Ravens overcome accidents behind QB Lamar Jackson, operating recreation to rally previous Buccaneers, 27-22


In a wierd half-season of hovering begins, wild finishes and every thing conceivable in between, Thursday evening provided perhaps the strangest ending but for the Ravens: an offense lacking three of its prime weapons rolling to perhaps its greatest recreation — and largest victory — of the season.

With All-Pro tight finish Mark Andrews, prime broad receiver Rashod Bateman and prime operating again Gus Edwards all sidelined by minor accidents, quarterback Lamar Jackson led the Ravens (5-3) to 24 second-half factors in a 27-22 street win over quarterback Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Afterward, he picked up an indication dropped by a fan that mentioned, “PAY ‘EM NOW,” and held it in entrance of a prime-time viewers.

Jackson, enjoying on the ultimate 12 months of his rookie contract, was cash after halftime. In securing the Ravens’ first successful streak of the season, he powered the offense to factors on all 4 of its second-half possessions, excluding an end-of-game kneel-down. The Ravens’ 453 yards of whole offense have been probably the most Tampa Bay (3-5) has allowed all season.

“I feel like the whole offense is hungry,” mentioned Jackson, who completed 27-for-38, together with an ideal 8-for-8 after halftime, for 238 yards and two touchdowns, together with 9 carries for 43 yards. “Main guys went down, and everyone stepped up. … We all just went out here to just finish the job.”

The Ravens’ passing-game heroes have been sudden: Rookie tight finish Isaiah Likely, a preseason standout, had a team-high 77 yards and the go-ahead landing within the third quarter. Wide receiver Demarcus Robinson, signed shortly earlier than the season opener, had a game-high-tying six catches for 64 yards.

The Ravens’ offensive engine, although, was as unsurprising because the humidity inside Raymond James Stadium. They rumbled for 231 yards on 33 carries (7 per try), 204 of which got here after halftime. Against a depleted Buccaneers secondary, offensive coordinator Greg Roman had taken a pass-first method for a lot of a muddled first half.

Somewhere within the run of the Ravens’ back-to-back-to-back second-half touchdowns, gamers heard proper sort out Morgan Moses yelling to the sideline: Keep pounding the ball. Roman was excessive above in a sales space, however the message was heard loud and clear. Edwards had 11 carries for 65 yards. Kenyan Drake had a game-high 40-yard run. Fellow operating again Justice Hill had 4 carries for 28 yards.

“Playing for so long, you get a rhythm of the game and you kind of get a feeling of the guys across from you, and you know when it’s time for them to tap out,” Moses mentioned. “So that was me just feeling out the game, feeling the D-linemen, like, ‘Hey, man, this an opportunity where we could take advantage of it.’ And I think we executed it well.”

“It was a great feeling,” fullback Patrick Ricard mentioned. ”Whenever you possibly can run the ball just about towards their will, it’s what you need. That was sort of the sport plan, attempt to tire them out within the first half, and within the second half, we tried to have the ability to run the ball and we did.”

The Ravens have now 11 days to relaxation up earlier than a “Monday Night Football” matchup towards the New Orleans Saints, their remaining recreation earlier than a Week 9 bye. Even if the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Cleveland Browns on Monday, the Ravens would stay in first place within the AFC North.

A extra urgent deadline awaits, although. The Ravens, needing an affect broad receiver and maybe defensive depth as they metal themselves for an intense divisional battle, have till 4 p.m. Tuesday to commerce for assist.

They didn’t want a lot of it within the second half Thursday. After a ragged first half of offense — 4 punts, one turnover on downs, one blocked 61-yard subject purpose try, three factors — the Ravens completed off landing drives of 77, 80 and 83 yards in simply over 23 second-half minutes.

Jackson threw 30 passes earlier than halftime, however he wanted simply eight makes an attempt within the second for his two landing passes. On the Ravens’ first drive of the third quarter, he discovered Drake for a 5-yard landing to tie the sport. On his subsequent red-zone journey, he hit Likely at the back of the tip zone for a 10-yard rating and 17-10 benefit.

