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Ravens News 10/12: Improbable Comeback and more

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Indianapolis Colts v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Down 19 points, QB Lamar Jackson rallies Baltimore Ravens to epic comeback win over Indianapolis Colts - Jamison Hensley

“It’s one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.

It’s one of the greatest performances anyone has ever seen. As Jackson left the field, the fans — the ones that hadn’t left after Baltimore had fallen behind by double digits — loudly chanted “MVP!”

Here is how Jackson made history on Monday night:

First quarterback in the league to complete 85% of his passes in a 400-yard game

First player in NFL history with 400 yards passing, four touchdown passes, no interceptions and 50 yards rushing

Highest completion rate in a 40-pass game in NFL history (86%, 37-of-43)

Told of some of his accomplishments, Jackson said, “Dang! I was just locked in. I was just calm. Everything was just moving slow, and I was just taking it a play at a time. That’s what it was.”

“I was ticked off. We needed that touchdown,” Jackson said of the fumble. “I was just praying we’d get another opportunity in my head. I didn’t really want to show everybody I’m praying. It’s good to pray now, but I was just like, ‘Man, we just need another opportunity, because I know what we can do.’”

So, does this go down as the best game of Jackson’s career?

“I don’t know,” Jackson said. “We got the win. That’s all I care about.”

2021 NFL season, Week 5: What we learned from Ravens’ win over Colts on Monday night - Nick Shook

Allow Mark Andrews to reintroduce himself. The tight end proved to be a highly reliable target for Jackson, catching 11 passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns and teamed with the quarterback to convert two crucial two-point attempts in the final quarter. He wasn’t just a catch-and-fall type of target, either, making an assortment of defenders miss after the catch. And when the Ravens needed a reliable pair of hands the most, Andrews rose to the occasion, twice beating Bobby Okereke for key receptions in the end zone. Baltimore has a pass-catching corps that is much improved, with Brown going for a long touchdown in each of the Ravens’ last two games. But they likely don’t complete their improbable comeback without Andrews.

Next Gen Stat of the night: The Ravens had a 4% win probability when the Colts took a 22-3 lead with 3:11 left in the third quarter. They flipped it to 86% by the time they lined up for the play that ended with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Brown.

NFL Week 5 Game Recap: Baltimore Ravens 31, Indianapolis Colts 25 - Jacob Rosenfarb

Offensive Line

Baltimore’s offensive line was not at its best Monday, struggling to create open running lanes while allowing consistent pressure in pass protection. The unit’s performance in the run game stunted the Ravens offense, as Baltimore’s rushers finished with an average of -0.3 yards before contact.

The group was only slightly better in pass protection, allowing 17 total pressures and 12 quarterback hits but only two sacks thanks in large part to Jackson’s elusiveness.

Defensive Line

The Ravens defensive line worked past a poor opening half to play a crucial role in the victory, limiting the Colts’ rushing and passing attack with consistent pressure when the team needed it most. Edge rusher Odafe Oweh was by far the unit’s most dominant member, collecting a game-high five pressures while converting one into his third sack of the season.

Interior defender Calais Campbell was equally impressive, racking up a team-high two tackles for loss and a crucial blocked field goal.

Position-by-position grades for Ravens’ 31-25 overtime win over Colts - Mike Preston

Running backs

There was speculation before the game that a team was interested in trading for one of the Ravens’ running backs, but that’s hard to believe. This group has had very little impact; there isn’t a home run hitter among them. But it’s just not the fault of Latavius Murray, Ty’Son Williams, Devonta Freeman and Le’Veon Bell. The Ravens can’t open holes at the point of attack and sustain them for long. Grade: D

Linebackers

The poor tackling by inside linebackers Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison is becoming a weekly problem. At least it takes a lot to move Harrison off the ball. Queen misses tackles because he doesn’t get his feet under him and is out of control. Rookie outside linebacker Odafe Oweh continues to make plays, but he needs some help from veterans Justin Houston and Pernell McPhee. Grade: D

Coaching

The Ravens opened up the offense in the second half, which they needed to do to have any chance of coming back. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman attacked the entire field and used some deception to slow the Colts, who have a lot of speed on defense. Defensively, the Colts had coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale and the Ravens off balance all night, especially with bootlegs and waggles. The Ravens weren’t ready to play and weren’t physical. Grade: C

The Breakdown: Five Thoughts on the Stunning Win Over the Colts - John Eisenberg

After the Ravens’ playoff loss in Buffalo last year, Jackson told the front office that he needed to get better, but also, that he needed more receiving targets if he was truly going to make the passing game go. The organization has endeavored to make that happen, and the fruits of their labor were evident in this game, as nine different Baltimore receivers caught at least two passes. Yet there’s no doubt where Jackson looked when he really needed a completion – to Andrews and Marquise Brown, his favorite targets last year, this year and always. The result was monster games for both, a combined 20 catches for 272 yards and four touchdowns. They did their damage late, with all but four of those combined catches coming after halftime, and the effect was to reinforce that they’ll be among the biggest beneficiaries of the ramped-up passing game. Many observers have long viewed Andrews as ranking just below the top tier of tight ends; that might be changing. As for Brown, who caught the winning touchdown, yes, he had a blip in Detroit, but look closely: He already has five touchdown catches and is etching the outline of a Pro Bowl-caliber season.