Baltimore Ravens Week 3 Stock Report
The Baltimore Ravens fell to 0-2 after a disappointing 37-33 loss to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. This was a game that the Ravens needed to win after dropping the first game of the season to the Denver Broncos.
So now the Ravens find themselves staring up at the 2-0 Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC North as they prepare to host them.
But before we think too much about the next game, let’s see which individuals improved their stock after the Oakland loss and which guys are riding some momentum into Week 3.
Unfortunately, the bad news far outweighs the good. Nevertheless, all is not rotten in Baltimore, and there are some players who came out of Sunday’s game disappointed with the loss but feeling good about their individual efforts.
Stock Down: Lardarius Webb, CB
There are definitely some conflicting opinions about the play of cornerback Lardarius Webb. He failed the eyeball test on multiple plays against the Raiders and allowed crucial receptions on those final drives when his teammates were counting on him.
Webb struggled mightily on the outside, and if the Ravens had the options, they might want to slide him inside to the slot.
Ravens blogger Wola Odeniran said this about Webb’s play on Sunday:
Lardarius Webb is horrible. This is a type of game where he can be cut— Wola (@WolaWriteMore) September 20, 2015
This was the prevailing opinion after the game. However, Pro Football Focus gave Webb the team's highest grade on defense, per BaltimoreRavens.com's Garrett Downing:
The Ravens' top-graded defender vs. the Raiders by @PFF was CB Lardarius Webb.— Garrett Downing (@gdowning14) September 21, 2015
This is an instance where the impact of bad play cannot be quantified. Those grades always seems like fuzzy math, but in this case, they do not tell the story of how poorly Webb played in the biggest moments.
Stock Up: Steve Smith, WR
If there was one certainty in Sunday’s game, it was that wide receiver Steve Smith would rebound from his game-losing drop at the end of the Broncos game. And he certainly delivered, with 10 catches for 150 yards.
Smith was everywhere on the field, as noted by All Weather Fan Podcast's Will Reeve:
When the majority of the offense was letting the fans down, the future Hall of Famer was just out there making plays and racking up yards. The Ravens probably need to get Smith some help in the passing game, but you can always count on his effort and intensity.
Stock Down: Kendrick Lewis, S
No player on the roster had a more forgettable game than safety Kendrick Lewis. He got exposed in every facet of the game.
When Lewis tried to come up to stuff Raiders running back Latavius Murray, he got smashed by a pulling Gabe Jackson. When the defense did make a play, Lewis got called for a silly penalty to keep the Raiders' drive going, per the Baltimore Times' Turon Davenport:
Looks like #Raiders are wasting no time going for the jugular. Carr just went deep to Crabtree. Incomplete but flag on Kendrick Lewis.— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) September 20, 2015
Even when Lewis tried to come up and make a play on Oakland quarterback Derek Carr, things went wrong, as Comcast SportsNet's Bo Smolka pointed out:
Oh my, Kendrick Lewis faked out of his shoes on read-option carry by Carr, gain of 24. #RavensTalk— Bo Smolka (@bsmolka) September 20, 2015
Lewis has to do better after all the fanfare surrounding his arrival.
Stock Up: Crockett Gillmore, TE
Baltimore might have the Robin to Smith’s Batman already on the roster. Tight end Crockett Gillmore continues to improve each week, and against the Raiders, he was almost unstoppable (five catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns).
It’s clear that offensive coordinator Marc Trestman doesn't know what exactly what to do with him—more on that in a moment—but as you can see in this video courtesy of Downing, he’s a matchup nightmare:
Check out Marshal Yanda on Crockett Gillmore's TD. Yanda was split wide like a WR. Play fooled the Raiders. https://t.co/9iJbeZGcnq— Garrett Downing (@gdowning14) September 22, 2015
No, I’m not saying Crockett is as talented as Gronkowski, but his size (6'6", 270 lbs) and natural ability are good enough to warrant more targets in the passing game.
Stock Down: Marc Trestman, Offensive Coordinator
If you are OK with the Ravens only coming away with touchdowns on 28.6 percent of their red-zone appearances, then don’t read any more of this.
However, if you feel like this team has enough weapons to do better than settle for four short field goals in such situations, then please read on.
At team that has running back Justin Forsett, Smith, Crockett and tight end Maxx Williams should not be settling for field goals on more than half of its trips into the red zone. This offense could really hum with Greg Kubiak as the offensive coordinator, but Trestman is trying to turn this offense into what we saw in Chicago when he was head coach of the Bears.