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Ravens 37 Patriots 26

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After last week’s soul-crushing loss to the Miami Dolphins, and with next week’s matchup against a wounded Buffalo Bills powerhouse, it was imperative that the Ravens came out of this game against the New England Patriots on the road. They did, and they were led by their star quarterback, who put the offense on his back in a game-sealing drive to extend the Ravens’ lead to two scores.

There were some other strong performances today, along with a few that stood out for the wrong reasons. Here are the grades.

Offense

Overall: A-

Scoring 37 points, generating nearly 400 yards and cashing in with touchdowns when they were most needed against a Bill Belichick defense on the road is a very good day. Let’s start with that. There was an interception, a lost fumble and a deep pass just off the fingertips for another possible touchdown, but they still flat-out produced. Another concerning injury at left tackle looms, but there were still some better things to see today from the offensive line in the run game, and the second-half pass protection.

Quarterback: A

Lamar Jackson went 18-29 for 218 yards and four touchdowns, and also contributed another 107 yards and a big fourth-quarter touchdown run. He’s been playing like an MVP candidate these first three games, and today was a continuation of that.

But what impressed me the most today was that fourth-quarter drive that resulted in Jackson’s rushing touchdown extending the lead to two scores. Jackson threw a beautiful pass to Bateman for 35 yards when the team needed to do something, busted a 20-yard run to continue to show a true aggression on offense and finished it with a 9-yard burst on third-and-1. He had a not-so-great interception that he didn’t need to throw, and just missed a few passes that we’ve grown used to seeing him hit this season, but he was a star, and he sealed the game.

Running backs: B

JK Dobbins and Justice Hill certainly looked like a pair that could be an exciting combination as this run game hopefully begins to jell. Hill looked especially good, with 60 yards on six carries, and Dobbins showed some nice burst, including a nifty spin move that turned a loss into a three-yard gain, and a few catch-and-run passes where he went straight upfield.

Pat Ricard destroyed Matthew Judon on Hill’s 34-yard run and also grabbed a 12-yard reception in the first quarter.

Receivers: B-

Mark Andrews shined once again, scoring two touchdowns, including a terrific contested grab over Devin McCourty. Devin Duvernay made another great touchdown reception on a beautiful fade from Jackson, and Josh Oliver had a nice touchdown catch, reaching back on a bullet from Jackson in tight coverage. Rashod Bateman had a complicated game, picking up 59 yards on only two receptions, but coughed up a fumble late in the game.

Offensive Line: C

Having Patrick Mekari go out and calling in rookie Daniel Faalele to man the left-tackle position against the Patriots isn’t ideal, and he gave up two quick sacks to prove that point early. But they adapted, provided him some help with blockers and play-calls and didn’t give up a sack in the second half. The run game seemed to create a few more holes this week. Morgan Moses had two false starts in the second quarter, and was showing a limp at some point, but he looked better after halftime. Kevin Zeitler sprung a few big runs, and Tyler Linderbaum got out on one of Jackson’s runs to make a nice block downfield. Jackson’s scrambling probably kept this grade from being lower, but I felt like they were better late than early.

Defense

Overall: C

This one’s a little complicated, too. You know? Like, things hurt in my head when I started trying to sift through this performance. They gave up 321 yards passing to Mac Jones, and saw him run like… well, not Lamar Jackson. But a faster version of Mac Jones, maybe? But they also grabbed two picks, generated a huge fumble at a crucial time and we saw some good stuff.

But then again, the Patriots also ran the ball far too easily, and DeVante Parker destroyed them. See what I mean? It gets a “C.”

Defensive Line: C

Again, there was a lot not to like. There wasn’t a consistent pass rush. There were too many holes for running backs to get through, and not a lot of line-moving in general by the big guys. However, Justin Madubuike did stand out, registering a sack and two tackles for loss. Pierce’s injury is concerning, and Broderick Washington appeared to play pretty well in terms of tackling. I did not see much penetration, however.

Linebackers: C

Noticing a trend? Josh Bynes had 10 tackles and an interception, but there were a few more plays to be had for him out there. Patrick Queen picked up a sack to end the Patriots’ first possession, and just missed a potential 98-yard pick-six, only to see the Patriots score on the next play. Brandon Copeland had a late sack as a fine welcome-to-the-squad moment. Odafe Oweh did have a nice pressure late in the game and chased down Jones from behind in the second quarter to hold him to a short gain. They say sacks come in bunches. It might be a good time for that first bunch to hit Oweh, especially with Houston ailing now.

Defensive Backs: C

Consistent, in its inconsistency. Another “C.” DeVante Parker abused rookie Jalyn Armour-Davis early, and Brandon Stephens late. That’s not great. However, Jones tried Parker in the end zone with Marlon Humphrey on him, and that resulted in a pick with the Ravens holding on to a four-point lead. Humphrey also had a huge hit on a second-quarter fourth-and-three that ended another Patriots drive. Kyle Hamilton registered some redemption with a huge play in the fourth quarter, punching a ball out from Nelson Agholor that Marcus Peters brought in on the sideline. Peters also grabbed a pick at the 2:00 warning to shut the door. Marcus Williams showed his range breaking up a second-quarter pass, and blew up a screen in the fourth quarter for a four-yard loss. Some to like. Some to dislike.

Special Teams: B

Justin Tucker donked an extra point attempt off the upright in the fourth quarter. Oh, he also drilled a 56-yarder to give the Ravens an 11-point lead. Devin Duvernay showed off his return skills yet again, running back a punt for 45 yards in the third quarter, setting up his own touchdown catch later in the drive. Rookie punter Jordan Stout booted a 58-yarder, but delivered a 22-yard punt late that set up the Patriots with better field position than they should have had at that point. Up and down a bit for Stout so far.

Coaching: B

There were some things I really liked on offense: the adaption to the left-tackle situation in the second half, the play-action sprint out to Andrews for 17 yards was a cool call, and I like them mixing in these little shovel passes against blitz looks. I thought it was a patient approach, and we saw some progress in the run game. The Patriots attacked certain looks the Ravens defense presented Parker, and I was scratching my head as to why they continued to present them. I also didn’t love the lack of pass-rush at the end of the second quarter that allowed New England to get into field goal range. I understood it. Just didn’t love it.

4 Responses

  1. gonna talk about guys who are more on the periphery….madubuike is beginning to look like a legit stud…there were periods in the game where he seemed in on every play…this guy`s becoming a thing and if travis jones turns into something it bodes well for our d line for years to come…

    is the light going on for justice hill?..another game where the guy is showing flashes of real talent…..what perfect depth for dobbins…give hill more opportunities….

    faalele started rough but with a little help from ricard,we made it work….we got by with a 3rd or 4th option protecting lamar`s blind side…give the coaches some credit…give faalele some credit for not folding…..this has to help him…

    queen is improving…malik is improving…duverney making plays is becoming the norm…josh bynes is a valuable guy to have on any team..

    we needed this one badly…buffalo will not be easy off a loss…botton line,some of our young guys are becoming legit nfl players…

  2. In a mediocre league with no great teams, the Ravens are above average, but not by much! They haven’t faced a good QB yet, but will the next two weeks and their below average defense will be tested! No one will ever confuse Mac Jones for a good QB, but he shredded the defense for most of the game! Jackson continues to make a strong argument for a big contract……

Comments are closed.

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