An all-around disheartening performance in MetLife Stadium Sunday evened the Ravens’ record at 3-3. With the exception of one interception, the rookies failed to provide the needed spark to get Baltimore over the hump. Let’s recap the ho-hum performances from the five rookies who contributed.
With injuries plaguing the offensive line, Alex Lewis was again the Baltimore left tackle of choice. That says a lot about how banged up the Ravens are, but also about the potential the coaches see in the fourth-rounder. Unfortunately, he was drafted at guard for a reason, and we saw Jason Pierre-Paul get the better of Lewis on several occasions, registering seven pressure events according to our own Filmstudy. Lewis did well to create some room in the running game, but he also contributed to the penalty-fest by committing back-to-back holding and false start penalties during a rough drive in the third quarter.
Kenneth Dixon has surpassed Buck Allen both on the team’s official depth chart, and on the field as Dixon earned 10 snaps to Allen’s two. The former Louisiana Tech Bulldog earned the Ravens a second quarter first down after consecutive runs of seven and four yards where he showed good quickness and decent vision. Terrance West was the clear workhorse however, so it will be interesting to see if Dixon is able to cut into his workload in the next few weeks.
Tavon Young’s performance was up and down. After an ineffective jam, Tavon was beat badly by Roger Lewis on a flag route touchdown from 24 yards out. Nevertheless, his ball skills are undeniable as he has now gotten his hands on the pigskin in four straight games after his huge third quarter interception. He ran the route for Sterling Shepard and made the most of Shepard’s fall when their feet got tangled.
He was charged with a pass interference penalty early in the fourth quarter that I think was a bit unfair as Shepard made the most of minimal contact on a slant. But otherwise his coverage was very tight on the day, whether in the slot or on the outside.
It’s hard to blame Young for the final touchdown to Odell Beckham Jr., when he and Eric Weddle tripped each other up as OBJ’s slant route roasted Baltimore fans’ hearts. Young will live and learn and get all of the snaps he can handle for the rest of the season.
Matt Judon was finally active again for Baltimore, playing 31 snaps, but was held in check in the pass rush department, generating just one pressure. He did hold up well against the run and recorded a solo tackle and three tackle assists. Judon even earned some special teams reps, but got too much jersey during a first quarter punt for what I would consider a frustrating penalty, considering the punt was fair caught.
15 snaps for Michael Pierce was tied for his lowest tally of the season, but he played well and was in on three tackles during limited reps. The highlight was a two-yard TFL when he and Terrell Suggs blew up the offensive line on second down during the goal line stand in the early third quarter.
Ronnie Stanley missed his third consecutive game, as his foot injury continues to loom large along the offensive line. He should be able to get back this week, but then again, the Ravens should be at least 5-1 and I should drive a Ferrari.
Even with a depleted linebacker corps, second-rounder Kamalei Correa logged only three defensive snaps Sunday.
The injury bug has thankfully yet to hit the defensive line, but that means that Willie Henry has yet to crack a gameday roster this season.
Despite Steve Smith Sr. missing out in New York, wideout Chris Moore managed only five offensive snaps and was held without a catch. He handled kickoff duties, returning only the final kickoff of the game when the Giants were backed up after Beckham’s excessive celebration penalty. He failed to accelerate through the first wave of coverage men and should’ve managed at least five more yards.