The Baltimore Ravens have only produced one losing season (2015) under head coach John Harbaugh and today’s victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ensured another season of .500 or better football. That’s a pretty solid streak, and is especially impressive this season considering the Ravens have fielded essentially two different teams considering the disparity between starting quarterbacks Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson.
The victory was Jackson’s fourth this season and he again played a big role in willing Baltimore to a win. Let’s take a look at his (and the rest of the rookies) performances this week:
The usual suspects
As has been the case since Jackson took the reigns a month ago, he and Gus Edwards again led the way in this victory. The now unquestioned starter at QB threw for 131 yards and a touchdown and chipped in another 95 yards on the ground.
For as much talk as there’s been about this offense being a gimmick, it’s hard to argue with the rushing results thanks to Jackson’s freakish speed and athleticism. That strong rushing was again led by Edwards who had 104 yards and a touchdown, as well as some fierce late rushing to put the game out of reach.
It’s certainly early, but as the wins continue to stack up, it’s hard not to be excited about the potential of Jackson and Edwards the next several seasons. Today was a vintage performance by these two.
Rounding things out
For all the talk of Hayden Hurst being a disappointment this season, he’s quietly had a few nice games this season with this being one of them. He had three catches for 20, and seems to have a bit better of a connection with Jackson than he did with Flacco.
Hurst’s fellow rookie tight end Mark Andrews also had a nice one, with two catches for 31 yards, one of which was a crucial third down snag. Outside of those two guys, Orlando Brown Jr. was the other offensive rookie to again fill in nicely in this game, not having any major slip ups, and solidifying a very important position for Baltimore.
At 8-6, Baltimore has to be incredibly pleased with their rookie class who have in some ways been a catalyst towards keeping them in the playoff hunt this season. It remains to be seen how far they can go this year, but for now this squad seems to have a bright future behind some of their stronger young players.