Stock Report: Lamar’s 1st Playoff Green Shawn Hubbard/Baltimore Ravens

Street Talk Stock Report: Lamar’s 1st Playoff Green

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Stock Up

Lamar Jackson

It’s simple: you get your first playoff win, you’re atop the Stock Up. With this win, Jackson squashed all the narratives he had going against him.

Can’t win a playoff game? Check.

Can’t come from behind? Check.

Can’t win big games? Check.

Can’t beat the Titans? Check.

Can’t throw outside the numbers? Check.

It wasn’t pretty by any stretch. The signature “counter bash” play never got going and his deep ball to Miles Boykin that was picked off was one of the worst and ugliest throws I’ve ever seen anyone make. Like an MVP would, he held himself together and overcame that interception with his best throw of the game on the very next drive to jump start the comeback.

Tennessee was giving Jackson and the offense the outside of the field all game long, and they finally adjusted and made some changes coming out of halftime. Who would have thought those changes meant throwing to the 300-pound fullback?

Jackson and the offense showed an ability to adjust on the fly, leave behind what wasn’t working and stick with what the defense gave them. At the end of the day, Lamar played Lamar football. He made big plays with his legs and was efficient through the air, and it got him his first playoff win at just 24-years old.

Defensive Front

Defensive front is short for, “I want to highlight all of Brandon Williams, Calais Campbell, Derek Wolfe, Justin Madubuike, Pernell McPhee, Matt Judon, Jihad Ward, Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison.”

Every one of these guys did their jobs on Sunday and executed to perfection. As a result, Derrick Henry had one of his worst games since he broke out about two years ago. The 2,000-yard rusher had just 40 yards on 18 carries with only three of those rushes going for five or more yards and none going for longer than eight. It was his first game with zero runs going for 10 or more yards since Week 6, 2019.

Williams, Campbell, Wolfe and Madubuike all played their roles up front well. This was the position that the team invested in over the offseason and it paid off in a big way. The Monstars, as Don Martindale likes to call them, all did a good job of not getting pushed around, filling holes and getting into the backfield to bring down Henry for minimal gains and sometimes losses on runs up the middle. Madubuike contributed in big ways too, and I’ll go more in depth about him here because he’s quickly becoming one of my favorite young Ravens.

Here, Madubuike sheds basically a double team (the left tackle engages with him while the left guard chips then goes to level two) to bring down Henry for a gain of one.

On the next play, the rookie batted down a Ryan Tannehill pass at the line of scrimmage. A third down throw to Corey Davis was incomplete, and Tennessee settled for a field goal. A nice sequence from Madubuike.

The next play that stood out is something that he’s done a few times now this season. He gets behind the right guard, avoids a cut attempt from the right tackle, and gets across the play in a hurry to bring down the ball carrier for a loss.

I’m absolutely loving what Madubuike has become these last couple of months. He provides Martindale the only thing he doesn’t have on the line: youth.

On the outside, McPhee did a great job of setting the edge and forcing Henry back inside to the big guys when he wasn’t bringing him down himself, which he did on three of Henry’s first four carries. He also had some excellent block sheds to get in the backfield and make a play.

Judon and Ward were also key in stopping the Titans rushing attack. Judon brought down Henry for a loss of three yards on a good shed and a big hit and sealed the edge well throughout the game. Ward made one of the biggest stops of the afternoon, stuffing Henry on a 3rd and 1 run with just minutes to go in the fourth. Harrison had some solid contributions as well. The rookie played his most snaps in a game since Week 10 and had some big time hits on Henry.

Against the pass, Wolfe was the only one to bring down Tannehill, but Campbell, Queen and Judon added a QB hit each. Yannick Ngakoue never got home, but got awfully close a few times. Ward had a nice play where he batted down a Tannehill pass, the ball landed right back in the QB’s hands, and Ward proceeded to take him down for a loss of ten.

Queen had a nice back-to-back play sequence in the red zone, tackling A.J. Brown after a catch for a gain of just three and following it up with a hit on Tannehill that forced a quick dump off to Henry to avoid a sack, resulting in a loss of two yards and holding the Titans to a field goal when a touchdown would have tied it at 17.

Marquise Brown

Brown has earned his nickname back. This is two years in a row now that Hollywood has stepped up big in the playoffs when the Ravens, for the most part, got very little from other pass catchers in both games. Nine touches, 128 total yards and four catches going for 15+ yards – not a bad day at the office.

Brown made plays all over the field. It seemed like Tennessee’s game plan was to play off of the Ravens receivers, and the Ravens took advantage. Jackson went to Brown on quick out breaking routes often, especially when he was guarded by Adoree Jackson. Jackson shadowed Brown on 78% of his routes and played press coverage just once.

Even though the Jackson-to-Brown deep connection hasn’t been there for much of the season, the two found each other for a 29-yard gain down the right sideline. It was a perfect throw from the QB and an even better over the shoulder catch from the WR. I also liked the two backwards passes to Brown as each went for solid gains, although the one near the Ravens’ end zone scared me.

Marcus Peters

Peters made hands down the biggest play of the game. His interception late in the fourth virtually sealed the Ravens first playoff victory in six years (Jackson’s long run helped too).

He had a tremendous game outside of the pick. As the nearest defender, he was targeted six times and allowed just three catches and 29 yards and played a season high 56% press coverage (via NextGen Stats).

He struggled to keep up with Titans’ receiver Corey Davis in the Week 11 matchup. Davis finished that game with 5 catches for 113 yards. This time around, Davis was targeted twice and finished with zero catches.

Stock Down

Offensive line

The Ravens offensive line surprised us all, but not in a good way. Facing a defense with just 19 sacks on the season, the fourth lowest in the league, they gave up five of them to go along with six tackles for loss. The run blocking was also worse than what it had been in recent weeks.

The main culprits were Orlando Brown Jr. and Tyre Phillips. Brown struggled when he matched up with Tennessee’s Harold Landry one-on-one, who finished with two sacks. Phillips had a tough time over on the right side, in particular from Brooks Reed, who bull rushed his way to a sack on a third down that stalled a drive in the red-zone.

This group was on fire to close out the regular season, so it was a little concerning to see their play take a step back when it mattered most. Here’s to hoping it was a one-time thing and doesn’t begin a downward trend. The Buffalo Bills defense finished with 38 sacks on the year, good for 15th in the NFL just behind the 14th place Ravens’ 39.

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Taylor Lyons

About Taylor Lyons

Taylor is a lifelong Baltimore Ravens fan born and raised in Maryland. He is currently a freshman at LSU, where he is studying mass communications and sports journalism. More from Taylor Lyons
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