Ravens’ fourth quarter defense came up huge in Week 3
The Baltimore Ravens exorcised a few of their ghosts in Week 3’s thrilling win over the New England Patriots, and Mike Macdonald and the defense should be able to sleep better now.
Baltimore carried an 11-point lead against the Patriots at the start of the fourth quarter, which showed the team’s continual offensive dominance but had fans rightfully worried about the team’s ability to close out games.
Just a week ago, the Ravens had a 35-14 lead against the Miami Dolphins heading into the fourth quarter, and Miami took advantage of the team’s weakened secondary to roll to a shocking victory.
This time, Baltimore knew better — they did better.
At the start of the fourth, the Patriots renewed their hope with a quick touchdown run, cutting down the Ravens’ lead to just five points, but Baltimore’s defense was able to lock down Mac Jones and the Pats’ offense for the rest of the game.
Cornerback Marlon Humphrey made an impeccably timed interception on the Pats’ next drive, picking off Mac Jones in the end zone to halt New England’s momentum.
Ravens’ defense gets redemption in Week 4 win against Patriots
Rookie Kyle Hamilton also recorded a key takeaway, forcing New England wideout Nelson Agholor to fumble the ball (Marcus Peters recovered it), and Baltimore scored a touchdown on the next possession. With two minutes left in the fourth, it was then Peters who sealed the game with an interception.
When the Pats scored that early fourth-quarter touchdown, this game had “defensive collapse” written all over it, yet the pass defense tightened up and carried the team to victory.
Marlon Humphrey spoke to the media about the positive impact of the Ravens’ defense:
"“It was tough last week knowing that our offense scored that many points, and then in the fourth quarter, our defense just could not get a stop…. So for us to come up [and] have those big plays at the end, it was huge. It was a confidence boost. It was just a pride thing, that we can be this defense, but talk is cheap .We’ve just got to go out there and show it.”"
The redemption arc is complete. In Week 3, Baltimore’s defense came up with three straight takeaways in the fourth quarter to ice the game against New England, marking the start of what should be a new defensive era for the Ravens.
Rookies like Kyle Hamilton will likely still make mistakes here and there, and there’s no telling who will get injured this season, but the Ravens’ pass defense as a whole appears to be trending upward after that horrid meltdown against Miami.
Week 2 and the end of the 2021 season saw some of the worst defensive performances in Ravens’ history. This year, the Ravens are determined not to let history repeat itself.