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Ravens News 11/26: MNF Aftermath and more

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NFL: NOV 25 Ravens at Rams Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Lamar Jackson Is Running Away With the MVP Award, but He’s Focused on the Super Bowl - Danny Heifetz

Jackson completed 15 of 20 pass attempts for 169 yards (8.5 yards per pass) and five touchdowns. He also rushed for 95 yards on just eight carries before being benched with 13 minutes left in the fourth quarter, but the game was in hand much earlier than that. Jackson completed all nine of his passes in the first half for 87 yards and three touchdowns while running for 80 yards. That was almost as much as the 108 total yards the Rams gained in the first half. He added two touchdown drives in the second half for a rare accomplishment: six drives, six touchdowns. This was the first team to score on their first six possessions since the New Orleans Saints in 2008.

From the first kickoff, everything looked easy for the Ravens. On Baltimore’s opening drive, the team drove 55 yards and Jackson capped it with a 6-yard touchdown pass to rookie receiver Marquise Brown. It was Baltimore’s seventh opening-drive touchdown this season, the most in the league.

The Rams defense is not an easy matchup. Entering the week they were one of the 10 most efficient squads in football and a top-three run defense per Football Outsiders. Baltimore’s coaching staff—from head coach John Harbaugh to offensive coordinator Greg Roman to defensive coordinator Wink Martindale—chewed up their L.A. counterparts and politely spit them into a napkin they then tossed into a trash can. Baltimore gained 285 rushing yards while holding the Rams to 22, controlled the ball for 40 minutes, and gained 31 first downs to the Rams’ 14.

NFL Week 12 ReFocused: Baltimore Ravens 45, Los Angeles Rams 6 - PFF

Jimmy Smith got a first-quarter sack of Jared Goff on a cornerback blitz. Smith added an interception in the fourth quarter. Matthew Judon beat Gerald Everett outside for a second-quarter strip-sack of Goff that ended the Rams’ drive and forced a field goal.

Marcus Peters made the best play of the night for the Ravens’ defense when he dropped underneath a Robert Woods corner route and made a leaping interception of Goff.

What we learned from Ravens’ victory over Rams - Jeremy Bergman

Lost in the aftermath of Baltimore’s blowout will be the play of the QB’s supporting cast on offense. Ingram (2 TDs) set the tone with powerful pickups early on, spelled by a thunderous Gus Edwards (55 yards) and lightning-quick Justice Hill (27 yards) on occasion and eventually when the game got out of hand. Jackson’s designed runs tore up a Rams front that couldn’t play sideline-to-sideline with the speedy ball-carrier, but credit should be given to his road-grading offensive line, which overcame the loss of starting center Matt Skura to a knee sprain. Sans its veteran snapper, Baltimore racked up a season-high 285 rushing yards (its sixth 200-yard rushing games) and 31 first downs (tied for a season-high). The Ravens’ grueling ground game sprung an aerial attack that found holes in Los Angeles’ zone coverage.

Hollywood Brown made himself at home in Los Angeles, locating space in the Rams’ secondary for two touchdowns, and Seth Roberts (39 yards) and Willie Snead (2 TDs) were similarly schemed open. Jackson marveled after the game that Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman was “in his bag” on Monday night. The same could be said for the entire Ravens offense.

Five Thoughts on Ravens vs. Rams - John Eisenberg

It goes without saying that the Ravens have played some good football since they came to Baltimore in 1996. They’ve won two Super Bowls, made 11 playoff appearances. But I’m not sure they’ve ever put together a run of championship-caliber football as dominant as this, certainly not in the regular season. This was their seventh straight win, and it was every bit as lopsided as their recent triumphs over the New England Patriots and Houston Texans, but this one, well, it begs the question: Can you throw a perfect game in football? The Ravens were on the road against a team that was in the Super Bowl nine months ago.

The Ravens simply obliterated a winning team with playoff aspirations. They aren’t currently the top seed in the AFC, but no team in football is playing better, and that’s really not even debatable. The Ravens have become the monster no one wants to see.

4 Baltimore Ravens stats that explain how they wallopped the Rams - Aaron Kasinitz

Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald had no tackles or quarterback hits in the first three quarters

Donald, the two-time defending NFL Defensive Player of the Year, finished Monday’s game with one assisted tackle and no other statistics. That half-stop came in the fourth quarter with the result decided and Jackson standing comfortably on the sideline.

Before Monday, many wondered whether the powerful and speedy Donald might give the Rams a remedy for Jackson. Instead, the Ravens double-teamed Donald, ran away from him and found other ways to neutralize one of the NFL’s best players.

Without Donald making plays to disrupt the game plan, Baltimore never seemed rattled or disconnected or even slightly distressed. Jackson and the Ravens offense did what it wanted to do all game long with little to no resistance.