Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) scrambles away from Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Willie Gay Jr. (50) during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) scrambles as he is pursued by Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Tyrann Mathieu, left, defensive end Michael Danna and inside linebacker Anthony Hitchens during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins celebrates after a 2-yard rushing touchdown by running back Antonio Gibson during the second half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)
Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) scrambles during the second half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) Other than playing home games in Maryland, there are few similarities between the Washington Football Team and the Baltimore Ravens.
Washington is rebuilding after finishing last in the NFC last season. Baltimore was the top seed in the AFC before losing its playoff opener.
But when these regional rivals meet Sunday, each will be looking for a bounce-back performance after a loss that included a disappointing quarterback performance.
Lamar Jackson was outplayed by the Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes in a Monday night showdown, resulting in Baltimore's first regular-season defeat in a calendar year. Jackson managed 97 passing yards on 28 attempts, a career low of 3.5 yards per attempt.
Dwayne Haskins, meanwhile, threw three interceptions and lost a fumble as Washington lost at Cleveland, falling to 1-2.
The solution might be easier to come by for Baltimore and Jackson, last year's MVP. So far in the Jackson era, the team is 0-6 when trailing in any game by 10 points or more, a deficit that developed quickly against Kansas City.
''We just can't get in those situations - being behind,'' Jackson said. ''We've just got to try to score each and every drive like we should be. And if we're down, just try to execute the plays and try to move forward and put some points on the board and make the comeback.''
Running back Mark Ingram defended Jackson, saying that it's ''not on one person'' but the entire offense to forge a comeback.
''We have to execute our assignments better,'' Ingram said. ''We have to get open. We have to catch passes. We have to protect the quarterback. We have to protect the football. We have to possess the football.''
Haskins, Washington's up-and-down second-year starter, has done what his MVP counterpart has not. He helped rally Washington from a 17-0 deficit in Week 1 to beat the Philadelphia Eagles. Since then, the offense been inconsistent in losses to Arizona and Cleveland.
Offensive coordinator Scott Turner is looking for Haskins to avoid forcing the ball into coverage. Haskins said he must play better across the board.
''Definitely there wasn't anything that I said, `Man, I need to do this.' I just want to be better at everything,'' Haskins said. ''I'm still young. I can't just sit here and act like I arrived, or I made it. I mean, I made it, but there's a long way to go.''
RIVERA CONTINUES CANCER TREATMENT
Washington coach Ron Rivera was diagnosed with a form of skin cancer over the summer and has been receiving treatment for it. On Wednesday, Rivera missed practice to receive a scheduled treatment. On Thursday, he left practice early because he was not feeling well.
When Rivera is absent, defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio steps in. The former Jaguars and Raiders coach had a similar role as defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos in 2013, when then-coach John Fox had heart surgery and missed a month of the season.
Del Rio said he believes Rivera will coach Sunday's game.
''It's a battle. I mean, he's battling right now,'' Del Rio said. ''He's tough as can be and doing what he can. As coaches and players, we just have to do everything we can to carry on the message and the things we know he's about and make sure we're doing a good job with it.''
The Ravens have been careful about following protocols to protect themselves from exposure to the coronavirus so as to avoid an outbreak similar to the one that forced the Tennessee Titans to shut down camp.
Expect coach John Harbaugh to have his mask on Sunday, as usual.
''We're in our meetings with our masks on, trying to talk through our mask in meetings,'' Harbaugh said. ''We have been - for all three games - really good on the sideline. I don't think there's anybody better than us - me or our staff - from the beginning of the game to the end of the game.''
He had a momentary lapse Monday night while arguing a call but makes no apology.
''To think in a 3-hour, heated, competitive environment - especially when you're yelling - that your mask isn't going to fall down or whatever for 5 or 10 seconds, that would be a little hard for anybody to be held to that standard,'' Harbaugh said.
RESPECT FOR ANDREWS
Ravens tight end Mark Andrews led the Ravens in receptions, yards receiving and touchdown catches last season.