“Lamar is truly a home run just waiting to happen,” proper guard Kevin Zeitler mentioned. “You never know when it’s going to come. It could be the darkest night ever, and it’s like, boom, he is the sun coming, just like that. He’s awesome to play for.”

The decisive blow got here halfway by way of the fourth quarter, when broad receiver Devin Duvernay (163 all-purpose yards) took an end-around on third-and-1 for a 15-yard landing. The Buccaneers lower into the Ravens’ 27-16 lead with a subject purpose and a last-minute landing drive, however the scores sandwiched a subject purpose by Ravens kicker Justin Tucker. Likely’s clear restoration of an onside kick meant the Ravens might win, for the primary time shortly, with out white knuckles.

“I feel like we’re very close; we’re right there, but there’s still room for improvement,” Jackson mentioned. “The little mistakes, we’re still making them out there. We change those, then I feel like the sky’s the limit for us.”

Injuries waylaid the Buccaneers earlier than the short-week recreation — they have been with out Pro Bowl security Antoine Winfield Jr., beginning cornerback Carlton Davis III and beginning tight finish Cameron Brate, amongst others — and the Ravens throughout it.

Andrews, stored out of form all week by a knee harm, left early within the second quarter with a shoulder harm that Harbaugh mentioned was “not serious.” Bateman, who “tweaked” a foot harm, in response to Harbaugh, ran 11 routes and obtained only one goal within the first half, in response to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats, earlier than he was dominated out. Edwards walked off the sector slowly within the fourth quarter after a seemingly minor hamstring harm that will likely be re-evaluated Friday.

“It was just crazy how quickly guys stepped up and were able to replace those guys,” cornerback Marlon Humphrey mentioned. “We just lost J.K. [Dobbins] like, what, a week ago? We lost so many guys recently, and it’s been no complaining; guys have just stepped up, tried to fill in the best they could, and we were able to come out with two wins these past two weeks.”

Before accidents mounted, although, missed alternatives plagued the Ravens’ begin. After a heads-up play by security Geno Stone compelled a Buccaneers fumble on their first punt return, the Ravens settled for a subject purpose after beginning at Tampa Bay’s 6-yard line.

On the Buccaneers’ opening possession, Humphrey dropped a would-be interception on Brady’s first drop-back. Later, cornerback Marcus Peters missed an open-field sort out on broad receiver Chris Godwin’s 44-yard catch-and-run. A defensive-holding penalty on Peters close to the purpose line stored the Buccaneers from a third-and-10.

The finish consequence: Tampa Bay’s first first-quarter landing all season and first landing general since Week 5, a 1-yard plunge by operating again Leonard Fournette. After the Ravens went three-and-out, the Buccaneers adopted their 75-yard drive with a 50-yard drive and added a 31-yard subject purpose for a 10-3 lead.

The Ravens’ protection stiffened after that, shopping for sufficient time for Jackson and the offense to catch up. But it took some time. At one level within the first half, the Ravens totaled minus-6 yards over a 12-play stretch. Back-to-back drives ended with a third-and-22 and third-and-36. Even their greatest stretch of the half, after they moved so far as Tampa Bay’s 9 simply earlier than halftime, yielded nothing. On fourth-and-2, the Ravens stored Tucker on the sideline; Jackson’s end-zone go to Robinson was damaged up.

There have been no dramatic halftime speeches, gamers mentioned, no wholesale schematic adjustments that sparked a star-depleted turnaround. The Ravens simply did within the second half what they felt near doing within the first half. Between their punishing runs and their harassing of Brady (325 passing yards and a landing, together with three sacks) and their very own can’t-miss quarterback, they discovered the effectivity that’s eluded them. They discovered success amid strife.

“Hey, we got to do what we do and go take it in the second half,” Zeitler mentioned of the staff’s locker room message. “And obviously, we were able to get it done, and on a short week, down in Florida, against a really tough team. I’ll take it.”

Week 9

Ravens at Saints

Monday, Nov. 7, 8:15 p.m.


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