John Harbaugh breaks down Ravens’ blown covers against Miami


Ravens HC John Harbaugh on the sidelines during a regular season game on September 18, 2022.

Before the Baltimore Ravens completely move on from their epic Week 2 meltdown in which they let the Miami Dolphins score 28 points in the final 15 minutes of the game, they must first learn from their mistakes.

Miscommunication in the secondary led to a number of big plays and at his Monday, September 19 press conference, head coach John Harbaugh shed some light and explained what was wrong with the game. pair of long touchdowns that made it a one-scored game and then tied it with less than five and a half minutes left.

The two fast-hitting scores went over 40 yards, came third and long and went to Tyreek Hill wide open on what Harbaugh said were “blown covers, basically” where the cornerback thought he had a safety aid above.

The first was a 48-yarder in which Hill took a step past former Kansas City Chiefs teammate and veteran cornerback Marcus Peters and rookie safety Kyle Hamilton came too late to help break up the underpass.

“You have to stay above that like a corner; you have to stay above that for safety,” Harbaugh said. “It’s a blanket of three depths; these guys know it.

“You have to maintain your influence on the roads. When you’re a deep player and there are guys running vertically, [if] you are a deep player, you stay deep. You are not nosy on a crossing route when you have a deep route joining you.

The game-tying second capped a three-game drive and was the more egregious of the two blown covers as there was no defender within 20 yards of Hill when the ball was kicked. Rookie cornerback Jalyn Armour-Davis didn’t turn and run with Hill on the left sideline because he expected an over the top safety that never came .

“We didn’t have anyone in the deep half,” Harbaugh said. “It was miscommunication if you want to call it that, and the deep half-player didn’t realize he was a deep half-player and needs to get back to it.

“If you’re a deep half player, you need to know that you’re a deep half player and be back there. We can’t leave the deep half uncovered. perform, someone has to be back there, and it’s the responsibility of the person and the coach, of all of us to get it done.

He didn’t directly throw a player under the bus or point blame for cover busts in any particular direction. However, he made it clear in his comments that youth and inexperience played a major role in those critical errors, but said there was a ‘good chance’ they would have their Players of the Season at cornerback specifically healthy and available in the future.

Odafe Oweh needs to ‘play better’

Heading into the season, the 2021 first-round defender was being mooted as a potential contender alongside second-year wide Rashod Bateman, who has been sensational so far. NBC Sports’ Peter King even went so far as to predict he would be up for the Defensive Player of the Year award.

However, in the first two games, Oweh is yet to register his first sack of the season and, according to Pro Football Reference, has just two pressures and two rushes despite playing 81% of the total. of the team’s defensive snaps in Week 1 and 82% in Week 2. After a strong rookie campaign in which he recorded five sacks and 15 quarterback hits in 15 games, opposing teams put in more effort and blockers to slow him down and sometimes avoid playing his side altogether, but the Ravens need more. of him anyway.

“He has to play better, like all of us,” Harbaugh said. “We need to train better, play better and you need to make a name for yourself there. You have to go do it.

While his pass rushing production has been lackluster so far, that’s not the case for 12-year-old veteran outside linebacker Justin Houston. The four-time Pro Bowler played less than 70% of the team’s total defensive snaps in the first two games but had a sack in each and could have had or just missed a few more and also recorded three hits sure of the quarterback. , eight presses, a knockdown, and five hastes.

Ravens TE Nick Boyle is ‘close to 100%’

Moving to the offensive side of the ball, the Ravens’ running game has been non-existent in the first two games of the season outside of a few key explosive runs from quarterback Lamar Jackson.

While much of the blame has been placed at the feet of the offensive line and running back’s depth chart, both of whom are without their best player in left tackle Ronnie Stanley and running back JK Dobbins, they also lack the presence of another player. it’s been equally critical to their runaway success over the years and especially since Jackson became the full-time starter.

Boyle is one of the best tight blockers when healthy and basically serves as both an extra lineman at the end of the line or another running back in the backfield. He is capable of heading, clearing and kicking blocks to get ball carriers into the second and third tiers of defense. The eighth-year veteran hasn’t been completely healthy since suffering a catastrophic knee injury in Week 10 of the 2020 season that limited him to just five games and 95 total offensive snaps in 2021.

After being inactive for the first two weeks of the season despite attending training before every game, Harbaugh said Boyle is “close to 100%” and the likelihood of him making his 2022 debut during the week 3 against the New England Patriots, the team he suffered his injury while playing, is high.

“There’s a good chance he’ll be there this week,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll just have to see. We have guys who are doing well. Josh Oliver played very well. So it just has to do with having the right formula right now. I think we are lucky to have talent there so you don’t have to rush Nick [Boyle] back, necessarily, but I wouldn’t mind putting Nick there at all right now [with] the way he practices. So we’ll see.