Bright spots were few and far between for the Ravens yesterday. For the last month, really. We've been eating shit sandwich after shit sandwich in Baltimore, but Mark Andrews hasn't been one of them. Guy has absolutely balled.
When he signed his big contract extension earlier this season that made him a top 3 paid TE, it fueled conversation whether the guy really belonged with the Kelces and Kittles of the world. To that point, Andrews had certainly had his moments, but I think there was a general consensus that he was a tier below those guys. All Marky Mark has gone out and done since is proven that he's been worth every dime of that contract and very much belongs at the top with the very best.
The stats above tell the story. The guy is leading tight ends in virtually every meaningful stat. Kelce and Kittle have each missed time so I'm not dismissing their abilities, but Mark Andrews has been the guy in 2021. Taking that a step further is the way in which Andrews has elevated his game the past few weeks when his team has needed him most. The rapport he has with Lamar is well documented, but his numbers with Tyler Huntley the previous two weeks and then yesterday against Cincinnati with Josh Johnson have been insane:
11 catches for 115 and a TD at Cleveland
10 catches for 136 and 2 TD's against Green Bay
8 catches for 125 and a TD at Cincinnati
It just goes to show to you that he's as dependable as they come. When these QB's are thrown into the fire and forced to try to make something happen behind a shaky offensive line, their saving grace is Mark Andrews. When trouble comes their way, they find #89 and have been able to make magic. That's the true mark of a great tight end. And it's not as if the guy's one-dimensional either. With Nick Boyle having been out nearly the entire season and Pat Ricard missing at times, he's had to take on more in the blocking game and has done his fair share of throwing guys out the club. The guy really can do it all.
The last step Baltimore fans want to see him take is make the big play when it matters. He's come up with clutch plays more than I think we realize (the Colts comeback with 2 TD's and 2 two-point conversions come to mind) but it's also easy to think about what could have been if he had reeled in the 2-pointer against Pittsburgh. I think that's a fair criticism and while I know we're all confident he's capable, here's to hoping he can create a trademark moment over the next couple weeks to get the Ravens into the postseason.
Either way, the man deserves his roses and I'm here to give them to him. Bravo, Mark Andrews. Bravo.