5. Justin Tucker is setting a new standard for kickers. For the second consecutive week, the 2016 All-Pro made a field goal of 55 or more yards look like a chip shot. Since Tucker entered the league in 2012, the Ravens are the only NFL team to score more often via field goals than touchdowns. Of course, that statistic tells us as much about the struggles of Flacco’s post-Super Bowl XLVII offenses as Tucker’s booming right leg.
6. The injury-depleted Ravens can see the Week 10 bye on the horizon. They’ll have the luxury of a few extra days of rest before traveling to Nashville for next week’s clash with the Titans. Whether that game features Flacco and veteran wideout Mike Wallace — recovering from a Week 7 concussion of his own — remains to be seen. It’s quite possible Baltimore will come out of the bye with a healthy Flacco, Wallace, Woodhead, Jeremy Maclin and Breshad Perriman for the first time since the season opener.
They built on it even more gradually than that.
When the Bears shocked the Steelers in Week 3, giving up just 282 yards, the blame was dumped on Pittsburgh’s game plan and on ignoring Le’Veon Bell. When the Bears survived the Ravens last week in overtime, Joe Flacco and the sputtering offense was singled out; both of the Ravens’ touchdowns were kick returns.
Graziano: Absolutely. This is a team that dealt Chandler Jones before the 2016 season, traded Jamie Collins in-season last year and made multiple trades this offseason. Bill Belichick is keenly aware of who’s available and what the prices are. I’d be kind of surprised to not see the Patriots make a trade at this point. Malcolm Butler is a potential trade chip they can offer a cornerback-needy team if that’s what it takes.
MINI BEASTS: Raiders will be without running back Marshawn Lynch. He’s serving a one-game suspension for running off the sideline during a scuffle and shoving an official. That leaves Oakland relying on a pair of smaller backs: Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington.