Ravens Roll to Victory 47-3
by Frank Bonincontri
Final Score: Ravens 47 Buffalo 3
What went right: The Ravens came out with a great script to get Joe Flacco and the offense into rhythm. The tight ends were heavily involved and Alex Collins capped off an impressive opening drive with a punishing eight yard touchdown run. All three wide receiver signings were able to get their first touchdowns at home. Joe Flacco looked fluid and in command of the offense and it was nice to see numerous downfield looks and passes. Joe Flacco ended the day 25 for 34, 236 yards and 3 touchdowns. Glad to have you back Joe!
The defense began the game with 2 sacks, and forced 3 consecutive three and outs. They looked assignment sound and were converging on every Bills player once they had the ball. The Wink Martindale defense stayed aggressive and created constant pressure from beginning to end. The defensive unit held the Bills to just 33 yards and zero first downs in going up 26-0.
What went wrong: Who does anything wrong in a 47-3 victory? In a rain soaked game, there quite a few drops and numerous penalties. However, The run game seemed to disappear midway through the third quarter and will need to stay consistent for games that they need to hold a lead or control the clock. Lamar Jackson was on the field in a variety of looks that never really developed, but, there is definitely some dangerous potential in seeing those end-around and read options.
Injuries: None reported at this time but I am watching Alex Collins. He left game mid/end of second quarter and never returned, possibly due to the lead, or being dinged up.
Looking ahead: The Ravens will be looking for some revenge (from last seasons loss) against the Bengals on Thursday Night Football. The Bengals took care of the Colts and will be looking to duplicate their success against the Ravens with a power run game and a red hot AJ Green. The Bengals revamped their offensive line and will looking to establish the run game with Joe Mixon who just went for 95 yards against the Colts. The Ravens will need to control the clock with their own run game and let the defense force Andy Dalton into a few turnovers. Pressure is key and I expect the Ravens to bring numerous defensive looks and blitz packages. If more input is truly being taken from the defensive players, it will be interesting to see how this one plays out.
Notable: The offense put together some solid offensive drives and looked like it knew exactly what it wanted to do. It was also refreshing to see the ball get thrown downfield often. The Ravens need desperately to establish an identity and may be looking to brand themselves as a balanced team with the weaponry to attack downfield and open up looks in the red zone with veteran players. Keep an eye on the Lamar Jackson gadgetry as the season goes on as well. Could we see Lamar Jackson goal line packages?
Fantasy Notes: Joe Flacco threw for 3 touchdowns but I would temper expectations for next week…It looks like Michael Crabtree can and will make the big touchdown plays in the red zone…If you have John Brown, he looks like a great flex play…I am still plugging Alex Collins in as my RB2 and Buck Allen also garners flex consideration…The Ravens defense is THE defense to play in fantasy this year until you are told otherwise.