For the second straight game, the Ravens went toe-to-toe with a formidable opponent and secured a decisive victory. Halfway through the season, Baltimore has emerged as a serious championship contender.
Lamar Jackson continues to lead the way with his extraordinary abilities. Lamar positively impacts every facet of the team - creating angles for the blockers and running backs, drawing attention away from the receivers and keeping the defense rested by piloting the league’s best time of possession advantage.
John Harbuagh’s coaching staff devised a masterful game plan for the Patriots and the play of the game was made on defense when Patrick Onwuasor punched out a fumble that Marlon Humphrey returned to the end zone.
It was truly a team win over New England. Several unsung hero deserve credit for their contributions:
DE Jihad Ward
Castoff from Indianapolis, Ward suited up for his third game in purple on Sunday night. Against New England, he out-snapped both Brandon Williams and Chris Wormley. In 42 snaps, the journeyman recovered a fumble that was later overturned and recorded a fourth quarter sack on Brady. Jihad may become an integral part of the interior pass rush during the second half of the season.
FB Patrick Ricard
The Ravens deceptive rushing attack was on full display against New England, with Ricard playing a starring role. His highlights included a key downfield block on a Mark Ingram first down run, pancaking a defender on Lamar’s first rushing touchdown and a punishing pull block on Lamar’s second. Greg Roman’s innovative formations and pre-snap motions would be considerably less effective without the devastating blocking delivered by Ricard and Nick Boyle.
CB Jimmy Smith
The veteran cornerback returned from a Week 1 injury with impressive results. He allowed only 21 yards on six targets into his coverage and displayed strong open field tackling throughout. With Jimmy, Humphrey and Marcus Peters at corner, Earl Thomas and Brandon Carr at safety and Chuck Clark playing as a dime linebacker, the talent in Baltimore’s secondary rivals any team in the NFL.
Who was the Ravens Unsung Hero of Week 9?
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