Question: Is it okay to complain when your team enjoys a sixteen point win in the season opener? 

Answer: This is Baltimore. I do what I want. 

The Ravens opened the 2023 season in commanding style as they handled the Houston Texans 25-9. “Handled” might be a strong word considering the team rolled up thirteen penalties and the new look offense appeared to be as confused as a goat on astroturf.  

This looked like a Pre-Season game for the purple and black and well..that’s because it was. Coach Harbaugh decided not to get anyone hurt ahead of the start of the season so almost none of the starters played together. The results were an offensive line who forgot how to pick up a blitz and several injuries to major pieces of the team. 

On the plus side the Ravens did win, as they same can not be said of Kansas City, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and the Los Angeles Chargers. The NFL is back and it’s all about win and move on to the next game and so the Ravens travel to play a familiar foe this Sunday in the Bengals.  

1) Injured Reserve – I know that football is a contact sport. You have to expect injuries from time to time but when was the last time the Ravens were at full strength for any game in the last decade? The cost of the win last Sunday was extremely high. Ronnie Stanley is out (again) as well as young Center Tyler Linderbaum. Doctor Harbaugh says that both players are week to week, which is code for see you next season. Safety Marcus Williams is out with a torn pec, which isn’t a season ender but don’t expect to see him on the field at least until late November. And lastly JK Dobbins tore his Achilles. That’s not a typo, the poor guy is done for the season (again).  

The good news is that Baltimore does have some depth to handle some of the injuries at least in the short term. Super sub Patrick Mekari with step in at left Guard and everyone will just move ahead one space in the running back room. The Secondary will need to do some reshuffling with the loss of the Williams. Marlon Humphrey isn’t expected back for this week either. So I’m just a little concerned about the defensive game plan with such uncertainty on the back end. However, to Coach MacDonald’s credit his defense held Joe Burrow to under 220 yards passing in each of their three meetings last year so maybe he’s got a plan. 

2) You lost to some Elves – Noted philosopher Ja’mar Chase gave his week one opponents bulletin board material by calling them a “Bunch of Elves”. The Brownies to the shock of everyone went all Myles Finch on him and his mates and completely dominated them 24-3 and held newly minted richest quarterback in the NFL to 82 yards passing. Chase could only say after the game that he was, “Pissed that we lost to a bunch of elves.”  

This of course led me to googling why the Dawg Pound has a huge Elf on their field. Brownie the Elf dates back into folklore long before Cleveland adopted him and was a magical creature who would help you with household chores.  

Yeah, I would have made fun of that too. 

3) Who to Watch? – Zay Flowers was heavily featured in Week One and I’d expect the same here in Week Two. He caught bubble screens, ran the Duvernay Jet Sweep, and showed off some solid route running as well. Mark Andrews may be expected to rejoin the team this week which should be the most interesting addition to the offense. Andrews has long been Lamar’s fav, especially on third down so I can’t wait to see how he’s worked into the air attack. 

On defense check out Roquan Smith who is the unquestioned leader of this unit. A franchise best sixteen tackles, two for a loss, and one sack last week against Houston. For a franchise that had Ray Lewis for over a decade that’s no easy feat. 

Game Time Song for Week Two 

Nelly has a few songs that aren’t about the current temperature. This is one of those. 

Best Lyrics:  

Ya think of jumpin man, you best think again
Lil dirty, I’m the type of man that might could go for revenge
Have some not so nice friends,kick the door off the hinge 

Game Time Beverage for Week Two 

The largest outdoor party in the world started yesterday. Oktoberfest is back and you should celebrate accordingly. There are only six breweries that are allowed to serve their delicious nectar to the fest goers, several you can find here in the states and this is one of them. Prost! 

Game Time Snack for Week Two 

We are on the road this week, so it makes sense to use our opponents to discover some culinary inspiration. I had a chance to visit Cincinnati a few years ago and I will admit I enjoyed the city. My thoughts on the “famous” chili are that it’s best on a hot dog. I was not brave enough to try it on spaghetti noodles with mountains of nuclear cheese. 

Happy Football everyone! Enjoy Week Two and Go Ravens! 

Matt Jergensen
Matt Jergensen

Matt has lived in Maryland his entire life and is a graduate of Calvert Hall and Towson University. has always been an avid Baltimore sports fan. Since 2007, he has been writing and talking about Baltimore sports, especially the Ravens. His work has appeared on Ravens Gab, Russell Street Report, and he currently co-hosts a podcast “The Blitz- A Ravens podcast” with Brent Harris.