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Ravens Emerge From Week 10 Atop AFC North

Lamar Jackson in sunglasses on the bench.
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The Ravens were forced to do some soul-searching after a disappointing loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 10.

But the news was not all bad.

The Ravens (6-3) still managed to hold onto the top spot in the AFC North because Pittsburgh (5-3-1) tied winless Detroit. The Steelers were playing without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list before the game.

The Cleveland Browns continued their downward spiral with a 45-7 loss to suddenly surging New England Patriots. Cleveland is in last place in the division at 5-5, behind the Bengals (5-4), who had their bye.

Still, the Ravens need to make some improvements with their performance, namely with allowing big plays, to stay in first place.

“The first thing you have to do is look in the mirror and figure out what I can do to help the team win a football game, get us better to where we want to be as a football team,” Campbell said. “Because, you know, right now wasn’t our best football. We have a lot of getting better to do.”

The Ravens have allowed several plays of 50 or more yards in the last three games.

Dolphins quarterback Tagovailoa threw a 64-yard pass o Albert Wilson that essentially killed any chance for a Ravens comeback.  Tagovailoa scored a few plays later on a one-yard run in Miami’s 22-10 victory.

In Week 7 against the Cincinnati Bengals, cornerback Marlon Humphrey and safety Chuck Clark missed a tackle that allowed an 82-yard touchdown to wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. That play gave the Bengals a 27-17 lead and the Ravens never recovered.

Two weeks ago, Minnesota wide receiver Justin Jefferson got behind the Ravens’ secondary for a 50-yard touchdown reception from Kirk Cousins.

“You know, things we’re trying to work on,” Humphrey said. “But, you know, I guess you are what you put on film in the game, and that’s kind of been our Achilles heel, you know? Even when we play good, good, good – a slip up here – good, good, good – a slip up there, a slip-up, bad quarter. So, we had some, you know … [Defensive coordinator Don Martindale] asked me, ‘What’s something you can guarantee is going to happen in the game for the secondary?’ And I said, ‘We’re going to communicate.’

“You know, as a leader in that secondary, that’s on me, man. We’ve got to communicate better through the secondary and then throughout the whole defense as a whole.”

Like a true leader, Ravens coach John Harbaugh has shouldered the responsibility for the team’s lackluster play.

Most of the issues in Week 10 were with the offense that struggled against Miami’s Cover Zero scheme.

“We were not prepared the way we need to be prepared,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “Our schemes weren’t up to snuff and we weren’t prepared to execute the way we needed to. That’s it. Not on one player. Our players played their hearts out. They worked hard all week. We did everything we could to be prepared and we just weren’t ready.”

The Ravens managed 304 yards and converted just two of 14 third-down opportunities.

Quarterback Lamar Jackson completed 26 of 43 pass attempts for 238 yards with a touchdown and interception. He also managed just 39 yards on the ground. The offensive line struggled and allowed four sacks.

The Ravens need to make improvements on both sides of the ball, and if they can correct those weaknesses, they should be headed to the playoffs for a fourth straight year.

But the schedule is much tougher down the stretch with games against the Packers, Rams, Steelers, Bengals and Browns.

“Our guys are good. We got grown men here,” Jackson said. “Like I always say, it’s a brotherhood. We’re not pointing no fingers in here. Not never. We’re going to get right. Got to. Trust.

“We’ll get it fixed, though. We have a lot of games left in the season. We’re good.”

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