The Ravens had 523 yards of offense Monday night. Lamar Jackson had 504 of them. He completed 37 of his 43 pass attempts for a career-high 442 yards through the air. He’s the first player in NFL history to throw for more than 400 yards with an 85 percent completion rate or higher. On the season, he has a league-high five go-ahead drives in the fourth quarter or overtime, and he’s fifth in the league in passing yards and eighth in rushing yards. That’s all the cool stats I got.
We just saw Jackson’s best game of his young career during a season where he’s easily playing his best football ever. He’s throwing the ball more accurately than ever, farther downfield than ever all while being depended on for yards, points and wins more than ever.
Like he has all season, he’s proving the narratives that surround him wrong. He simply refuses to let his team lose. It’s way too soon to talk about it, but he’s right in the MVP race and has a case as good as any right now, but that discussion is for another day. For now, let’s appreciate the greatness the Ravens have playing at quarterback.
Speaking of best games of careers, Mark Andrews added one of the best games from a tight end in recent history to an already impressive season. After a breakout 2019, he was pretty quiet for most of 2020 and early on this year, but he’s come all the way back over the last few weeks.
In fact, it may have been the best game from a Ravens tight end ever.
With 11 catches for 147 yards vs. Indy, @Mandrews_81 set a new @Ravens record for most single-game receiving yards by a TE, passing Todd Heap (146 at Pit. in 2002). Andrews also tied Dennis Pitta (11 at Cincy in 2016) for the most single-game receptions by a Baltimore TE.
— Patrick Gleason (@PMGleason) October 12, 2021
Andrews ranks 10th in the NFL in receiving yards with an even 400, ahead of Travis Kelce at 19th with 369 and Darren Waller at 28th with 319. He’s on pace to finish with 1,360 yards, which would be the most by a tight end not named Kelce since George Kittle in 2018.
Andrews’ historic Monday night performance has the chance to be a springboard for what could go down as the best season from a tight end in Ravens history.
This is the last “best game of his career,” I promise. It’s not the most production in a game of Marquise Brown‘s career, but he’s never had two more impactful touchdowns than Monday night. His first gave the Ravens a glimmer of hope when there was virtually none, bringing the game within two scores, and his second sealed the victory. He easily could have had a third, too. Want some more on-pace-for stats?
Marquise Brown's on pace for:
95 receptions for 1,533 yards and 17 TDs.
— Baltimore Beatdown (@BmoreBeatdown) October 12, 2021
Like he has all season, Brown was able to beat the defense over the top and find open grass over the middle. We’ve been seeing it unfold for weeks, and although it hit a small speed bump in Detroit, Brown is now without a doubt a true number one wide receiver and well on his way to becoming the Ravens’ first Pro-Bowl receiver in 20 years.
The unsportsmanlike conduct penalty was incredibly stupid and should have cost the Ravens a win. You have to control your emotions in a moment like that.
Dumb penalty by me got to keep my cool that’s on me, Other than great win keep stacking and I love my team ✌🏾
— Tavon Young (@TY_Real1) October 12, 2021
That was the bad. The good was Tavon Young flew around the field like a madman making big plays left and right. The Young we haven’t seen in three years is back. He was awesome as a pass rusher, notching his second sack of the season on a 3rd-and-9 to force a punt. He used his speed to get his first tackle for loss on a jet sweep that he diagnosed perfectly, then blew up a screen to get his second TFL.
On a night where some other cornerbacks did not play well, it was a refreshing feeling seeing the old Tavon Young out there. Getting the Young from two season-ending injuries ago back into the mix to lock down slot receivers will be incredibly valuable.
Remember when this guy was good? I do. I wrote about it two days ago.
To be fair, Anthony Averett truly was having an incredible year. He came into this game playing like one of the league’s best cornerbacks, then had the worst game of his career on Monday. Both can be true.
Moving forward, I’m not sure what to make of Averett. Which is the real Averett, the one we saw the first four weeks or the one we saw last night? Time will tell, but I’m willing to bet it’s somewhere in between. He’s not *that* bad, but maybe he also isn’t *that* good. The sample size favors the good more than the bad, but then again it wasn’t a world-beating passing offense he struggled with either. He’ll be an interesting player to keep track of over the next few weeks.
I think Patrick Queen is rubbing off on Malik Harrison for the worse. He looked just as bad as Queen has in both stopping runs and tackling, and he often over-pursued in his rush, creating an open lane for the ball carrier.
Harrison is supposed to be the better tackler of the two; he does have a three-inch, 20-pound size advantage on his position-mate after all. Of all the season ending injuries suffered before Week 1, L.J. Fort’s was an afterthought, but it may prove to be one of the costlier losses. The defense will need better play from both of its inside linebackers, or we will see more poor defensive efforts like on Monday night.