OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens will face one of the league's top tight end for a third straight week against the Lions.
Baltimore already faced the Raiders' Darren Waller and Chiefs' Travis Kelce, now the Ravens get T.J. Hockenson in Week 3.
"He’s their best guy," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "He’s the guy they go to. Jared Goff is looking for him. They have plenty of good players over there, but he’s the straw that stirs the drink. He can make every kind of play. He runs every kind of route. They try to scheme him open every different kind of way they can, and he’s a guy we have to be very aware of.”
Hockenson leads the Lions in targets (19), receptions (16), yards (163) and touchdowns (2). He is elite at catching passes and getting open at all three levels of the passing game.
The Ravens have not had a whole lot of success against tight ends this season.
Waller caught a game-high 10 passes for 105 yards with a touchdown in the Ravens 33-27 overtime loss.
Kelce caught seven passes for 109 yards with a touchdown in Baltimore's 36-35 victory.
"The biggest thing with those tight ends is the relationship they have with the quarterback," Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale said. "Think about right here with Mark Andrews and Lamar [Jackson]; they’ve got a great relationship, [and] Mark knows where to get where Lamar will find him, and that’s what you see time and time again. It’s the same thing there in Detroit.”
Martindale shifted rookie linebacker Odafe Oweh onto coverage late in the game and the strategy worked.
Oweh, who was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Week, will have another key role this week.
"“[Odafe Oweh] has done a heck of a job. He’s a smart, humble kid," Martindale said. "He stays after and works with [outside linebackers coach] Drew [Wilkins]. In the meeting room and [with] everything else, he’s a perfectionist. He stays out afterward, and he works with Justin [Houston] and [Pernell] McPhee. You can just see that he’s just got a hunger for wanting to get better every day. And the thing is, he has enough humility that just because he won this award, he’s not going to stop doing what he does. As far as, ‘A good idea has no rank,’ we were out here Wednesday, and Justin Houston said, ‘I love the bully stuff that we’re doing gameplan-wise.’ He said, ‘We need to get 99 some work.’
"So, I would like to take credit and say that it was my idea to put him out there on Kelce and do that, but it was Justin Houston, and what great foresight to see that. You don’t go into a game thinking you’re going to get a bunch of injuries, but we got him some work on Friday out there doing it, and it was a good thing that we did, because that’s what caused the interception.”