It didn’t take long for the Ravens to start focusing on the Chiefs.
With the most anticipated matchup of the regular season upcoming, the Ravens quickly turned their attention to next Monday’s massive game at home.
Here are a few takeaways from coach John Harbaugh’s Monday press conference:
Turning The Page
The Ravens started as they wanted, or perhaps needed to, after the first two weeks of the 2020 season.
With back-to-back wins over the Browns and Texans, they’ve set themselves up for an early-season showdown with the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs on Monday Night Football. And it didn’t take long for that matchup to take center stage.
“You can’t help it,” Harbaugh said. “It’s probably the first thing that goes through your mind once you get in the locker room, you kind of start talking about the game then everybody is talking about it in the locker room. It’s that way every week, but this probably as much as any week we’re thinking about the next one.”
With both teams 2-0, and just one bye week up for grabs this season, the early test might prove to be one that has lasting impacts on the rest of the season.
Monday Night Silence
The Ravens, for just the third time under Harbaugh, will host a Monday Night Football game. There won’t be any fans at M&T Bank Stadium.
"The irony of it is pretty unbelievable in terms of how many few Monday night home games we've had in the past 13 years,” Harbaugh said. “We get one against the Chiefs, it’s kind of a big game, and fans are not going to be there. I don't even know what to say about that. 2020, man. It’s that kind of a crazy year, I guess.”
Since Harbaugh took over, the Ravens have played just two Monday Night Football games at home — Cincinnati in 2012 and Houston in 2017. They won both games. They’ve played the primetime slot on the road 11 times.
In 2018 and 2019, the Ravens traveled to Kansas City, both losses, but finally had a shot to face quarterback Patrick Mahomes at M&T Bank Stadium in front of what would’ve been a jammed stadium and a raucous crowd.
Now, they’ll get their chance to beat Mahomes and the Chiefs in Baltimore. They’ll just have to try and do it without fans.
Tavon Young Out Again
Harbaugh confirmed that cornerback Tavon Young would miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL, but a silver lining was that he tore just his ACL, preventing any further damage.
“It’s only a torn ACL, so that’s a positive,” Harbaugh said. “He’ll have surgery and go into rehab and he’ll fight his way back, there’s no question about it. Our hearts go out to him on that and we’ll be supporting him all the way.”
Without Young, the Ravens slid outside corner Marlon Humphrey to the slot and bumped Jimmy Smith to the outside once again, opposite Marcus Peters.
The Ravens now have just four cornerbacks on the roster (Humphrey, Smith, Peters, and Anthony Averett), so a move is assuredly still to come in the secondary once Young is slotted for Injured Reserve.
“Going forward, we’ll see where we go,” Harbaugh said. “Knowing we have options in the slot is really valuable. Knowing Marlon can go in there and play the way he did yesterday and last season is a big plus. We’ll just try to figure out what we’re going to do next during the course of the week, and we’ll have a plan for Monday night.”