The Baltimore Ravens beat the Jacksonville Jaguars, it wasn’t hard:
The Ravens ended any potential drama early against the overmatched Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, and then continued to walk, and sometimes dance, over their steaming remains for the next several hours.
It was a convincing win, and the third consecutive stellar performance by the Ravens offense, led by defending-MVP Lamar Jackson and a brutal, not-suitable-for-children rushing attack. For the defense, the front seven put in a strong effort against a solid Jacksonville rushing attack, and Yannick Ngakoue showed out against his former team, registering two sacks and knocking loose a fumble the Ravens recovered.
Let’s take a quick look at what happened with some take-home points:
• Since returning from a COVID-inspired absence, Jackson has conjured up his 2019 self. During that stretch, Jackson has thrown for six touchdowns and two interceptions, completed his passes at a 71.4-percent rate, and added 253 yards and four more touchdowns on the ground. Plus, his “swagger meter” seems to be maxed out again.
When he plays like this, the Ravens’ offense is terrifying for defenders. Just look at his three touchdown passes today and his deep pass to Marquise Brown down the sideline. He found Boykin crossing the back of the end zone and hit him with touch, rolled to his left and threw a seed to a diving Dez Bryant for his second, and drilled one to the chest of Mark Andrews for his third. That pass to Brown dropped from the Heavens into his mitts.
Defenses have zero answers for the Ravens when Jackson is hitting those kinds of throws.
• Brown has had an up-and-down, puzzling, angry, baffling kind of season, but he is finding his big-play mojo again. In the last four games, Brown has 272 yards and three touchdowns. That would put him on pace for 1,088 yards and 12 touchdowns for a run-first offense. That’s what they need out of him. Plays. Big plays. A consistent outpouring of big plays.
Did we mention big plays?
• J.K. Dobbins is just so exciting to watch — seemingly igniting into a different kind of speed when he hits his plant foot. It feels like the Ravens have uncovered another key to the offense for the next several seasons.
• Mark Andrews is good. So is Justin Tucker. I promise I was joking when I Tweeted that he should be cut after missing that field goal attempt from Essex.
• Justin Madubuike is really starting to hit his form at a time when many rookies hit the proverbial wall. We’ll take it, right?
• Patrick Queen looked good today. He seemed to follow the flow of the play without stepping upfield immediately and registered a big sack. It has been an up-and-down ride for the obviously-talented rookie linebacker, but today was an up.
• Tyus Bowser is a really, really good football player, and he seems to show something different every game. It would be great if the Ravens can bring him back next year. Decisions are going to have to be made with Bowser, Matthew Judon, and Ngakoue, and that is way above my pay grade. But I’d like to see Bowser back if it’s doable.
• Tyre Phillips… my goodness. I hope the big guy is ok, as head injuries are always a cause for concern. But that scoop-and-run after Jackson’s fumble was… violent. Deliciously violent.
• The Ravens are peaking. I hope it’s not too late to matter.