On Sunday, the Ravens slow first half turned into a second-half throttling as Baltimore opened up the running playbook, unleashing the offensive line and the rookie tandem of Lamar Jackson and Gus Edwards Jr. As the run-heavy offense wore down the Oakland Raiders counterpart, the rest for the Ravens’ defenders gave way for their first takeaway in weeks. The forced fumble by Judon and the ensuing touchdown by Terrell Suggs buried the Raiders.
The offensive line gave up only five hurries to the Oakland pass rush, surrendering no hits on QB Lamar Jackson. The last time any current starting lineman was charged with a sack was Week 5 against the Browns, and the Ravens rank fourth in Pass Blocking Efficiency so far this season (83.3).
Even with the banged-up Alex Lewis and Ronnie Stanley, Baltimore’s offensive line looks sharp right now. Whether it was with Joe Flacco in the backfield or Jackson, this five-man front is operating at an efficient level. Hopefully this continues against the next slate of defenders.
QB Lamar Jackson’s adjusted completion percentage of 65.2 ranked him 24th among starting QBs in Week 12, a drop from his 72.2 mark last week. However, he performed better under pressure, completing four-of-five attempts for 89 yards and no interceptions.
This is going to be a process, but it’s far better than watch a veteran with a decade of experience make the same mistakes. Jackson isn’t going to be perfect, but he’s certainly creating more plays than we’ve seen lately. It’s also good to see his performance under pressure improve. The first game is a blur for most players and they’re reacting to everything. Now, Lamar is settled in and capable of reading and making decisions, rather than reacting to his surroundings.
Sunday’s star performer was OLB Matt Judon, who recorded three sacks, one hurry and three defensive stops. His 15.9 Pass Rushing Productivity ranked him third among all edge defenders in Week 12.
In hockey, a natural hat-trick is three goals in a single period or three-straight goals uninterrupted by another score. I think Judon’s three-straight sacks on three consecutive plays counts as the greatest possible sack-trick. He created a strip-sack which became a touchdown. The next play after kick-off was a sack on first down followed by yet another sack on second. Judon dominated the Raiders and put the game away. He doubled his sack total from 3.0 to 6.0 and this could be the catalyst for a reemergence of the ‘number one defense.’
CB Marlon Humphrey earned the highest coverage grade in the secondary (74.7). He gave up three-of-six passes thrown into his coverage for only 19 yards and a pass breakup.
Before Judon or the front seven arrived onto the scene, it was Humphrey bailing out the defense on third down. His coverage on Sunday salvaged a sloppy first half of football, keeping the Raiders from breaking loose and forcing the Ravens offense into a game of catch-up. Marlon kept his coverage and ensured no big plays were coming from his assignment.