Ravens Flock, give credit where credit is due: Lamar Jackson and an amazing defensive effort
Ravens Flock! Boy, what a weekend, huh? Even those of us out there who have been on this purple crazy train for two decades or more would be hard-pressed to come up with many days that rival the excitement and satisfaction that followed Sunday’s events.
Before we get there, I’d first like to take a quick moment to introduce myself to all of the Ravens faithful who don’t yet know me. I became a die-hard fan of this team during the 2000-2001 season when at the spry age of eight I watched Ray Lewis rip a pass out of Eddie George’s hands, and well, you remember the rest.
Since then, my passion for this team has only grown exponentially, along with my love of blogging about them. I’m excited to get to know all of you readers here in the coming months, and can’t thank the great people at FanSided and Ebony Bird enough for allowing me to come aboard!
Enough about me though, back to Sunday. Show of hands, how many of you were ready to jump overboard after A.J. Brown put the Titans up 10-0 mid-way through the first quarter? It’s ok, you don’t have to feel bad, a lot of us started to have that same sick feeling that we all felt on an unseasonably warm evening last January at M&T Bank Stadium.
Social media was already running abuzz after Lamar Jackson threw, admittedly, one of the worst interceptions we’ve ever seen from him during his two and a half years in Baltimore. It would’ve been quite easy for this team to roll over and pull a post-game Pedro Martinez, but the 2020 Ravens are a different breed.
This team is battle-tested, both on the field and off. Between that brutal November stretch filled with key losses, and then capping it off with the worst Covid-19 outbreak any team faced all year, the Ravens entered the playoffs scarred and hardened…and it showed.
First when Lamar Jackson hit Mark Andrews for a key third-down conversion to end the first quarter, and shortly afterward when he found a sliver of daylight and hit the accelerator for 48 to tie the game.
The pundits and experts have made the conversation mostly about Jackson vanquishing his playoff demons over the last two days, and rightfully so, but true fans know this win is majorly in thanks to the defensive effort over the final three quarters.
Criminally understated was the absence of Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams during the Ravens Week 11 tilt with the Titans. Those two mammoths, along with Justin Madubuike and the linebackers in the middle, did what some would’ve said was impossible before Sunday. 40 yards for Derrick Henry, 2.2 yards per attempt. Absolutely outstanding.
Of course, we can’t talk about this game without mentioning the out-of-body, borderline euphoric moment of Marcus Peters intercepting Ryan Tannehill to seal the deal. From the second that ball started going the other way, everyone watching knew how that celebration was going to end, and boy was it satisfying. I think DeShon Elliott might still be in Tennessee wiping his cleats on their logo by the way.
The entire game just screamed “classic Ravens-Titans”. There were massive hits on both sides, enough trash talk to fill up a city dump, and when the clock struck zero, it was two-three defining plays that decided it all, defining plays that will live in the minds of us Baltimore fans for a lifetime.
So, we enjoy this feeling as fans for another day or two, but then it’s time to file it away and get ready for a massive tilt Saturday evening against Josh Allen and the Bills. The Ravens match up on offense much better against Buffalo than they did Tennessee given their issues stopping the run, but a high scoring and intense affair it still should be.
Oh, one more thing before we get out of here. There was another game on Sunday night too, one that was as horribly excruciating for the team on the losing end as it was hilariously satisfying for us. To that team up in Pittsburgh, from the entire Ravens Flock, we sincerely say goodbye, good night, good luck, and Corvette, Corvette.