The Baltimore Ravens were riding high, heading into a Week 7 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. Their AFC North rivals knocked them down a notch with a shocking 41-17 blowout victory at M&T Bank Stadium. An embarrassing loss should prompt Baltimore’s front office to make a crucial deal before the NFL trade deadline. Of all the players on the market, Kyle Fuller stands out due to his ties to Baltimore.
The Bengals torched the Ravens secondary
The Cincinnati Bengals entered Week 7 with a 4-2 record. It was tough to gauge whether or not the upstart Bengals were for real based on their schedule.
After a week of trash talk, Cincinnati walked the walk. Quarterback Joe Burrow led the way, torching the Ravens’ defense for 416 yards and three touchdowns.
Rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase had himself a day, further establishing his explosive connection with Burrow. Chase caught eight passes for 201 yards and a touchdown. No one on Baltimore’s side of the ball could do anything to slow the LSU product down, not even All-Pro cornerback Marlon Humphrey.
Tight end C.J. Uzomah was an unlikely threat, hauling in two big-play touchdown receptions. The Ravens had serious issues in coverage from both the secondary and the linebackers. The defense’s tackling woes once again resurfaced as well.
The Bengals appeared to be the much hungrier football team, especially in the second half. Baltimore’s bye week couldn’t come at a better time.
The Broncos are shopping Baltimore native Kyle Fuller
It appears the Denver Broncos are officially shopping cornerback Kyle Fuller. The front office signed Fuller to a one-year $9.5 million deal in the offseason. The expectation was that the former Bears standout would help bolster Vic Fangio’s defense.
Fuller struggled early in the 2021 season, and the Broncos benched him after Ronald Darby returned from injured reserve. Rookie cornerback Patrick Surtain II has exceeded expectations and locked down the other starting spot.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Fuller is the odd man out in Denver. That’s shocking news considering the former Virginia Tech standout was a two-time Pro Bowl selection with the Chicago Bears.
Fuller has started five games with the Broncos, recording 17 tackles and two pass breakups. He’s only 29 years old, so he should still have plenty of football ahead of him. Denver doesn’t seem like it was the right fit for him.
The Broncos may do Fuller a favor by moving him before the NFL trade deadline, too. After beginning the 2021 season 3-0, the team has dropped four straight games. A trade would likely send Kyle Fuller to a contender.
The Ravens’ defense desperately needs to improve to make a playoff run
The loss to the Bengals was not the first time the Baltimore Ravens’ pass defense got exposed. While Baltimore usually boasts a strong defense, the unit has been prone to giving up big plays.
The Las Vegas Raiders stunned the Ravens in Week 1 due to their ability to take advantage of defensive miscues. Lamar Jackson helped the team escape a Monday Night Football thriller against the Indianapolis Colts.
The Ravens have Super Bowl aspirations, and things looked good until they didn’t. There’s no need to overreact over one game. The loss says more about Cincinnati than it does Baltimore, but Eric DeCosta and the front office should find a way to acquire Kyle Fuller before the NFL trade deadline.
Wink Martindale is sorely missing Marcus Peters, who suffered a season-ending knee injury before the regular season. The Ravens could replace him with another All-Pro in Fuller. He doesn’t come with a massive contract and he’ll provide much-needed depth.
Even though he hasn’t played well, Fuller is an upgrade over other corners on the depth chart, including Anthony Averett and Tavon Young. He’s more physical and a better tackler. His veteran presence would be welcomed in the secondary as well.
Kyle Fuller, a Baltimore, Maryland native, played high school football at Mount Saint Joseph High School.
A return to Charm City could be mutually beneficial for the former Pro Bowler and the Ravens.