Three Targets for the Ravens at the Trade Deadline

Ravens Trade Targets
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The NFL trade deadline is fast approaching. Expiring at 4 pm ET on November 2nd, teams are scrambling to make inquiries to teams concerning certain players. Contending teams will be looking to add that final piece to their playoff puzzle while tanking teams will be looking to jettison players to acquire more draft capital. For the Baltimore Ravens, this may be the most pivotal trade deadline in team history.

Despite sitting at 5-2, the Ravens have had myriad injuries along their entire roster. Making a last minute trade to bring in a player or two to help ease those injury woes may just be what the team needs to do in order to make a serious championship run.

The Ravens have proven they can win with their current talent but there is nothing to say that improving that talent can’t make life a little easier for those in Baltimore.

Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta has shown that he is more than willing to wheel and deal for the benefit of his team and this year may be no different. In the past, he has brought aboard the likes of Marcus Peters, Calais Campbell, and Yannick Ngakoue. With 17 players on injured reserve, the Ravens could use his charismatic bargaining powers now more than ever.

The Ravens are absolutely loaded with draft picks, including nine in the first four rounds so it’s safe to safe Baltimore has plenty of bargaining chips with which to use. Below are three realistic players the Ravens could target for a trade before the deadline expires.

Ravens Trade Target #1: Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts

We start our list of Ravens trade targets with the low hanging fruit. Marlon Mack respectfully wants out of Indianapolis in hopes of getting more playing time. The Ravens are in desperate need of a running back that can offer some sort of explosion. The Colts, most likely without a first round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, are in need of more draft picks. In the end, a trade would benefit all parties involved.

The Ravens have been trotting out veterans the likes of Latavius Murray, Devonta Freeman, and Le’Veon Bell — with little success. All of those backs are well past their prime and offer little in the way of explosiveness. Their youngest back, Ty’Son Williams, clearly doesn’t have the confidence of the team and just looks lost when he’s on the field.

To put it simply, the Ravens need more juice in the backfield, a running back who can actually bounce to the outside and make plays. Baltimore’s entire identity the last few years has been the run game, and that run game has been subpar to say the very least. Mack, despite coming off of an ACL injury, has looked great in his limited usage this season.

He is still fresh and with only one year on his deal, carries very little financial burden. A late round pick would be all that’s needed to make this swap happen and Baltimore should be quick to call over to Indianapolis.

Trade Target #2: Andre Dillard, OT, Philadelphia Eagles

To say the Ravens are desperate for reinforcements along their offensive line may be the understatement of the year. Injuries have withered the offensive line down to almost nothing, and the injured reserve list seemingly keeps getting longer with each passing week.

Andre Dillard may be just the guy to help alleviate the ails of Baltimore. Despite being the 22nd overall pick in 2019, Dillard has hardly played up to that standing, being benched in favor of 7th round pick Jordan Mailata. A change of scenery in Baltimore may do just the trick. Patrick Mekari, the team’s starting right tackle, injured his ankle in the loss to Cincinnati and could miss up to six weeks.

The Ravens need more protection on the edges if Lamar Jackson is to keep playing Superman every week. Dillard has been playing relatively well this season, upping his trade value for the Eagles. His youth, physical acumen, and positional versatility should make him a savory target for the Ravens.

Trade Target #3: Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Miami Dolphins

This trade has much more to do with the future of Baltimore’s secondary than it does at its present state. Corner will be a pressing need for the Ravens in the offseason as the team has big decisions to make with Marcus Peters and Jimmy Smith. Smith may not be back and Peters carries a large contract while coming off an ACL injury.

Even if both were to be brought back, more depth is needed. The Ravens always seem to go through healthy corners like its nothing every year so adding a youthful defensive back can only help. Igbinoghene could be on Baltimore’s radar. Despite being a first round pick in 2020, the former Auburn corner has seen very little playing time and it looks as though that was a wasted pick by the Dolphins.

Still, Igbinoghene has a tremendous athletic profile and with a little more time and better coaching, he could become a regular contributor to the defense. He is certainly worth a late round flyer at this point. Meanwhile, it looks as though as the Dolphins are on the verge of another rebuild and virtually any and all players are on the trade market. Noah Igbinoghene may be the first to go.

Baltimore Ravens, Lamar Jackson dominate Chargers

Baltimore Ravens

The game with the most intrigue of the weekend turned into an absolute romp. Behind Lamar’s day, the Baltimore Ravens routed the visiting Chargers 34-6. The Ravens dominated both sides of the ball en route to a 5-1 record atop the AFC North. Baltimore’s had some close finishes this season, including last Monday night, but this was a surprising reprieve for Ravens faithful.

