spurts, but I don’t think there’s a message around the league now that you can negate Lamar Jackson by running a ton of Cover-0. This was just as much or more about the Ravens facing a defense that is used to throwing different things at an offense out of it, and succeeding far past its season-long rate in this particular game.

Ravens’ radio broadcast interrupted: ‘I’m a veteran and I’m looking for a drink’

A bizarre moment during the Baltimore Ravens’ radio broadcast on Sunday

An interesting moment in the Cincinnati Bengals-Baltimore Ravens game on Sunday.

Fans listening to the broadcast on WBAL were treated to color analyst Obafemi “Femi” Ayanbadejo interrupting play-by-play man Gerry Sandusky,

“Wh-wh-wh-wh-what are you doing?! What are you doing?!

What followed was an awkward silence.

The broadcasters explained they weren’t questioning what the Ravens or Bengals were doing on the field.

Rather, a woman tried to climb into the broadcast booth.

Sandusky relayed what the misguided woman said.

“I’m a veteran and I’m looking for a drinking.”

Ayanbadejo offered: “I don’t serve drinks at the game. I might make some cocktails at home. But this is not the right time or place.”

Give a listen:

Ravens score 22 straight points to stun Colts in overtime

The Baltimore Ravens with a miraculous comeback to stagger the Indianapolis Colts

You had to see it to believe it and if you saw it you probably didn’t believe what you just saw.

The Baltimore Ravens scored 22 straight points and downed the Indianapolis Colts 31-25 on Monday Night Football in overtime.

The Colts were down 22-3 at one point and 25-9 with 12 minutes left in the game.

Lamar Jackson led the improbable rally and capped it in overtime with a 5-yard pass to Marquise Brown.

Brown’s former Oklahoma teammate, tight end Mark Andrews, had caught a pair of touchdown passes in the fourth quarter and a pair of 2-point conversions as the 16-point deficit turned into a 25-25 tie.

The Colts missed a potential game-winning field goal on the last play of regulation. Kicker Rodrigo Blankenship was battling a hip injury and missed a field goal, had one blocked, and missed a PAT.

Jackson threw for 442 yards and a pair of TDs to outduel the Colts’ Carson Wentz, who went for 402 and a pair of touchdowns.

Andrews had 11 catches for 147 yards and the touchdowns.

Brown had 9 catches for 125 yards and 2 TDs.

The Colts were 120-0 with leads of 16 points or more since they had moved to Indianapolis. The last time they saw such a lead evaporate and turn into a loss was 1983 when they were … the Baltimore Colts.


Tight end Mark Andrews scores 16 points in 4th quarter for the Ravens

Mark Andrews with a massive fourth quarter for the Ravens

Mark Andrews had himself a game in the fourth quarter of Monday Night Football.

The Baltimore tight end caught a pair of touchdowns and a pair of 2-point conversions in a little less than 9 minutes of the fourth quarter as the Ravens erased a 25-9 deficit.

Lamar Jackson hit the tight end from Oklahoma with a 5-yard TD pass and they connected on the 2-point conversion to make it a one-score game.

Then, with one timeout left, Jackson guided the Ravens on a game-tying TD march.

He connected with Andrews, again, and hit the TE for 2 points to tie the game at 25.

Overall, Andrews had 10 catches for 133 yards and the touchdowns.

The game went to overtime when Indianapolis missed a field goal on the final play of regulation.

Vic Fangio, John Harbaugh comment on late run by Ravens vs. Broncos: ‘It was (expletive)’

Vic Fangio, John Harbaugh comment on late runs by #Ravens vs. #Broncos: ‘It was (expletive)’

Even a day after the fact, Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio was not happy with the way the Baltimore Ravens handled things late on Sunday.

In the Ravens’ 23-7 win over the Broncos (3-1), Baltimore (3-1) pushed to reach a milestone. The Ravens called a play to get over 100 yards rushing  mark and pulled it off just before time expired.

The reasoning for Baltimore’s desire with three seconds left was to tie the NFL record for most consecutive 100-yard rushing performances in league history, which they did. Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh acknowledged that it was his decision to do so well.

Denver head coach Vic Fangio, formerly a defensive assistant on the Ravens’ coaching staff, did not hold back. 

“I thought it was b——-, but I expected that from them,” Fangio said. “In 37 years of pro ball, I’ve never seen anything like that. But it was to be expected, and we expected it.

“Because I know how they operate,” Fangio continued after a follow-up question. “That’s just their mode of operation there, player safety is secondary.”

In the heat of the moment, the Denver sideline was certainly not happy:

The big layer here is that Fangio coached under Harbuagh in Baltimore from 2008-2009.

Harbaugh has since responded and said he was a bit surprised.

“I mean, I thought we were on good terms. We had a nice chat before the game. Known each other for a long time. But I promise you, I’m not gonna give that insult one second thought,” Harbaugh said. “What’s meaningful to us might not be meaningful to them. Their concerns are definitely not our concerns. And, you know, we didn’t expect to get the ball back, you know? But I had already decided, we decided… that if we got the ball back, we were gonna try to get the yards.”

Harbaugh went to to also point out that the Broncos themselves were actually trying to throw the ball into the end zone with the game well over.

“So you’re throwing the ball in the end zone with 10 seconds left? I don’t know that there’s a 16-point touchdown that’s gonna be possible right there,” Harbaugh said.

Backup quarterback Drew Lock entered the game after an injury to starter Teddy Bridgewater during the contest, so maybe Denver wanted to get Lock reps. Regardless, that is one good point by Harbaugh, too…

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Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown for the stylish touchdown against Denver Broncos

Marquise Hollywood Brown with a stylish catch for a touchdown for the Baltimore Ravens

Marquise “Hollywood” Brown saw a couple of touchdown passes thrown his way in Week 3 wind up on the ground. The Baltimore Ravens’ wideout made up for it in a big way on Sunday.

Brown is wide, wide open behind the Denver Broncos’ secondary but he still had to lay out to make a diving grab of the pass from Lamar Jackson in the second quarter.

Brown does just that, coming up with the ball and the 49-yard score with the PAT but Baltimore ahead, 14-7, at that point.