Business As Usual Phil Hoffmann/Baltimore Ravens

Street Talk Business As Usual

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There wasn’t much buzz following Lamar Jackson’s record-setting day against the Cincinnati Bengals.

He became the first player in the Super Bowl era to amass more than 200 yards passing and at least 150 yards rushing in a regular season game.

“I did pretty good. I did what it took to get the victory. Pretty cool with it.” 

That’s all that Jackson had to say about it.

Jackson completed 21 of 33 pass attempts for 236 yards in the 27-17 victory over the Bengals. He also had 19 carries for 152 yards rushing with a touchdown.

That’s 388 yards of offense from one player if you’re scoring at home.

Jackson and the rest of the team took more pride in taking down an AFC opponent for a second straight week. The Ravens also had a 26-23 overtime victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 5. 

“I mean, every game is important to us. We try to win them all,” cornerback Brandon Carr said. “We just try to build on each and every week. We won last week, got to 1-0 in the second quarter of the season. Today, it was our job to get to 2-0. Division game, you can throw out the records because it doesn’t matter. It’s a rivalry. Guys are going to get up for this game and play as hard as they can, and it came down to the wire.” 

The Ravens improved to 4-2 and further distanced themselves atop the division after the Browns (2-4) lost to the visiting Seattle Seahawks.

It’s all about stacking wins, which is vitally important to the Ravens at this point of the season. 

The Ravens’ schedule gets much tougher over the next six weeks with games against five playoff-caliber teams — Patriots (Nov. 3), Texans (Nov. 17), Rams (Nov. 25), 49ers (Dec. 1) and Bills (Dec. 8). 

Jackson understands what’s ahead and he has never been interested in individual accolades. His focus is improving week-to-week.

“I’m trying to win at the end of the day,” he said. “If I’ve got to run, I’ve got to do it, and today that’s what it was. Sometimes I had to pass. Sometimes I had to run. Came up with a ‘W.’” 

Jackson spent the offseason honing his passing skills. The expectation was that he would focus more on beating teams through the air rather than running the ball. However, Jackson sees an opportunity to gain yards on the ground, he takes full advantage of the space. 

He has also done a better job running out of bounds, getting to the ground and simply avoiding hard hits. Ravens coach John Harbaugh has been proud of his performance and attitude this season. 

“Lamar to his credit, he’s about winning the game.” Harbaugh said. “And really, the point is, that’s what it took to win the game. We needed him to run the ball like that to win the game. That was a necessity in the game, the way they played us. And he did it, and we won the game. 

“So, that’s where he’s coming from on it. Setting records and things like that, it’s not really what you think about now, but some day it’ll mean something to him. I’m proud of him.”

The Ravens will take a day to enjoy the victory before focusing on the Seattle Seahawks, who opened as 3.5-point favorites at home. 

The secondary played better against a struggling Bengals team. Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton was 21 of 39 for 235 yards with a rushing touchdown.

Russell Wilson and Seattle pose a much bigger challenge. Wilson threw for 295 yards with two touchdowns against the Browns. The Seahawks top receivers, Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, present matchup issues with the Ravens defensive backs. 

Seattle also has a solid ground attack behind Chris Carson, who ran for 124 yards with a touchdown against Cleveland.

The game is a homecoming for Ravens safety Earl Thomas, who spent nine seasons in Seattle. Following the win against the Bengals, Thomas was not ready to think that far ahead.

“You definitely enjoy this. In this league, it is definitely hard to win,” Thomas said. “When we get back to work on Wednesday, that is when we will start thinking about Seattle.” 

Buy Todd’s new book, No Limits, on Mark Amatucci’s storied coaching career at Calvert Hall and Loyola College, at Amazon.

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Todd Karpovich

About Todd Karpovich

Todd Karpovich has been a contributor for ESPN, the Associated Press, SportsXchange, the Baltimore Sun, among other media outlets nationwide. He is the co-author of “If These Walls Could Talk: Stories from the Baltimore Ravens Sideline, Locker Room, and Press Box,” “Skipper Supreme: Buck Showalter and the Baltimore Orioles,” and the author of “Manchester United (Europe's Best Soccer Clubs).” Karpovich lives in Towson with his wife, Jill, daughters, Wyeth and Marta, and a pair of dogs, Sarah and Rory. More from Todd Karpovich
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