Game Recap: Total Offensive Domination

The early afternoon contest featured two of the hottest quarterbacks and MVP hopefuls Lamar Jackson and Justin Herbert. Both led potent, high scoring offenses and many predicted a shootout considering how porous both defenses have been all season. Instead, the Ravens jumped out to an early 14-0 lead and never looked back. Baltimore’s run game looked like the run game of old, steamrolling LA’s front seven with 187 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns. Three separate running backs ran for a touchdown, including the recently elevated Le’Veon Bell. Jackson’s stats won’t blow up the stat sheet as they had the last few weeks but he was still patient in the pocket and placed the ball where it needed to be to keep drives alive. Essentially, Lamar’s game through the air was unnecessary to keep the Chargers reeling.

Game Recap: Defense Shows Up

It was Baltimore’s defense, however, that came up big. The Ravens D had been gashed all season long, and most predicted Herbert’s high flying Chargers would do the same. Instead, the defense continually got pressure on Herbert and completely shut down Austin Ekeler. DeShonn Elliott snagged his first interception of the year while tacking on a sack, proving to be one of the most versatile defenders in the league. Justin Houston also added a sack late in the game to put him ever closer to 100 career sacks.

The most interesting take from this contest? Despite the margin of victory, no single player dominated the game. This was an all around team victory and everyone contributed to the massive victory. Rookie receiver Rashod Bateman made his long anticipated debut and had 4 receptions for 29 yards but had an ugly drop in the 4th quarter that turned into an interception for the Chargers. Still, it’s nice to see the Ravens try to work their young receiver into the game. Lamar Jackson also made history by passing Dan Marino for most wins (35) by a quarterback before age 25. Another game, another record set.

Baltimore Ravens Next Matchup

As stated before, this win improves the Ravens to 5-1 while maintaining first place in the AFC North. Next up? A home game against the surprisingly hot Cincinnati Bengals in Baltimore’s first divisional game this season. The following week, the Ravens will go on a much needed bye. This was a massive win for the Baltimore Ravens before beginning a stretch of divisional games in late November-early December.

Instant Reaction to Ravens 19-17 Win Over Lions

To say that these last three weeks have been dramatic and emotional for Ravens fans is a massive understatement. A heartbreaking overtime loss in Week 1 to the Raiders was followed up by an emotional rollercoaster of a win over Kansas City the following Sunday night. Baltimore’s first afternoon game of the season was supposed to be an easy one. The Detroit Lions were entering the game 0-2 with one of the worst defenses in the league. This was supposed to be a perfect “let me up” game after two exhausting weeks. The problem is, no one told the Detroit Lions this was supposed to be a cakewalk for the Ravens. Head coach Dan Campbell had his team fired up and they fought tooth and nail every minute of this game. More than a few mental errors on the part of the Ravens certainly helped Detroit hang around but for the most part, the Lions went toe to toe with Baltimore and nearly pulled out one of the biggest upsets of the season.

The offense never seemed to get it going against Detroit. Lamar Jackson and the offense got off to a slow start, going three and out on their first drive and then getting stuffed on 3rd and 3 at their own 32 on the next drive. A Justin Tucker Field goal five minutes into the 2nd quarter and a beautiful 19 yard touchdown pass to Devin Duvernay on 3rd and long gave hope that the offense might start sparking but things only got darker from there. Hollywood Brown had one of the worst games of his career, dropping three certain touchdown passes, two of those drops coming on Baltimore’s final drive right before the half. Those drops would prove more critical than anyone could have guessed at the time. Lamar was throwing pretty passes the entire half but the offense around him simply could not gel. the Lions effectively shut down the vaunted Ravens running game while Baltimore’s offensive line took a big step backward after a promising performance against Kansas City. Baltimore’s 10 points in the first half was disheartening to say the very least.

It was Baltimore’s defense that would prove to be the source of optimism in the first half, suffocating Detroit’s running game and limiting Jarred Goff to 54 yards passing. Though they weren’t bringing him down, the Ravens were applying the pressure as Wink Martindale amped up the blitzes. Baltimore defenders were flying all over the field and forcing the Lions to become a one dimensional passing team. It was exactly what most had predicted the Ravens defense would do to an overmatched Lions offense. The Ravens shut out the Lions in the first half and all seemed to be going according to plan for Baltimore’s stop unit.

