The Los Angeles Rams got in a fight with a buzzsaw on Monday night. They lost.
In yet another astonishing display of dominance, the Baltimore Ravens gashed the Rams in all three phases. The Rams were held without a touchdown, while the Ravens scored touchdowns on their first six . . . yes, six possessions.
The Ravens have scored a TD on each of their first 6 drives tonight. They are the first team to do that since the 2008 Saints (Week 16 vs Lions).— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 26, 2019
Lamar Jackson is the youngest player in NFL history with multiple 5 Pass TD games in a season. Previous youngest was Patrick Mahomes.
The Ravens jumped out to leads of 28-3 at halftime and didn’t stop there, scoring two more touchdowns to open the second half, then ending the game with a score of 45-6. Baltimore is the only team in the NFL to score touchdowns on their first four possessions to open a game. They’ve done it twice.
Entering the game, the Rams were allowing 3.3 yards per carry, the second-fewest mark in the NFL. The Ravens ran for 285 yards on 48 carries, including Robert Griffin III kneeling the ball three times to end the game.
Lamar Jackson threw five touchdown passes, which ties him with Russell Wilson for the NFL lead at 24. Yep, Lamar Jackson is leading the NFL in touchdown passes. Jackson found Marquise Brown twice, Willie Snead twice and Mark Ingram (only once. . .) before exiting in the fourth quarter. Jackson led touchdown drives each time he stepped on the field before yielding to Robert Griffin III.
Aaron Donald, the Rams all-world, do-everything defensive lineman was the invisible man Monday. The Raven stonewalled Donald in pass protection, while routinely gashing the Rams on the ground.
One month ago, the Ravens defeated the New England Patriots 37-20. Monday night, the Ravens defeated the Los Angeles Rams 45-6. The Ravens are the first team in NFL history to defeat both conference champions by three scores in the same season.
The Ravens are setting records left and right.
From the get-go, the Ravens dominated the line of scrimmage. They opened with a Jimmy Smith sack . . .
Jimmy Smith crushed Jared Goff pic.twitter.com/4GRUcQhYoh— Eric Rosenthal (@ericsports) November 26, 2019
They ended with a Jimmy Smith interception.
The Rams had one opportunity to make it a game, down 14-0 in the second quarter, the Rams strung a few first downs together. They made the mistake of calling on tight end Gerald Everett to stop Matthew Judon from getting to quarterback Jared Goff. That didn’t go well . . .
Judon’s strip sack stalled the Rams drive. Head Coach Sean McVay sent his kicking unit out again, which put one through the uprights. The score went to 14-3. The Rams weren’t aware the onslaught would continue and their bleeding wouldn’t clot. Field goals were bandaids on a broken dam, as the Ravens scored twice before the end of the half.
With less than two minutes left, Lamar Jackson led a 7-play, 75-yard scoring drive that made the score 28-3 headed into halftime.
The Rams brought a blitz, leaving one on one coverage across the board. Maybe teams will finally stop blitzing Jackson, who has now thrown 13 touchdowns and only one interception against the blitz, leading the NFL in passer rating against five or more pass rushers.
Los Angeles was visibly demoralized and never recovered.They completely abandoned their running game, which only totaled 22 yards on the evening.
Jared Goff was unable to find any rhythm, often hurrying throws to receivers who didn’t have their heads turned. Goff continued to press with no success, before his former teammate, Marcus Peters, intercepted him.
Marcus Peters playing chess.— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) November 26, 2019
damn, he’s good pic.twitter.com/XnaD5S3Smp
The interception was insult to injury, as Peters notched his third such play after being traded from L.A. to Baltimore. Peters is now tied for the league lead in interceptions (5) and leads the NFL in pick sixes (3). He also leads the NFL in talkin’ smack:
Jaylen Ramsey and Marcus Peters jawing after the game and separated from each other. pic.twitter.com/K3hRJHGVpo— Sarah Ellison (@sgellison) November 26, 2019
The Ravens defense allowed merely 234 yards on the night. They have turned a corner since failing to make stops against the Chiefs and Browns. The Ravens haven’t surrendered 350 yards or more than 20 points in a game since.
“Wink” Martindale dialed up countless blitz packages. Defensive backs blitzed regularly, as Marlon Humphrey, Jimmy Smith, Earl Thomas and Chuck Clark harassed Jared Goff.
Under the radar, Jaylon Ferguson was a steady force against the run, Josh Bynes diagnosed and defeated and Brandon Williams didn’t budge. The Ravens were competent of the Rams quick hitting screens, forcing receivers to elude a gaggle of defenders just to gain positive yardage.
Simply put, if you look for a Rams highlight on offense, you won’t find one. The Ravens trot four blue chip and former first-round picks into their secondary and they smother opponents. Deep passes are virtually non existent, and covered hip to hip when attempted.
The Ravens steamrolled the Rams from whistle to whistle.
The Ravens ran the ball 48 times Monday night.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 26, 2019
They failed to gain yardage on only 3 of those runs: Robert Griffin III's 3 kneel downs to end the game.
This isn’t new, they’ve been doing it all fall.
Lamar vs 4 top defensive minds:— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) November 26, 2019
13 TDs, 0 INTs, 8.0 YPA, 7.3 YPC
4 wins, 0 losses
Ravens: 153 points
Opponents: 49 points
The biggest takeaway from this game is more of a question. Two, actually:
- How do you stop the Ravens offense?
- How do you score on the Ravens defense?
Anyone who answers with certainty is living in a blissful ignorance. Guesses can be retorted, but certainly not answers. There is no answer.