The Ravens took a short trip down I-95 on Sunday and got back into the win column with a 14-point victory over the Washington Football Team. Baltimore never trailed at any point in the game and secured a much-needed bounce-back victory after a disappointing showing against the Chiefs in Week 3.
Some key takeaways below from Sunday’s game below.
1) Worth every penny
Fresh off a five-year contract extension signed earlier this week, Marlon Humphrey reminded us again why he’s now the second highest-paid cornerback in the NFL.
After the Ravens punted on their first offensive drive of the game, Humphrey gave the ball right back to Lamar Jackson and company after just a few plays. Humphrey quickly pursued Washington RB J.D. McKissic, who caught a screen pass behind the line of scrimmage, and ripped the ball from his grasp. The forced fumble was recovered by Marcus Peters.
On the next two plays, Jackson hit Marquise Brown for a 33-yard reception and Mark Ingram punched in a 1-yard touchdown in the red zone.
It was Humphrey’s second forced fumble of the season and fifth of his career, and they seemingly have all resulted in points in one way or another. Humphrey is now responsible for three total turnovers this year and is the driving force behind one of the league’s top turnover-forcing defenses.
In addition to the forced fumble, Humphrey also finished second on the team in total tackles against Washington with 9 and recorded a pass breakup. Just another day at the office for “Marlo.”
2) Sam Koch = QB1?
Every so often, John Harbaugh breaks out the patented fake punt attempt. You never truly know when it’s coming but when it does, it has a fairly high rate of success.
Late two incompletions from Jackson resulted in a stalled drive late in the second quarter, the Ravens lined up to punt on 4th-&-9. However, Sam Koch dropped back to pass after receiving the snap and completed a 15-yard pass to Miles Boykin for a first down.
From there, Jackson did the rest, connecting with Mark Andrews for a 25-yard score on third down — expanding the Ravens lead to double-digits.
Believe it or not, Koch has a perfect 100% completion percentage for his career. Of course this comes in a limited sample size on less than 10 total pass attempts, but the sucessful fake punt conversion against Washington serves as another reminder that the Ravens always have that option in their back pocket.
It was also a crucial play in the grand scheme of the game, too. Had the Ravens punted the ball away and not scored a touchdown, Washington would have gotten the ball back down only seven points.
3) Electric, but lacking a certain spark?
On a day where the Ravens scored 31 points and won by two touchdowns, it feels a bit nit-picky to find things to complain about. However, it’s important to examine the box score with a grain of salt, as it doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story.
The Ravens executed on a handful of chunk plays against Washington. With the exception of Ingram’s 1-yard touchdown rush, all of Baltimore’s other touchdowns came on gains of 25, 33, and 50 yards, respectively. Andrews was responsible for the former two, while Jackson’s 50-yard touchdown rush was the biggest offensive highlight of the day.
However, despite this, it felt like the Ravens offense was a little more shaky than usual.
Jackson bounced back after a poor showing in Week 3 but was far from his normal self in terms of accuracy, missing on a few deep shots and tossing his first interception since 160 passes ago. Of note, though, is that the interception wasn’t necessarily his fault.
Miles Boykin appeared to run the incorrect route and was late breaking to the ball. Through four weeks, Boykin has yet to emerge as the bona-fide No. 2 receiver that many were hopeful and optimistic he would become this season.
Mark Andrews (2 TD, 57 yards) and Marquise Brown (4 catches, 86 yards) bounced back in a big way this week, but the contributions from other pass-catchers continues to be consistent and spotty. Devin Duvernay and Willie Snead IV were targeted only two times.
Again, scoring 31 points is more than enough to win most games, but it feels like the Ravens need another playmaker in this offense to reach a new level.
4) Patrick Queen and Matthew Judon shine
Humphrey wasn’t the only defensive playmaker to impress in Week 4, as Patrick Queen and Matthew Judon also stood out in a big way.
Queen has been picked on in coverage a bit the season and struggled against the high-octane offense of Kansas City in Week 3. However, he bounced back with a strong showing against Washington — perhaps the best performance of his young career thus far.
Queen led the team with 12 total tackles and three of them were TFL, which also paced all Ravens defenders. Queen’s activity and contributions as a run defender were on display and have been fairly consistent through four weeks.
Judon’s versatility has been of-note the season but he had yet to make a significant impact in the box score heading into Sunday’s matchup. That changed against Washington, as Judon recorded his first two sacks of the season — which resulted in a net loss of over 20 yards for Washington.
Additionally, Judon also had a total of five QB hits and two TFL, the former of which was more than every other Ravens defender posted combined.