Finding A Way Shawn Hubbard/Baltimore Ravens

Street Talk Finding A Way

Posted in Street Talk
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Justin Tucker saved the day.

And he kept the Ravens’ season on the rails. 

Tucker hit a 66-yard field goal — the longest kick in NFL history – as time expired to give the Ravens a 19-17 victory over the Detroit Lions in Week 3 and bailed out some inconsistent play by his teammates.  

“He’s the best kicker in history,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “When you have a kicker like that, you want to give him an opportunity like that. For him to come through like that is just historic.”

The Ravens were dealing with adversity the entire week.

They placed outside linebacker Justin Houston, nose tackle Brandon Williams, defensive tackle Justin Madubuike and outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

That hampered their performance and on top of the personnel losses, the Ravens had some sloppy tackling for the second straight week. 

“We believe. We have a lot of faith, and we know what we’re capable of,” Ravens defensive end Calais Campbell said. “There was no doubt in my mind when it was [fourth-and-19], somebody was going to make a play. You see Sammy [Watkins] make the catch, and then I’m like, ‘Hey, with ‘Tuck’ [Justin Tucker], that yard line might be good enough,’ and to see that happen is incredible. But there’s always room for improvement.”

Quarterback Lamar Jackson‘s numberswould have been much better if not for so many dropped passes. Jackson was also under pressure for much of the game and was sacked four times. 

The offense needs to do a better job supporting their franchise quarterback. Jackson completed 16 of 31 pass attempts for 287 yards and a touchdown. 

Jackson also ran for 58 yards and had a touchdown called back because of a holding penalty on tight end Mark Andrews. Jackson had another costly interception that led to the Lions’ late field goal. 

“Every situation in the game I just thank God, he’s just preparing us for something else that’s coming,” Jackson said. “He’s not going to put his toughest soldiers through anything that we can’t handle, and that’s what that was. One of his soldiers came through for us.”

Devin Duvernay showed his teammates how to deal with adversity. The Lions would have gotten the ball at Ravens’ 23-yard line after Duvernay fumbled midway through the second quarter. However, a Detroit player ran out of bounds on punt coverage. So, 5-yard penalty and the Lions punt again. On the next punt, Duvernay returned the ball 29 yards to give the Ravens key field position. Duvernay then caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Jackson for a 10-0 lead.  

Marquise Brown had a tough day and dropped three passes that could have led to big plays, including two potential touchdowns in the second quarter. He appeared to be taking his eyes off the ball.

After the third drop, Brown was consoled by Harbaugh. Brown did have a key reception that gave the Ravens the ball on Detroit’s 11-yard line. That set up the Ravens’ only touchdown to Duvernay. But it was an uneven performance by Brown, who finished with three catches for 53 yards. 

“I told him, ‘You’re writing the rest of this story, nobody else is,” Harbaugh told Brown. “When you’re looking back on your career and you’ve had the great career that you’re going to have, this is going to be part of the story. This is going to be part of your testimony. You’re going to be able to talk to people about what you went through and what you overcame here. So, let’s go to work on that starting Wednesday.”

The Ravens are 2-1 — about right where they expected to be.

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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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