The script flipped entirely in the second half. The Lions suddenly found their groove on both sides of the ball, walking all over Baltimore’s defense while simultaneously stifling the Ravens offense. Detroit scored all 17 of their points in the second half and had the game gone on longer, you have to think the Lions would have rolled up even more points. The Ravens suddenly forgot how to tackle as Lions ballcarriers routinely ran through first and second contact like it was nothing. Pressure on Goff was nonexistent. It was a second half collapse that should have cost the Ravens the game because the offense certainly wasn’t holding up their end. The Ravens couldn’t get anything going on the ground as the Lions swallowed up every play. The offensive line looked more like its Week 1 version than its Week 2 version the Detroit pass rush consistently disrupted Lamar’s pocket. Though Lamar himself was playing well, the Ravens as a whole could not get anything going.

All looked lost when Lamar tossed his first interception of the day with 5:30 left in the 4th quarter. The Lions promptly drove down the field to kick what appeared to be the game winning field goal. With1:04 left in the game and no timeouts left, Baltimore’s chances for victory looked bleak to say the least. A sack on first down and an incompletion on the following down did little to help brighten the outlook. Staring down a 4th and 19, Jackson delivered his most important pass of the day, a 36 yard strike to Sammy Watkins to set the Ravens up at Detroit’s 48. A spike and then another incompletion gave the Ravens just 3 seconds left to attempt a win. Any other team would attempt a Hail Mary or a screen pass with some lateral trickery to have a prayer for the end zone. But the Ravens have something better than a prayer, they have Justin Tucker.

Flashbacks immediately shot to December, 2013, when a young Tucker kicked a game winning 61 yard field goal to put the Ravens over the Lions 18-16. Eight years later and five yards further, Tucker had to do it all over again. Tucker had missed a 49 yard kick earlier in the game to add to Baltimore’s woes but the former Longhorn’s confidence in himself never wavered. With an extra hop, Tucker booted the ball and it sailed towards the uprights. Hitting the lowpost first, it appeared the ball would bounce back but it miraculously bounced through, giving the Ravens the victory and Justin Tucker the record for longest made field goal in NFL history. It was a kick that stunned the football world and simply reaffirmed Tucker’s status as not just the best kicker in the league, but one of the greatest in NFL history.

To put it bluntly, this was a game the Ravens should have dominated but simply didn’t. This was a game the Ravens didn’t deserve to win, but did anyway. The Lions were supposed to roll over for a superior team but refused. For the third straight week, Ravens fans had to suffer through a roller coaster of emotions. Despite playing one of the ugliest games in recent memory, the Ravens persevered and now boast a 2-1 record to keep them in a tie for the AFC North lead. Despite the injuries and emotional drama, the Ravens are still in a good position and have a week to heal up and calm down before heading to Denver to take on their old rivals the Broncos. The Ravens aren’t playing the prettiest football right now but a win is a win and at the end of the day that’s all that matters. Oh, and Justin Tucker is the greatest kicker of all time and there is no debate.

Instant Reaction to Baltimore’s 36-35 Victory Over Kansas City

For the first time since 2019, Ravens fans were welcomed back into M&T Bank Stadium and the Baltimore faithful came out in droves. The Bank was rocking from the opening kickoff to the final whistle, keeping the atmosphere electric for virtually every second in between. The game itself was an emotional roller coaster right down to the final play and the result was one Ravens fans have been clamoring for for years. Lamar Jackson got his long awaited victory over the Mahomes led Chiefs and the Ravens got their first win of the season in a big way.

The game couldn’t have possibly gotten off to a worse start for the Ravens. On 2 and 10, Lamar Jackson overthrew Marquise Brown that would have been a long touchdown. On the very next play, Sammy Watkins slipped on his route and Lamar’s pass sailed right into the waiting arms of Tyrann Mathieu, who then returned it for a touchdown. A short time later, Lamar threw one of the worst passes of his career into triple coverage and Mathieu again came up with the interception.

Instead of bogging the former MVP down, however, the turnovers only seemed to motivate Lamar even more. The quarterback put the team on his back in a big way, totaling 346 yards of total offense and 3 total touchdowns. Lamar played a clean game after his disastrous fourth quarter and showed the world he can slay his biggest demons under the brightest lights.

