The Baltimore Ravens edged out a victory over the Buffalo Bills. Here are some take-home points from the closely fought game.
The Baltimore Ravens hung on for a tough 24-17 road win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, and, though it lacked style points, it displayed once again that this team is capable of playing any style of game. And winning it.
Let’s take a quick look back at this one, and what stood out at first glance.
• The pass rush and coverage are very good right now. No, let’s change that: they are elite right now and working in tandem. The run defense has been a little leaky the past few weeks, however. It is the stretch run of the regular season, and the Ravens don’t have tremendous depth on their line, so maybe they are feeling the effects of all that right now.
• On that note, getting that top seed would be great, but I feel a little more urgency about getting the first-round bye. The Ravens have run through a gauntlet of physical teams on this winning streak, and players like Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews have had some nagging injuries. Giving Greg Roman a week to tinker with the offense, and allowing these guys a few days of physical relief might be just what the doctor ordered.
• Matt Judon is the best player on the field some days. Today might have been one of those days. He was great getting after Josh Allen, stood out in coverage and was basically a pest to the Bills all game. It’s exciting to daydream about how the Ravens might spend that extra salary cap space next season, but the team should target a chunk of that for Judon. In a prove-it year, he has proven it.
• Lamar Jackson was not great in this game, but he still did enough to win against a very tough Buffalo defense, and without top target Mark Andrews for much of the game. This is why he is so special. Sure, his “highs” are as breathtaking as anybody’s, but the fact that he can gut out a hard win and find a way to make a big play or two is what makes him elite. In every way.
• Jaylon Ferguson is really flashing as a pass-rusher, but he needs to make steady improvement setting the edge if he wants to stay on the field. His improvement has been drastic this season, so that certainly adds optimism for his future growth.
• Hayden Hurst has all the physical tools and is good at so many things. He has slipped in some people’s minds because of the rise of Mark Andrews, but he is an important piece in this offense. It was nice to see him generate a huge splash play today.
• There are issues with the officiating of these games. It’s a tough job, I get that. But we can all watch these games from our homes or on the big screens at the stadiums and see how poor some of these calls are every single game. The league needs to fix this problem.