The Baltimore Ravens improved to 6-5 with a win over the Oakland Raiders in Week 12. Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson, who I chose as my MVP last week, has won back-to-back games in his first two starts.
Let’s go to the other side of the ball for my MVP this week. Leading the Raiders 27-17 with 6:11 left to play in the fourth quarter, outside linebacker Matthew Judon exploded for a game-deciding sequence of events.
Judon had only recorded three sacks through the first 11 weeks. This was a major disappointment considering how strong of a finish he had to the 2017 season, totaling eight sacks. In recent weeks, Judon has reverted to his 2017 form.
On 4th-and-8, Judon exploded off the edge, and despite being held on the play, grabbed the arm of quarterback Derek Carr, forcing him to fumble the football. Terrell Suggs recovered the ball and returned it for a touchdown, effectively putting the game away.
If there was any hope left for the Raiders, Judon made sure to crush it on the next two plays by sacking Carr twice more. This made it three sacks in a row for Judon, matching his season total entering the game. After his third sack, Judon ran off the field and into the tunnel, drawing quite the excitement from fans and the sideline.
With the defense failing to force turnovers and generate consistent pressure for several weeks now, Judon stepped up at the right moment, ensuring the victory. Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come and the turnovers will begin to flow.