What We Saw: Week 1

Baltimore Ravens vs Miami Dolphins

 

Baltimore Ravens

 

Quarterback

 

  • Lamar Jackson: 17/20, 324 yards, 5 TDs, 1 sack | 3 carries, 6 yards
  • Robert Griffin III: 6/6, 55 yards, 1 TD | 4 carries, 9 yards

 

So Cleveland is gonna be the new hotness in the AFC North, right? Well…I’ll take Baltimore. I locked in the Ravens as my preseason favorite in the North, and I’m feeling good about it right now. Lamar Jackson was brilliant today, and he barely even had to use his legs. Jackson had a lot of time to work, and he was spot-on with just about every single pass. When the rush did affect him, Jackson bought time with his legs and still found his guys. Jackson should clearly be owned in all leagues, even if he doesn’t get to play the lowly Dolphins each week. He has another good matchup next week against the Cardinals next week so keep on rolling.

In one final declaration about the lack of talent in Miami, Robert Griffin III came in as the relief and he didn’t miss a pass. The overall success tells me that we should target the Dolphins’ defense whenever we can.

 

Running Backs

 

  • Mark Ingram: 14 carries, 107 yards, 2 TDs
  • Justice Hill:  7 carries, 27 yards
  • Gus Edwards: 17 carries, 56 yards 

 

The Ravens have used a platoon at running back in recent years, and that seems to still be the case here. Gus Edwards actually led the way in carries, but he was clearly not the most talented back. Still, this workload makes him worth a speculative add. If Ingram went down, Edwards could inherit a massive workload. 

Speaking of Mark Ingram, he looked strong on the day. It all started with a 49-yard run through the Miami defense on his first carry and ended with 100 yards and a pair of touchdowns. I am confident in Ingram as the lead dog, though I’m wary of how much the carries were spread around. When the Ravens are held to fewer carries, Ingram could become more TD dependent.

Justice Hill had the most preseason hype, but he was quiet on the day with his limited touches. Still, he showed some flashes of the player he can be. For now, he is a bench stash with hopes for more later in the season.

 

Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends

 

  • Marquise Brown: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 147 yards, 2 TDs
  • Mark Andrews: 8 targets, 8 receptions, 108 yards, 1 TD
  • Willie Snead IV: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 41 yards, 1 TD
  • Hayden Hurst: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 41 yards
  • Miles Boykin: 1 target, 1 reception, 5 yards, 1 TD

 

I feel like a broken record, but these young Ravens players were a sight to behold today. Marquise Brown dealt with plenty of injury worries during the offseason, but he looked just fine today. On his first catch, he took a simple slant pattern 47 yards to the house after his defender missed a tackle. On his next catch, he got behind the defense en route to an 83-yard touchdown. Marquise Brown looks electric and I’ll look for him wherever I can. I feel like his game style could make him boom-bust though on a week to week basis.

Not to be left behind by Brown, Mark Andrews also showed up today in a big way. He was targeted early and often (leading the team) on his way to 100 yards and a score. Andrews looked athletic running all over the field, and he was even sent deep a few times. Basically, the team felt using him often in a number of different routes. If you need a tight end, he looks like an excellent option.

Miles Boykin was mostly quiet on the day, but he managed a touchdown catch when his defender lost sight of him. Willie Snead was useful as well, though I imagine he’ll be the third option at best moving forward. Hayden Hurst had a decent day, but he’s likely buried by other options on the depth chart.

 

Miami Dolphins

 

Quarterback

 

  • Ryan Fitzpatrick: 14/29, 185 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 2 sacks | 1 carry, 8 yards
  • Josh Rosen: 1/3, 5 yards, 1 INT 1 sack

 

When one team beats the other by SEVEN touchdowns, there’s usually not much to say about the losing offense. Still, Ryan Fitzpatrick tried his best to find receivers while being chased all over the field. Fitzpatrick still loves to chuck it downfield, so I imagine he could sneak in a good game or two if he holds off Josh Rosen. That being said, neither Dolphins QB looks like anything better than an occasional stream against other lowly defenses.

 

Running Backs

 

  • Kenyan Drake: 4 carries, 12 yards | 3 targets, 2 receptions, 15 yards
  • Kalen Ballage: 5 carries, -1 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 13 yards

 

I was hoping to see the Dolphins run the ball 20 times so that we could start to see how things will break down. Will it be Kalen Ballage or Kenyan Drake to take the lead? Ballage started the game and was clearly getting the chance to show his stuff. It didn’t exactly work out, however, and he only had one decent carry. The Baltimore defense was simply too stingy. He was targeted in the passing game which was a nice surprise. Drake faired a little bit better, though it was hardly anything to write home about. I don’t want to depend on either back, but I still prefer Drake based on what I’ve seen. Neither back is any better than a flex at this point.

 

Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends

 

  • DeVante Parker: 7 targets, 3 receptions, 75 yards
  • Mike Gesicki: 6 targets, 2 receptions, 31 yards
  • Preston Williams: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 24 yards, 1 TD
  • Allen Hurns: 3 targets, 1 reception, 22 yards
  • Albert Wilson: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 13 yards

 

I would have believed just about anything from the Dolphins receivers this week. DeVante Parker has been the yearly “breakout” candidate and he led the team in targets. I expect him to be a solid option as long as Fitzpatrick is starting, and he had a number of deep balls thrown his way. He only needs to catch a couple passes each week to find value if he keeps seeing long targets.

Despite Parker having a decent day, the bright spot in Miami had to be Preston Williams’ debut. On a first and goal late in the first half, Williams broke free from his defender and managed to keep himself inbounds while catching a touchdown at the back of the endzone. He looks like he could be special, and he is definitely the silver lining to this stormy Miami day. Albert Wilson was being targeted early before injuring his calf. He did not return to the game.

  

 — Mike Miklius

 

 

Michael Miklius

Mike is a lifelong Bears fan and unapologetic Mitch Trubisky homer. Twitter: @SIRL0INofBEEF

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