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Banks Blueprint Week 12: Ravens Take on The Browns on Monday Night Football

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Ohhh ho ho, it’s the Ravens versus the Browns, and it is the clash of the titans. In one corner, you have the Ravens, and they stink. And then, in the other corner, you have the Browns, and THEY stink. So that’s about it!

 

I take no more joy in watching this dud of a football game than the rest of America. It’s gonna be ugly. It’s gonna be terrible. It’s going to be boring.

But you can bet on this. It’s gonna be close, and some weird shit is gonna go down. That’s a promise. That’s just how it goes when the Ravens and Browns meet. I mean shit, the Browns squeaked out a win earlier this year after a tight end caught a touchdown with his legs. Not to mention this has that extra MNF weird sauce mixed in. It’ll come down to one possession. Loser gets a big leg-up (down?) on the 2016 draft board. So at least there’s that.

 

But there’s plenty else to keep an eye on in this game when it comes to the future of Ravens football. It’s been well established that we’re playing for 2016, so here’s what I’m watching tonight:

 

Matt Schaub…. Backup in 2016?

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This hasn’t been discussed much in Baltimore much, but this is very much an audition for Schaub to prove he’s even worthy of the backup job in the future. Last time we saw him as a full-time starter, he was throwing pick-6’s galore in Houston. If that Matt Schaub comes out slinging picks again, that’s great because we’re in for a nice crash-and-burn into the top 5 of the draft. But it also means Ozzie’s gotta take a look at drafting a competent backup in the middle rounds or find another vet QB via free agency. Backup QB has been such an afterthought for years in Baltimore, but it does hold importance and THAT Matt Schaub can’t be our backup moving forward. We’ll get a better idea what he’s got left tonight.

 

Buck Allen (and Terrance West) Audition

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Moving right on down the row, Buck Allen gets his shot to prove his worth as a starter. He came into camp in a jostle with Lorenzo Taliaferro for the backup role behind Forsett, and now he’s the last man standing. Given that Forsett is on the wrong side of 30 moving forward, there’s a healthy workload of carries to be had in 2016 if Buck can show he’s up to the task. I wouldn’t count Terrance West out either. He was coveted by Ozzie and was taken a round before Taliaferro just 18 months ago, and I expect he’ll get some work to show his worth as well. Training camp in 2016 could be real intriguing with those 4 names fighting for their spots on the depth chart.

 

Brent Urban’s Debut

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I’m not sure how much we’ll see Brent (or if he’ll even be active?), but Urban was another guy from that 2014 draft who has a ton of potential. He’s a 6’7 DE who lead the NCAA in batted passes in 2013 despite only playing 9 games. He was regarded as a raw boom-or-bust pick coming out of the draft, but a pair of injuries has kept him off the field since. This is potentially our first opportunity to see what the kid’s made of. I don’t expect to see a lot of snaps from him, but I’m excited about the opportunity to see his workload increase over the course of the remaining games.

 

A Charlie Brown Christmas

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Let’s not kid ourselves. A Charlie Brown Christmas is going to be on ABC for most of the first quarter. It’s appointment television every year. You think I’m missing Schroeder sass that whiny bitch Lucy in favor of this hot mess of a JV football team? Fuck outta here. No amount of love is saving the shitty little tree that is the 2015 Ravens. They’ll still be there when Charlie Brown’s over.

 

 

That’s all I got. Just remember, loser gets the fast track to a top 5 pick. It’ll all be worth it this time next year. Stay strong Baltimore.

 

 

P.S. Gonna be real honest, I think the Browns may have already won today