Ravens Beat Bucs 20-12

Knee-Jerk Reactions Ravens Beat Bucs 20-12

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The Ravens beat the Tampa Bay Bucs 20-12 in Week 15. RSR staff react to the win here…

Todd Karpovich

— The Ravens finished with more than 200 yards rushing, for the fourth time in five weeks, which set the tone. There are questions whether that type of offense is sustainable. So far, the Ravens have answered that question.

— Armchair quarterbacks will question the performance of Lamar Jackson. The bottom line is he is 4-1 as a starter and has the Ravens in the driver’s seat for the playoffs.

— Tampa Bay entered the game leading the NFL with 331.4 yards passing per game. However, the Ravens contained Jameis Winston, who was 13 of 25 for 157 yards with an interception – a 54.9 passer rating. The Ravens secondary did allow another big play downfield, but overall, it was a solid performance.

— The Ravens face another critical game Saturday against the Chargers. It will be one of their toughest matchups, but the Ravens have mostly responded in those situations over the second half of the season.

Derek Arnold

Another ugly win. Lamar Jackson redeemed himself later, but that first quarter was certainly one to forget for the rookie. His passes were off by yards, not inches, and he was lucky that several weren’t intercepted. He completely whiffed on a snap, resulting in a fumble that ended up in the Bucs’ hands.

After that though, he showed great instincts on several runs, and got his passes under control. As always with the Ravens, he was betrayed by his receivers, who had a few easy drops (looking at you, John Brown).

Marlon Humphrey led a stout defensive effort, though one that was not without its hiccups. They gave up 78 yards (including penalties) on a 3rd-and-20 from deep in Bucs territory, and far too many yards on the ground for my liking.

All in all, they took care of business on a less-than-ideal day. Let’s hope the Patriots can take care of the Steelers now.

John Darcey

It wasn’t perfect, but given the elements in which the game was played, I thought this was Lamar’s best game of the year. The fumble, I can’t really say it was his fault but more so that of the conditions. He made some really nice throws from the pocket and moved the ball well. He was effective on the ground going for 95 yards. and more importantly didn’t turn the ball over (other than the aforementioned fumble). This was a big positive considering how bad the first three drives were.

Also Raven fans, pay attention. We are watching the development of the next great shut down corner in the NFL with Marlon Humphrey. He is everything you want from a corner nowadays: he can cover, play the run, and make some vicious hits. While he still has three years left on his rookie deal, the Ravens will need set a side a large chunk of money for him. Aside from Humphrey, the defense continues to be less then impressive. Peyton Barber had 85 yards, a touchdown and averaged 4.5 per carry.  No excuse for that against a team that has not been able to establish a run game all year.

The secondary – again, aside from Humphrey – needs to be priority number one for the Ravens this offseason. Jimmy Smith is just a liability and never became the shut down corner he was supposed to be. Eric Weddle got ran over by Barber on the opening drive and continues to show his age. Tony Jefferson did nothing really to speak of, but I’d rather see Chuck Clark get the snaps and continue to develop.  Excited for the game next Saturday night against the Chargers. They should be without Keenan Allen which helps the Ravens, but Melvin Gordon should return. Given what Barber did today, that is very worrisome. On to L.A.!  Oh and by the way, GO PATS!

Carey Stevenson

Wasn’t always pretty but the Ravens pull it out their way. The defense held a really good pass offense in check and the run game eventually pounded away at the TB front. The lack of explosive pass plays to accentuate Lamar’s gravity as a player is still concerning but the most important thing here is the win.

Nick Capecci

A rather bland game on both sides of the ball. Baltimore showed us signs that they can probably make noise in the playoffs if they make it that far, and that this defense is extremely well coached for the most part, but they will still get beat by elite talent.  Ravens fans learned a couple things the past few weeks without fans really noticing. John Harbaugh can still coach. I don’t want to say that he isn’t an issue for this team, but he still has a place in the NFL and will quickly find a job if he were to leave Baltimore. He has done a solid job with the change in philosophy of this team and has learned to deal with a mediocre offensive coaching staff, as well as the growing pains of Lamar Jackson.

Don Martindale should (probably) be the only coach from the current regime that stays next year. He has made coached a defense that overall is average in terms of talent with only a few blue chip players (Michael Pierce, Marlon Humphrey), and has made this unit the second best in football.  We now move onto the most talented team in the AFC in the Chargers, it what could be the season-defining game. The Chargers are playing to win the AFC west, and for a first round bye.

Does Baltimore have enough magic to win? it will ultimately come down to Lamar’s ability to deal with this really talented, but underperforming defense. It’s been a week-to-week challenge for Baltimore, but a 4-1 start for the Lamar Jackson era has to mean something.

Brandon Portney

I expected that the Ravens would do what they’ve been doing and run the ball down the Bucs’ throat. And I expected it because EVERYONE expected it. And that’s what they did. The Ravens ran the ball for over 200 yards for the fourth time in the past five games. They played good defense. This is who they are now. This is their formula.

This brand of football demands that you do three things well: run the ball, protect the football, and play good defense. Lamar Jackson made some very concerning throws early on, and was lucky none of them were intercepted. He had ANOTHER costly fumble, and that has to stop. Like now. Jackson did recover and play well down the stretch, and made some amazing plays with his legs. He finished with 95 rushing yards, Gus Edwards led the team with 104 yards on 19 carries (5.5 ypc) and a TD, and Kenneth Dixon played his complementary role well once again (11 carries for 48 yards; 4.4 ypc).

A BIG shoutout to Marlon Humphrey, who showed that he’s not only the best corner on this defense, but also the best player on this defense and a top corner in the NFL. Unfortunately, the Colts and Titans (who are neck and neck with Baltimore for the final wild card spot) both won. Neither team has a tough game left on their schedule and may very well win out, meaning the Ravens will need to win out to get that wild card spot. The more likely path for the Ravens right now is to win the AFC North.

If Pittsburgh loses today, the Ravens will take the division lead. With the Steelers facing the Saints next week, it’s very possible that the Ravens can win the division by going 1-1 the rest of the way.

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