The Ravens claimed first place in the AFC North on Monday night after Lamar Jackson completed a miraculous primetime comeback. In a game where the defense struggled to stop Indianapolis and the rushing attack was bottled up, Baltimore’s passing offense propelled them to victory.
The offensive line had a mixed outing but blocked well enough to enable the elusive Jackson to deliver a historic performance. Alejandro Villanueva suited-up for all 73 offensive snaps after being knocked out the previous game, Bradley Bozeman and Patrick Mekari also saw a full snap share. Trystan Colon played six snaps at right guard while Kevin Zeitler was briefly sidelined with a knee issue. Rookie guard Ben Cleveland was forced from the game after just four snaps due to a knee injury that has landed him on short-term injured reserve. Cleveland’s injury allowed Ben Powers to log 69 uneven snaps at left guard.
With the Ravens offense chasing points, the running back corps totaled just 11 carries combined. Latavius Murray again led the unit with six carries and 2.8 yard average on a 49-percent snap share. Devonta Freeman earned a 27-percent workload, including 34 receiving yards among his four total touches. Ty’Son Williams was activated in lieu of Le’Veon Bell, and produced 21 all-purpose yards during his 19-percent participation.
Mark Andrews contributed 56 outstanding snaps to the effort, recording 11 receptions for 147 yards, two touchdowns and a pair of successful two-point conversions. Fullback Patrick Ricard saw a significant reduction in playing time from the previous weeks, he received just 16 snaps due to the negative game script. Backup tight end Josh Oliver made two catches while relieving Andrews for 12 snaps and blocking tight end Eric Tomlinson was utilized on only 10-percent of plays.
Marquise Brown also found the end zone twice while racking up 125 yards on 66 snaps. A hamstring injury knocked Sammy Watkins from the game after 20 snaps. Fortunately, Devin Duvernay and James Proche have developed into capable complementary options, they combined for 60 yards and a perfect completion percentage on 64 and 50 offensive snaps, respectively.
Captain Chuck Clark aligned the defense for each of their 69 snaps and intercepted a two-point attempt. Starting corners Marlon Humphrey and Anthony Averett both played a full complement of snaps despite Averett’s struggles in coverage. Notably, rookie safety Brandon Stephens had his best game of the season in DeShon Elliott’s absence, he led the team with 11 tackles while playing all 69 snaps.
On 44 snaps from the slot, Tavon Young made a large impact with three tackles for loss, a pass breakup and timely third-down sack. Jimmy Smith logged 34 snaps, primarily as a deep safety in substitution packages. And undrafted rookie Ar’Darius Washington saw his second defensive snap of the season against Indianapolis.
The Ravens inside linebacker situation remains troubling after Week 5. Patrick Queen’s workload was reduced to a 72-percent rate as Coordinator Martindale opted for packages without any inside linebackers for 16 plays. After problematic tackling, Malik Harrison was limited to a 26-percent snap share. Chris Board had 32 uneventful snaps and steady veteran Josh Bynes was not active on Monday night.
Snaps were near evenly distributed among the trio of primary edge defenders. Ascending rookie Odafe Oweh tallied his third sack and second forced fumble of the season on 45 snaps. Tyus Bowser and Justin Houston saw 44 snaps apiece, both turned in quality outings. Versatile front-7 defender Pernell McPhee recorded a tackle for loss among his 31 snaps.
Calais Campbell shouldered a 75-percent workload and made several impactful plays including a clutch field goal block. Brandon Williams recovered the fumble and consistently held his ground on 38 snaps, while Justin Ellis assisted on 13 snaps. With Derek Wolfe on injured reserve, Justin Madubuike was called upon for 31 snaps and Broderick Washington rotated-in for six snaps.
A showdown against the Chargers is on deck in Week 6. In a battle between first place teams, the Ravens hope to improve their tackling on defense and continue leaning on their newly prolific pass offense.