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Ravens News 12/10: Running Hot and more

Tennessee Titans v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Finally healthy and running hot, Ravens seek strong finish

“This is what we need, “ said rookie running back J.K. Dobbins, who rushed for 71 yards and a score. “I feel like we’re ready to go now.”

“We’ve got all of our goals ahead of us, and for us to keep them there we have to keep winning,” said Gus Edwards, who amassed 101 yards on just seven carries against the Cowboys.

“We’ve just got to keep rocking,” Jackson said. “We’ve got four more to go.”

“It was very encouraging,” coach John Harbaugh said. “Our guys did a great job. They blocked.”

STOCK UP

With receiver Willie Snead and tight end Mark Andrews still on the COVID-19 list, the Ravens needed a big game from wideout Marquise Brown — and he delivered.

Jackson completed only 12 passes, five of them to Brown for 39 yards. The second-year receiver made an excellent over-the-shoulder catch in the back of the end zone to make it 24-10 in the third quarter before receiving a big old hug from an appreciative Jackson.

DEFENSIVE NOTES WEEK 13 DALLAS COWBOYS @ BALTIMORE RAVENS - Ken McKusick

CONVERSIONS

The Ravens held the Cowboys to an unremarkable 6 of 15 on 3rd down, which hid a substantial problem the Ravens had with first downs allowed (29):

The Ravens have only allowed 29+ first downs in 10 games in their history with a high of 33 vs New England on 9/23/2012.

Despite the Cowboys 6 for 15 showing on 3rd down, they subsequently converted 3 of 4 on 4th down.

Effectively, the Cowboys eventually converted 9 of 15 times (60%) they reached 3rd down on offense.

Beyond those, the Cowboys had another 20 conversions on 1st or 2nd down

Despite having 28 conversions not generated by penalty, the Cowboys had just 388 net yards, which underscores the lack of big plays allowed.

Troy Aikman talked primarily about the Cowboys’ future during the second half as opposed to the lone contending team on the field, but one of his comments was that he expected more from the Ravens defense. I did too, particularly in terms of exploitation by scheme of the makeshift Cowboys line.

DEFENSIVE MVPS

Jihad Ward

Brandon Williams

LJ Fort and Derek Wolfe

Baltimore Ravens snap count analysis: A limited Calais Campbell, replacing Dez Bryant and more - Aaron Kasinitz

Sixth-round rookie James Proche, used primarily as a punt returner, played four offensive snaps and did not factor heavily into the game plan.

That left the Ravens’ other three receivers — Miles Boykin (48 offensive snaps), Marquise Brown (45) and Devin Duvernay (44) — to take on large roles.

With the increased playing time, Boykin finished with one catch, a 38-yard touchdown in the second quarter. He totaled 31 receiving yards in his previous five outings combined.

Ravens running backs J.K. Dobbins and Mark Ingram, quarterback Lamar Jackson, fullback Patrick Ricard, center Patrick Mekari and outside linebacker Pernell McPhee all saw typical playing time totals Tuesday after missing one game while on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Baltimore deactivated rookie defensive tackle Justin Madubuike, who had come off the list Monday.

The Ravens gave rookie Tyre Phillips his first start at right tackle Wednesday and rotated veteran D.J. Fluker in at the position. Fluker (31 snaps) wound up playing more than Phillips (24).

Inside linebacker Chris Board played a season-high 37 defensive snaps, more than positionmates L.J. Fort (33) and Malik Harrison (10).

2021 NFL Draft order: Broncos in top 10; Bears No. 13 - Dan Parr

Pick 18

Baltimore Ravens

7-5 · .569

Biggest needs: WR, OL, edge rusher

This week’s game: at Browns

Baltimore traded for Yannick Ngakoue at midseason to spark the pass rush, but he hasn’t done it to this point. The free-agent-to-be has one sack on 161 pass rush snaps for the Ravens, per Next Gen Stats.

Ravens Activate Mark Andrews, Matthew Judon Off COVID-19 List - Ryan Mink

The Ravens activated outside linebacker Matthew Judon and tight end Mark Andrews off the Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, bringing them close to having their full squad back following the team’s outbreak. Baltimore also activated offensive lineman Will Holden and he has returned to the practice squad.

The Ravens now have three players – wide receiver Willie Snead IV, safety Geno Stone and cornerback Terrell Bonds (IR/knee) – remaining on their Reserve/COVID-19 list after reaching 22 players when Judon and Andrews were added on Nov. 30.

Getting Judon and Andrews back is big for the Ravens (7-5) as they prepare for a critical game against the Cleveland Browns (9-3) on Monday Night Football.

Week 14 NFL picks: Giants win again, Bears finally end slide, Steelers take another loss - Pete Prisco

Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns

Latest Odds: Ravens -1

This is a huge game for both teams, but it’s more important for the Ravens. They need this a big way to keep their playoff hopes alive. But it’s more of a proving game for the Browns. I think the Ravens will come in and play with their season on the line and I think will get a tough hard-nosed victory.

Pick: Ravens 24, Browns 23