Best Plays from Historic Comeback Shawn Hubbard/Baltimore Ravens

Tale of the Tape Best Plays from Historic Comeback

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This is Tale of the Tape: Offense. For Tale of the Tape: Defense, click here.

There’s a reason the phrase “60 minutes” has become so cliche in football over the decades, and we saw that reason play out at M&T Bank Stadium on Monday Night. Wow, what a game from Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens offense. You can’t even call it “a tale of two halves,” because truthfully all that Jackson needed to make history was one quarter and some change in the form of overtime. 

The Ravens have made a habit of grasping victory from the jaws of defeat through the first five weeks of the season, and these are the types of wins that harden and forge teams for Super Bowl runs in January. The performance from start to finish wasn’t perfect, but when the winning score was tallied the good immensely outweighed the bad.

Let’s get into the five most important offensive plays from Monday Night Football.

Jackson Goalline Fumble

We’ll start by getting the bad stuff out of the way. Down 16-3 after Indianapolis scored on their opening possession of the second half, the Ravens offense came out clicking on their first drive. Jackson was completing pass after pass underneath, and was finally getting into a nice rhythm while driving all the way down to the one-yard line. Then, a nightmare scenario.

Jackson takes the snap on the read option and instead of handing it off to Latavius Murray (who appeared as if he would’ve scored easily on the play) he tucked it himself in an attempt to find the end zone. Jackson had one man to beat on the play in safety Julian Blackmon, a situation where we’ve seen #8 shake people out of their shoes more times than we can count over the last few years. Credit to Blackmon though; like a goalie in soccer on a penalty kick he made the right decision on which direction to dive and bottled Jackson up at the line of scrimmage. What he didn’t do however, was punch the ball out…this one was on Lamar.

Indianapolis would have the scoop and score touchdown called back, but went on to dissect the Ravens defense on the following drive and score yet another touchdown anyway. There’s no denying the incredible comeback that followed this turn of events, but had Jackson simply been more careful with the ball there’s a good chance they wouldn’t have been in that situation to begin with. Jackson would also come close to fumbling late in the 4th quarter on the goal line again, but luckily his knee was down.

Regardless, ball security should be his number one point of emphasis in practice this week heading into a crucial game against the Chargers.

Brown 43-yard TD

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get to the fun stuff. The aforementioned fumble by Jackson was the moment this game shifted; from that point on he had that look in his eye that told the Ravens flock “this one ain’t over yet.” The Ravens got the ball back down 22-3 following another Colts touchdown, in a situation where the only options were to match that score (and fast) or start thinking about next Sunday. As we’ve come to see so far this year, the Ravens offense lives for scenarios like this.

After a few completions downfield, the offense lined up at the Colts’ 43-yard line in a four-wide set with Ty’Son Williams to Jackson’s right. Marquise Brown, who was lined up out wide to the right, runs a stutter step route that absolutely torched cornerback BoPete Keyes on the play, and from there it was an easy pitch and catch. If you were too busy celebrating to see the replay, go back and check this one out. You don’t see NFL-caliber corners get their toast burnt like this too often.

The step forward Brown has taken this year has been undeniable. He currently ranks 8th in the NFL in receiving yards, and he’s tied for 2nd in receiving touchdowns. Oh yeah, all of this on top of an anomalous three touchdown drops in Detroit that would’ve only padded his stats even more. When the Ravens drafted Rashod Bateman it was likely with the intention of him being the team’s #1 receiver, but as it turns out, that guy may have already been on the roster all along.

Speaking of Bateman, things should only continue to open up more downfield for Brown with the rook’s arrival to the roster imminent.

Andrews TD, 2-Pt Conversion 1

With the Ravens down 22-9, the offense would have to continue its scoring ways as time continued to tick off the clock. At this point though, the Jackson-to-Mark Andrews connection simply couldn’t be stopped. Already having caught two passes on the drive, including a highlight reel one handed grab, Andrews lined up in the slot to the right on 1st-and-goal from the five. Jackson took the snap, and with plenty of time to go through his reads and find a man open, he whipped the ball through two Colts defenders into the waiting arms of his security blanket. On the play, Andrews ran a curl to the end zone before smartly shuffling right in order to find a soft spot in the Colts zone coverage.