He picked up where he left off in the opener with five catches and two scores against Cleveland but was limited to a combined four receptions for 51 yards and no TDs over the past two weeks.
''They're just doubling him - trying to knock us off our pivot,'' Jackson said.
Harbaugh figures that if Andrews is covered with two defenders, someone else should be open.
''If people are going to give Mark more attention now, we're going to have to find other ways to make them pay for that,'' he said.
Ravens rookie Devin Duvernay put on a dazzling display of speed Monday night with a 93-yard kickoff return, a play that Harbaugh predicted before it happened.
''He and I had a conversation before the game,'' Harbaugh revealed. ''I said, `You're going to have a huge play in this game.' I said: `You're going to score. It's going to be a big, massive play. I've already seen it. I know it's going to happen.'''
Duvernay, a third-round pick out of Texas, could soon be a force as a receiver.
''I do see myself and him hitting on a couple passes this season,'' Jackson said. ''I tried to keep him a hidden secret, but that kick return was amazing. You guys saw that motor that he had.''
Don't overlook the bragging rights factor when Washington and Baltimore meet. Like the Jets and Giants, they play every preseason but only appear on one another's regular-season schedules every four years.
Haskins, who attended high school in Maryland, said he understood the local importance of, ''Which team are you rooting for on the Beltway?'' Technically, there are two Beltways, but the question remains.
''I've got family and friends that live in Baltimore and a couple of teammates from Ohio State that are over on (the Ravens), too,'' Haskins said. ''So, I'm looking forward to competing against them and having some fun out there and making these guys better.''
Five Sleepers: Week 7
Detroit Lions LB Jarrad Davis received reps with the first-team defense during practice Friday, Oct. 23, and could be in line to see increased playing time after being successful in a limited role.
Las Vegas Raiders S Jeff Heath appears to be the leading candidate to start at strong safety in place of SS Johnathan Abram for Week 7's contest against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After being on the field for an average of just 10 percent of the team's defensive snaps through the first four games, Heath began to see more playing time in Week 6's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, when he was on the field for 42 percent of the Raiders' defensive plays.
New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley (knee) is scheduled to undergo reconstructive surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament next week and doctors are optimistic that he will be ready for training camp. Barkley needed to wait for his medial collateral ligament injury to heal before he was eligible to undergo ACL surgery.
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch has both made and received calls about WR Dante Pettis recently, although no deal appears imminent, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan.
The Las Vegas Raiders defense has been statistically one of the worst defenses in the league this season. They are averaging under two fantasy points per game and face an ascending Buccaneers offense this week. Tom Brady is currently fourth in the league in passing touchdowns, and this Tampa Bay offense is ascending after hanging 31 offensive points on Green Bay in Week 6. The Raiders rank 27th in scoring defense and 24th in yards allowed. There is nothing to suggest they will have a good performance this week and should be kept on the bench or dropped entirely.
Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller has a tough test against the Buccaneers this week, but he should be able to produce a solid fantasy performance. Waller has been great at home this season, with 21 catches, 193 yards, and a touchdown in two games. The Buccaneers have one of the league's best defenses, but the Patriots are the only team to hold Waller under five catches so far this season. He currently ranks third in fantasy points per game among tight ends, and he leads the Raiders in targets. The Buccaneers rank sixth in the league against tight ends, but fantasy owners should feel comfortable starting him based on his performances so far this season.
Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III will have a tough matchup against a good Buccaneers secondary in Week 7. Ruggs had a breakout performance in his last game against the Chiefs, but his value rests with the deep ball at this time. That is not great news considering the Buccaneers are one of the best defenses against the deep ball, ranking third in the league in allowing receptions of over 20 yards. He was able to get loose in the Chiefs secondary with a 72-yard reception in the first half but caught just one other pass the rest of the game. Ruggs' big-play potential makes him a fringe flex option in deeper leagues, but don't expect a lot of targets for the rookie this week.
Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs will face one of the league's best run defenses this week in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers are allowing just three yards per carry and rank second in the league in total rushing yards allowed. Jacobs is having a productive year and is certainly a must-start option, but he is averaging just 3.6 yards per carry on the season. Jacobs has just one game this season where he has rushed for over four yards per carry. With that being said, he is still seventh in points per game among running backs. It will not be an easy day for Jacobs, but fantasy owners should feel encouraged that he can put up a solid fantasy performance despite a difficult matchup.
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr will have one of his most difficult tests of the year against a great Buccaneers Defense. The Buccaneers defense has allowed just seven passing touchdowns and have grabbed eight interceptions in their six games this season. Opposing quarterbacks have a passer rating of 82 against this Todd Bowles defense. They confused Aaron Rodgers and made him uncomfortable, so this will not be an easy day for Carr. With that being said, Carr has thrown for almost 600 passing yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions in two home games this season. The Raiders are coming off a bye, and Carr is having a career year. However, he is likely a bench option this week due to the matchup.
Kansas City Chiefs RB Le'Veon Bell is expected to see some snaps against the Denver Broncos in Week 7.
Fantasy Spin: It is no surprise that the Chiefs plan to ease Bell into action. There is no denying his upside, but he needs to be left on the bench until his role and workload become clear.
New Orleans Saints WR Bennie Fowler (shoulder) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Friday, Oct. 23.
The Philadelphia Eagles waived DE Daeshon Hall from the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list Friday, Oct. 23.
The Denver Broncos released DT Sylvester Williams Friday, Oct. 23.
The New Orleans Saints Defense faces a middle-of-the-pack matchup against the Carolina Panthers in Week 7. It's a date with former Saint Teddy Bridgewater, who started five games for the team in 2019. New Orleans' defense is finally starting to get healthy after a rash of injuries, as they will get Janoris Jenkins (shoulder) back and essentially be at full strength. This unit may start to put together some good performances, starting with this week. They can be used as a starting option.
New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz faces a favorable matchup in Week 7 against the Carolina Panthers. Lutz is perfect on the season, having made all nine field-goals and all 18 extra-points. Carolina ranks 22nd in fantasy points allowed to kickers, making this a juicy matchup for Lutz. Expect strong fantasy numbers from the 26-year-old.
New Orleans Saints tight end Jared Cook could see more opportunities in Week 7 against the Panthers. Cook had one of his better games against the Chargers, catching two passes for 52 yards and a score. New Orleans is down two of it's best pass-catchers- Michael Thomas (ankle, hamstring) and Emmanuel Sanders (COVID-19)- heading into the contest against the Panthers. The veteran tight end should see more targets, making him a good start as a TE1 in Week 7.
Seattle Seahawks RB Carlos Hyde (shoulder, toe) fully participated in practice Friday, Oct. 23, and is not on the injury report for Week 7.
Fantasy Spin: Hyde will serve as the backup for Chris Carson but should see a handful of touches during the game. Fantasy players should be able to find better options and can keep Hyde on the bench.
San Francisco 49ers RB Raheem Mostert (ankle) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 23, and has been ruled out for Week 7.
Fantasy Spin: Mostert is expected to miss multiple weeks because of the injury, so fantasy players should look for other options to use. Jerick McKinnon and JaMycal Hasty likely will share playing time while Mostert is sidelined. McKinnon probably has more fantasy value and can be a flex option in leagues. Hasty should be rostered in leagues and has a chance to be a flex option depending on the opponent.
Los Angeles Chargers WR Keenan Allen (back) fully participated in practice Friday, Oct. 23, and is not on the injury report for Week 7.
Fantasy Spin: Allen has been targeted at least eight times in four of the five games this season and seems to have a good connection with Justin Herbert. Allen can be considered a No. 1 or No. 2 receiver in fantasy leagues.
Arizona Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) was limited during practice Friday, Oct. 23, and is listed as questionable for Week 7.
Fantasy Spin: Hopkins likely will be able to play despite the injury, but fantasy players will need to check the inactive list for his status. He is a must-start option in all leagues if he is active for the game.