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Ravens News 12/22: Postseason Scenarios and more

Jacksonville Jaguars v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

Has the Ravens Offense Turned a Corner? Its Potential Is Showing - Ryan Mink

The Ravens have scored 34, 47 and 40 points over the past three games, respectively. Baltimore piled up a season-high 409 offensive yards against the Jaguars in a 40-14 blowout win at M&T Bank Stadium Sunday afternoon.

“It just shows the potential of the offense and what we thought it would be week in and week out,” wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown said.

“We didn’t play a perfect game, but just to see everybody getting involved, getting touches, making plays – it’s something that we try to [strive for] each week. So, we’ve just got to keep going forward and try to build on it.”

“We’ve just been bonding with each other a lot more ever since I came back from COVID-19 when we’re on the field,” Jackson said. “And our guys have just been focused – that’s just what’s on the field. Each and every drive, we just stack, and we’ve been scoring points.”

NFL Week 15 grades: Bears get an ‘A’ for keeping their playoff hopes alive; Rams get an ‘F’ for losing to Jets - John Breech

Ravens A

The Jaguars played this game without a punter, which was almost ironic because the Ravens definitely didn’t need theirs. The Ravens didn’t a punt a single time in a game where Lamar Jackson had Baltimore’s offense rolling. The Ravens quarterback had one of his best days of the year throwing the ball as he finished with 243 yards and three touchdown passes. Jackson put up those numbers despite throwing an interception on Baltimore’s first possession. Defensively, Yannick Ngakoue got revenge on his old team as he tallied two of Baltimore’s five sacks. One of those sacks was a safety that Matthew Judon recorded in the first quarter.

Baltimore Ravens snap counts: Anthony Averett gets back in the mix; just 4 plays for Devin Duvernay - Aaron Kasinitz

Fullback Patrick Ricard’s 39 offensive snaps were easily a season-high, and the team used him in a variety of alignments. That allowed the Ravens to lessen the workload on star tight end Mark Andrews, who played a season-low 34 snaps on offense.

Inside linebacker Chris Board’s responsibilities on defense continue to expand. He played more than 30 defensive snaps Sunday for the third consecutive game and was on the field for a season-high 62% of the unit’s plays.

As outside linebacker Tyus Bowser’s ascent continues, he played more Sunday (34 defensive snaps) than Pro Bowler Matthew Judon (28) or veteran Pernell McPhee (16).

D.J. Fluker, who played 57 of 66 offensive snaps at right tackle, appears to have regained a grip on that position after spending several games rotating with Tyre Phillips.

How Can Ravens Make Playoffs? Breaking Down Scenarios Entering Week 16 - Ryan Mayer

The Ravens despite an easy 40-16 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, didn’t get much help on Sunday in terms of their playoff hopes. Each of the teams in front of them in the playoff race, the Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins all won leaving Baltimore on the outside looking in at the playoff picture with two games left to play.

The good news is that the Ravens have the easiest remaining games left of any of those teams. They face the Giants at home on Sunday before finishing the year with a trip to Cincinnati on January 3. Those teams hold a combined 7-19-1 record (this is written prior to the Bengals-Steelers game Monday night) which is a .259 winning percentage. The Ravens’ competition for a Wild Card spot all have remaining opponents with better winning percentages.

Browns- @Jets, vs. PIT (.444 win%)

Colts- @PIT, vs. JAX (.444 win%)

Titans- @GB, @HOU (.535 win%)

Dolphins- @LV, vs. BUF (.642 win%)

In addition, the projection models like the Ravens chances of making the postseason. FiveThirtyEight gives them an 89 percent chance and ESPN’s FPI gives them an 87.7 percent chance. But, despite that rosy outlook, the Ravens don’t control their own playoff hopes. They need help to make the postseason. If the Ravens win out and each of the other four do as well, Baltimore would miss the playoffs at 11-5.

Ranking NFL teams most likely to win Super Bowl LV - Adam Schein

Rank 5

Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore is back. Baltimore has been back since the 34-17 win over Dallas in Week 13, a result that was always more about the Ravens’ resurgence than the Cowboys’ issues.

With 10 total touchdowns in the Ravens’ current three-game win streak, Lamar Jackson is playing at his 2019 MVP level again. In a related story, Baltimore is running with authority again, averaging 228 ground yards per game over the past three weeks. Rookie RB J.K. Dobbins is really starting to come into his own as the Ravens’ lead back. In the air game, Mark Andrews remains a matchup problem at tight end, while speedy wideout Marquise Brown has started to pick it up in December. Defensively, Baltimore’s loaded with talent. And even though the unit’s been devoured by the injury bug, the Ravens still rank fourth in scoring D.

While Jackson certainly has something to prove come playoff time, he just won the game of the year thus far — Baltimore’s thrilling 47-42 road victory at Cleveland — with a Superman performance straight out of a Hollywood script.