Of course Lamar couldn’t have done all of his heroics had it not been for his team stepping up around him. The offensive line, a week removed from a horrendous game, played much better and helped to keep the pocket clean for Jackson for most of the game. Jackson’s was only sacked once and plenty of holes were opened up in the run game. Ty’Son Williams continued his hot streak by rushing for 77 yards on 13 carries while drastically improving in pass protection. Marquise Brown, who was unsure if he’d play at all, stepped up in a big way to the tune of 6 catches for 113 yards and a touchdown. Brown did well to find space and create yards after the catch, becoming the playmaking threat that Ravens fans always knew he could be.

The defense had seen better days. The stop unit had several missed tackles, failed to put consistent pressure on Mahomes, and gave up several big plays. Still, the defense stepped up when it mattered most, shutting the Chiefs out in the 4th quarter and forcing the game winning fumble. While the defense has many concerns at this point, there are a few bright spots. Odafe Oweh, who many called a project, already looks like an absolute defensive force. Anthony Averett stuck with Tyreek Hill for most of the game and held him to 3 catches for 14 yards.

The game sealing fumble recovery (both forced and recovered by the aforementioned Oweh) did not end the dramatics. Needing just one first down to end the game, the Ravens were staring at a 4th and 1 from their own 43 yard line. Coach Harbaugh stared his quarterback down and asked Point blank “you wanna go for it?” Not wanting to punt the ball back to a dangerous Chiefs offense, Lamar wanted the ball in his hands and replied with a simple “Hell yeah.” One 2 yard quarterback run later, the game was over. It is a call that should go on to live in the annals of Baltimore sports history.

Despite fielding a depleted roster, traveling across the country on a short week, the Ravens slayed the AFC juggernaut and Lamar Jackson got that monkey off his back. He showed he can battle back from adversity. He can come back and win despite being down multiple scores. He can beat Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. But make no mistake about it: this was a team win through and through with every single Raven stepping up to do his part. There’s still plenty of games left in the season but this may be the sweetest victory the Ravens have all year. An emotional victory was cheered on by an absolutely electric crowd. Football is officially back in Baltimore.

20-0: Ravens Break Preseason Win Record

A meaningless yet impressive record that had stood in the NFL since Vince Lombardi was coaching the Packers has now fallen. With their 37-3 victory over the Washington Football Team, the Ravens have now won 20 straight preseason games, topping Lombardi’s previous mark of 19. It may be perhaps the most impressive and irrelevant winning streak in sports history.

Baltimore’s last defeat in the preseason came on September 3, 2015 against the Atlanta Falcons. Since then, the Ravens have been on an absolute tear in the preseason, rattling off 20 straight exhibition wins. Sure the games are meaningless but 20 straight wins in anything is impressive nonetheless. The streak means absolutely nothing in terms of regular season success but it is still something to be proud of.

Make no mistake: the preseason itself is far from pointless. This is the time when players who are on the roster bubble are fighting for a spot on the team. It’s a time for players to showcase what they got in order to gain attention from other teams in the league. The preseason is a make or break time for many pleasers who are living their dream. The wins and losses may be inconsequential but how the players play is not and competition in these games is very real.

Many fans around the league are quick to poke fun of Baltimore proudly displaying its 20 game win streak, pointing out the obvious that absolutely none of those 20 games mean anything. But breaking a record that has been standing in the NFL since the 1960’s, a record set by the great Vince Lombardi and the Green Bay Packers nonetheless, is something to be proud of. The Ravens are now firmly in the history books for a record no other team can claim. Roll your eyes all you want but the Ravens are alone at the top.

The win wasn’t without some bad news, however, as the up and coming running back JK Dobbins was carted to the locker room and is now expected to miss the entire 2021 season. Many pegged Dobbins as the next superstar running back in the league so losing him is a massive blow for the Ravens. The loss of Dobbins has overshadowed the record setting win and rightfully so. Many Ravens fans were excited to see what Dobbins had in store for Season Two but now they will have to wait. Instead, anger has turned towards the coaching staff for having Dobbins out there in the first place. Whether having Dobbins out there to warm up for the season was right or wrong, it is still a freak accident that the Ravens will have to move forward with and hopefully someone can quickly step up to help fill the void left in the wake of the Dobbins injury.

The preseason is now over and the Ravens leave it undefeated. The trivial preseason games are of minimal importance in terms of the regular season but just ask how Ravens players feel about the streak. The Ravens have one of the most competitive rosters in the league, filled with young and hungry players ready to show what they can do and they have been showing out in the preseason. 20 straight games is a point of pride for these players and fans. A 20 game win streak, now matter how irrelevant, is still something to be proud of. Now the Ravens can celebrate not just the winning streak, but making NFL history as well. Nothing can take that away from the team.