By Matthew Stevens
The Baltimore Ravens dropped their Week 5 game to the Cleveland Browns in overtime, and it’s no shock that it’s reflected in the power rankings.
On USA TODAY Sports’ power rankings list, the Ravens fall one spot to No. 10 overall. However, the blurb offers a take on a potentially larger problem looming over the team:
“Just us, or are these Lamar Jackson packages little more than a nuisance to Joe Flacco and unnecessary risk to future of the franchise?”
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For a Ravens team that can’t seem to run the ball effectively in spite of having the seventh-most carries in the NFL, the Jackson packages seem counterintuitive. I’ve covered how Jackson’s rushing attempts only complicate a rushing attack that needs all the help it can get, but we saw the worst version of it against the Browns.
Most of Jackson’s plays came after large plays, and the result was that they slowed things down. In Jackson’s four meaningful plays, the previous play had resulted in 51 total yards (12.75-yard average). Jackson accounted for 10 yards on the ground on three runs and an incomplete pass. The four plays following Jackson’s snaps were all passes, resulting in three completions for 26 yards (6.5-yard...