Remember when the Ravens traveled to London to face the Jaguars in 2017?
Baltimore’s performance in that game was unlike anything I've ever seen from a Ravens team, which prompted Coach Harbaugh to refrain from having his team travel to London for a game since that loss.
Now, I won’t be covering the game script of the London meeting between the Jaguars and Ravens because the 44-7 loss brings back too many memories of frustration and embarrassment.
That said, let’s take a look at the game script from when the Ravens last visited the Jaguars in 2016.
At this time, Blake Bortles and Joe Flacco started at quarterback for their respective teams in an early season, Week 3 matchup.
A 2-0 Ravens team faced an 0-2 Jaguars team in what ended up becoming a very close, turnover-heavy football game.
Let’s see how it went!
Jacksonville received the ball first, but quickly went three and out after an unimpressive first drive.
On Baltimore’s first drive, Flacco and the Ravens punted the ball right back to Bortles and the Jaguars after three plays that went for a grand total of -14 yards.
After a few more stalled drives that resulted in punts for both teams, the Ravens finally gained some offensive momentum by putting together an eight-play, 75-yard drive that eventually led to six points as Flacco scrambled for a seven-yard touchdown.
Chunk plays by Mike Wallace, Steve Smith Sr., and Dennis Pitta kickstarted the momentum for Baltimore.
Ravens lead 7-0.
On Jacksonville’s next drive, Bortles gave the ball right back to the Ravens as C.J. Mosley made an acrobatic, one-handed interception on a pass intended for Allen Robinson.
Starting at their own 29 yard-line, Flacco and the Ravens went to work.
To start the drive, Breshad Perriman took a short pass from Flacco and turned up the field for a 15-yard gain.
During the same drive, Flacco found Smith Sr. for a nice nine-yard gain on a third down and four.
A few plays later, Flacco and the Ravens faced a third down and three, but a pass to Justin Forsett went for negative yardage, forcing a fourth down.
Justin Tucker trotted onto the field and nailed a 43-yard field goal to give the Ravens a 10-0 lead.
After a punt from each team, Jacksonville finally gained some momentum towards the end of the first half and began to put together a game-altering drive.
Particularly good play from Robinson allowed for Bortles and the Jacksonville offense to move the chains on two third down plays.
Just after the two-minute warning, Bortles found Robinson for a three-yard touchdown pass to trim Baltimore’s lead to just three.
With 1:55 left in the half, Flacco and the Ravens found themselves an opportunity to add to their lead.
What allowed for Baltimore to add to their lead was two costly penalties by Jacksonville. A roughing the passer penalty on third down and three allowed for Flacco and the Ravens to get a fresh set of downs.
Pushing the ball downfield, Flacco put the football in Tucker territory for a 58-yard field goal.
Tucker missed the kick, but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty from Dante Fowler Jr. allowed for Tucker to get a second chance to nail the kick.
The 15-yard penalty gave Tucker a much easier, 42-yard field goal, which he nailed to extend Baltimore’s lead to 13-7.
The second half of this game is when things really started to get interesting for both teams.
To lead off the second half, two strong runs from Terrance West kickstarted a nice drive for the Baltimore offense.
Looking to score seven, the Ravens were unable to do so as a third down and five pass intended for Mike Wallace went incomplete.
A 37-yard field goal from Tucker extended Baltimore’s lead to 16-7.
In their next drive, Bortles and the Jaguars orchestrate their best drive all day by running 11 plays for 78 yards, eventually finding six points.
A pass heavy drive led by the arm of Bortles and the hands of Marquise Lee, Allen Hurns, and Robinson put the team in prime territory to shift the momentum of the game.
On the score, Bortles found Robinson for an 11-yard fade route to trim Baltimore’s lead to just two points.
After four stalled drives (two punts from each team), Baltimore looked to get the ball back for Flacco and the offense. However, Devin Hester muffed a punt, allowing Jacksonville to recover at Baltimore’s 39-yard line.
Bortles and the Jaguars were unable to extend their drive, so Jason Meyers came on to nail a 49-yard field goal to give Jacksonville the 17-16 lead.
Looking to recapture the lead, Flacco gave the ball right back to Jacksonville in only four plays. A Dennis Pitta-intended pass was tipped by Jalen Ramsey and intercepted by Tashaun Gibson.
Starting with superb field position at the Baltimore 31 yard-line, a T.J. Yeldon-intended third down pass from Bortles went awry and ended up in the hands of Tavon Young for an interception.
With 4:08 left in the game and after two straight drives with turnovers (from both teams), Flacco gave the ball right back to the Jaguars again!
A short pass intended for Justin Forsett was picked off by Paul Posluszny.
Yannick Ngakoue, a Jaguar at the time, got his hands on the ball while pressuring Flacco, which caused a weak ball to float in their air for an eventual interception.
Giving the ball back to Jacksonville with 3:17 left in the game, Bortles and the offense looked to put more points on the board.
After three turnovers in four minutes and nine seconds, the Baltimore defense made a strong stand to force Jason Meyers to extend the lead with his leg.
A 52-yard field goal from Meyers was blocked by Brent Urban and recovered by Zach Orr.
In an 18-second drive, Flacco and the Ravens get the ball back at their own 43-yard line with a chance to retake the lead.
In eight plays, Flacco and the Ravens go for 22 yards to set Tucker up with a go ahead field goal opportunity from 53-yards out.
As we’ve seen so often, Tucker exhibited the ice in his veins as he split the uprights to give Baltimore the 19-17 lead.
Looking to enter field goal range to win the game, Bortles and the Jaguars were unable to do so as deep pass intended for Hurns got tipped by Lardarius Webb and intercepted by Zach Orr effectively ending the game.
Ravens earned the 19-17 win to extend their record to 3-0.
What can we expect this Sunday?
I believe that Baltimore’s Monday Night performance against the Cleveland Browns has allowed for Baltimore’s re-introduction as a force to be reckoned with.
As of now, the Ravens control their playoff destiny and, by winning out, would finish with an 11-5 overall record.
The Ravens have the easiest strength of schedule remaining in the entire NFL.
That being said, the 1-12 Jaguars should not be taken lightly. With Gardner Minshew returning as the team's starting quarterback, the Ravens must prepare for his playmaking capabilities.
Baltimore’s secondary must subdue a talented crop of wide receivers including players such as D.J. Chark, Keelan Cole, and Laviska Shenault Jr.
Baltimore’s front seven also faces a challenge against the powerful undrafted rookie running back, James Robinson, who currently ranks third in the NFL in rushing.
No matter how easy Baltimore’s remaining schedule is, the records of these teams cannot be taken for granted since a team like Jacksonville has been close to upsetting multiple teams this season.
The Ravens, offensively and defensively, must bring a high level of intensity in order to stymie an unpredictable Jaguars team.
Overall, I expect the Ravens to defend their home turf and re-enter the playoff picture by handily defeating the Jaguars.