Then on the two point try, Andrews lined up as the left wing and fired down into the flat on the right at the snap. Jackson would run play action to the left with Murray, which the entire defense bit on hook, line, and sinker. The second Jackson pulls the ball you can pause the tape and count the number of Colts defenders who are caught completely flat footed on the play (spoiler alert, it’s a lot).

With Andrews breaking free into the slot, it was easy money for Jackson who lobbed it in for the successful conversion and brought the Ravens that much closer. We’ll get more into the overall game analysis of Andrews in the following section.

Andrews TD, 2-Pt Conversion 2

Andrews has had a habit of getting his touchdowns in pairs throughout his short career thus far, and Monday night was no exception. With the game on the line from the four-yard line, the Ravens came out in a bunch formation to the right on 2nd-and-goal with Andrews as the innermost receiver. Andrews would come off the line right on James Proche‘s hip, with Hollywood looping behind them both from the right before all three split off in different directions. The purpose of running these tight routes so close to each other is to confuse defenders and potentially force an accidental double cover, which would leave one man open for an easy score.

The Colts initially didn’t bite, at which point the approach changed to simply getting open and giving Lamar the slightest sliver of daylight to fit the ball in. Andrews cut towards the middle of the field and made a nice move on linebacker Bobby Okereke to shake free back to the right. Jackson fired a dart right where it needed to be, and Andrews came up with yet another crucial score in this game.

Then on the two point try, Andrews lined up to the right in the slot which again drew Okereke in coverage. Jackson took the shotgun snap and took a couple steps forward as if he was considering scrambling in before lasering the ball into Andrews with the defender draped all over his back. While his one handed catch was surely more flashy, this grab was the most impressive of the day for Andrews. His history of contested drops in crucial moments has been documented, but on this night he took a big step forward in dispelling those demons.

Andrews was simply marvelous in the second half of this game, to the tune of 11 catches for 147 yards with two touchdowns and two two-point conversions. He showed exactly why he deserves every cent of the massive contract he received this year, and will look to put up a similarly explosive performance this Sunday.

Brown Walk-Off TD

When the Ravens won the toss in overtime, Lamar Jackson was caught on the sideline mouthing the words “it’s over,” and apparently the Colts had the same exact thought. After receiving the opening kick of the extra period, the Ravens offense moved through the Indianapolis defense like a hot knife through butter. Completion after completion from the nearly perfect Jackson would put the Ravens at 2nd-and-goal from the opposing six-yard line.

Jackson lined up in shotgun with trips to the left and Brown all by himself in the slot to the right. He takes the snap and pump fakes to the left, which caused linebacker Darius Leonard to shift his momentum to his right and allowed Hollywood to make a nice little move in the end zone and come free. It was still a tight window to throw through, as safety George Odom was a half second away from making the play and breaking it up, but on this night Jackson and company wouldn’t be stopped. The pass was perfect, and it was a heck of an effort from Hollywood to corral the fastball and hold on through contact to seal it.

Game, set, match.

Wrap Up

The evolution of the Ravens passing game this season has truly been a sight to behold. 442 yards through the air, four touchdowns, and a 19-point comeback on Monday night were the embodiment of months and months of hard work in OTAs, training camp, and the preseason. Long gone are the days of “we’ll just stack eight in the box and make Lamar beat us with his arm,” as he’s now proven on numerous occasions this season that he’s more than capable of doing just that.

What felt like three years of a semi-one dimensional approach has (in one off-season) turned into a well-oiled machine in all facets that causes defensive coordinators to truly pick their poison. Kudos to Greg Roman as well, who’s gotten more than his fair share of criticism at times from the Ravens flock but called a masterful game on Monday and deserves to be recognized for it.

This season has had all the makings of a magical one, and the offense has been the driving force behind all of this team’s success thus far. They’ll look to continue their winning ways on Sunday when a similarly high powered offense comes to town in the Los Angeles Chargers. Hopefully we’ll be discussing another astounding win again next week, as we break down the five most important plays from the Ravens offense.

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About Ronald Toothe

Ronald Toothe has been a supporter of the Baltimore Ravens for 20+ years, and has been covering the team since 2020. From the moment he saw a pass tip off the hands of Eddie George into the waiting arms of Ray Lewis during the 2000 playoffs, he knew he was hooked for life. Ronald began his career in sports media behind the microphone as a professional wrestling color commentator before taking a similar role during football games at his high school alma mater. While he still enjoys the occasional opportunity to pick up a headset, his biggest passion today is covering the team he loves most. More from Ronald Toothe
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