NFL Week 6: What we learned from Sunday’s games - Kevin Patra
The Ravens moved to 5-1, but John Harbaugh probably doesn’t feel great about the way his team played. Baltimore was called for 12 penalties accounting for 132 yards, many of them keeping the Eagles’ comeback bid alive. More concerning was an offense that struggled to consistently move the ball for the second straight week. Outside of capitalizing on short fields early, Lamar Jackson and the offense were stuck in the Philly mud. Jackson missed too many throws, completing just 59.3% of his passes for 186 yards and one early passing TD. With Mark Ingram banged up, the run game, outside of a few big Jackson rushes, was stymied. The inability to take advantage of good field position late gave Philadelphia life in the comeback. The passing game lacks explosive plays, and the run game can’t find consistent traction. When Jackson isn’t able to concoct his own enchantments, like his long TD scamper, the Ravens offense hasn’t been the prettiest. Great teams, however, find a way to win even in ugly circumstances.
Ravens survive but sloppy win needs to serve as wake-up call - Jamison Hensley
Promising trend: The Ravens are 5-1 for just the third time in franchise history. The other instances? It was the memorable seasons of 2000 and 2012. The Ravens went on to win their two Super Bowls in those years.
Pivotal play: After allowing Carson Wentz’s touchdown cut the Ravens’ fourth-quarter lead to 30-28, Judon stuffed Wentz on the two-point conversion.
Eye-popping NextGen Stat: Jackson hit the top speed of his career on a 37-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, when he ran up the middle of the Eagle defense untouched. He reached the speed of 21.01 miles per hour. Jackson is responsible for three of the five fastest speeds reached by a quarterback since the start of last season.
On the other side of the ball, Lamar Jackson had a nondescript 186 yards passing on 27 attempts, was sacked three times and scrambled three times. He did add 108 yards on the ground on only nine total rushing attempts, creating two forced missed tackles along the way. This accounted for 60% of the team’s rushes and 66% of the team’s missed tackles.
It was the defense that really won this game for the Ravens as they built the big lead. Eight different Ravens had at least two pressures on Wentz, with Calais Campbell’s five leading to three sacks.
For the Ravens, Devin Duvernay caught all three of his targets for 31 yards, playing 17 receiving snaps. Running back J.K. Dobbins had 28 yards on nine attempts and forced one missed tackle. Linebacker Patrick Queen played 50 snaps but only had two tackles and missed two himself. He also had two pressures. Broderick Washington and Justin Madubuike each played 19 snaps, with Madubuike registering a tackle. Backup linebacker Malik Harrison played eight snaps.
The Breakdown: Five Thoughts on Wild Win in Philly - John Eisenberg
Like the defense, the Ravens’ offense was strong early. It drove to a touchdown on its first possession, then quickly converted a short-field turnover into a touchdown late in the first quarter. But the rest of the game was a struggle, with the offense generating just one touchdown on 10 possessions. What was going on? Lamar Jackson was under steady pressure when he dropped back and often had nowhere to run when he improvised. Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman stuck with the running game, as backs Gus Edwards, J.K. Dobbins and Mark Ingram combined for 28 carries, but they only averaged 2.8 yards per attempt. Bottom line, the Eagles’ defensive line won the day up front. But what really hurt were penalties that stopped drive after drive, with the Ravens’ offensive line leading the way in getting flagged. “We had way too many penalties, especially pre-snap penalties,” Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said. In the final analysis, Jackson saved the day. He didn’t bring his “A” Game but still rushed for 108 yards and a touchdown (on a dazzling 37-yard dash up the middle) and passed for 186 yards and a touchdown (after dancing around pressure with a nifty two-step). The Ravens ended up needing every ounce of what he provided.
Five NFL Trade Deadline Deals We’d Love to See - Conor Orr
Julio Jones to the Ravens
Speaking of capital, the Falcons could score a massive coup by netting a first-round pick for Julio Jones before it’s too late. Jones would electrify the market, which is desperate for game-breaking wide receiver talent, and he’d been a boon for the Ravens, a team that flirted with a bunch of different options at the position in the preseason. Lamar Jackson openly lobbied for Antonio Brown, and while his target share to tight ends has decreased since last year—leading to more opportunities for Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin—the Ravens could balance an offense that is second in the league in percentage of explosive running plays (17%) but 15th in percentage of explosive passing plays (9%). Despite being 0–5, the Falcons have a formidable explosive play rate. Jones has played in only three games this year, but is working with his highest career catch rate to date despite one of the lower average separation numbers in the NFL. A developing gunslinger like Jackson might be the perfect pairing.