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Ravens News 11/22: Bailing Out and more

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NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Chicago Bears Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

2021 NFL season, Week 11: What we learned from Sunday’s games - Kevin Patra

Holy comeback, Batman! Playing without Lamar Jackson, the Ravens’ offense struggled to generate big plays all afternoon, earning just 3.9 yards per play on 76 snaps. The lack of Jackson’s dynamic ability highlighted the 3-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust nature to the Ravens’ RBs this season. In a tight ballgame, the Ravens were content to play it safe with quarterback Tyler Huntley. But after a busted coverage allowed the Bears to take the lead with less than two minutes remaining, Baltimore had no choice but to let Huntley sling it. The QB connected on a massive deep shot to Sammy Watkins for 29 yards — Huntley’s only attempt longer than 20 air yards on the afternoon. Devonta Freeman powered it in for the game-winning TD. The escape sans Jackson or receiver Marquise Brown is big for the AFC North leaders. It’s evident how much the Ravens need the MVP candidate to create to beat better teams.

Next Gen stat of the week: Mark Andrews caught eight of 10 targets for 73 yards, including five receptions for 56 yards on open targets (3+ yards of separation).

NFL Week 11 Game Recap: Baltimore Ravens 16, Chicago Bears 13 - Jacob Rosenfarb

Offensive Line

Baltimore’s offensive line struggled to allow Huntley adequate time in the pocket, conceding 25 pressures and six sacks. Starting left tackle Alejandro Villanueva was particularly ineffective, allowing a team-high four pressures and one sack in pass protection. The unit was stronger in the run game, powering a Ravens rushing attack that averaged 3.6 yards per carry.

Defensive Line

The Ravens defensive line manhandled Chicago up front, accounting for 15 unit-wide pressures and four sacks. Edge defender Tyus Bowser made his presence felt early and often Sunday as he finished with three pressures and two sacks, the second of which came on the game’s final play.

Linebackers

Patrick Queen was a force, leading Baltimore with seven total tackles including a crucial third-down tackle for loss midway through the first quarter. He captained a Ravens linebacking corps that dominated in coverage, as they conceded receptions on just one of their five unit-wide targets for 2 yards.

NFL Week 11 takeaways: What we learned, big questions for every game and future team outlooks - Jamison Hensley

Baltimore 16, Chicago 13

What to know: The Ravens can win without quarterback Lamar Jackson. For most of the game, it wasn’t pretty or exciting. But with Jackson out with an illness, backup Tyler Huntley led Baltimore on a winning drive in the final minute. His 30-yard pass to Sammy Watkins set up Devonta Freeman’s go-ahead, 3-yard touchdown with 22 seconds remaining. This was an improbable and gutsy win considering the Ravens were without an MVP candidate in Jackson and top wide receiver in Marquise Brown (thigh) and they have 13 players on injured reserve.

Will the Ravens’ defense ever solve its big-play issues? It’s nearly the same script every game. Baltimore plays shutdown defense before a costly mistake ruins it. On Sunday, the big plays nearly cost the Ravens the game. Ravens cornerback Chris Westry allowed a 49-yard touchdown on fourth-and-11 with under two minutes left in the game. The other Bears touchdown came on a 60-yard wide receiver screen to Darrell Mooney. Baltimore has given up 11 passes of 40 yards or more, tied for the most in the NFL.

NFL Week 11 grades: Colts get an ‘A+’ for upset win over Bills, Titans get a ‘D-’ for shocking loss to Texans - John Breech

Ravens A-

With Lamar Jackson out, Tyler Huntley got the start at quarterback for Baltimore and although he looked overmatched for the better part of three quarters, he made some magic happen when it counted the most. With the Ravens trailing 13-9, Huntley led a 72-yard TD drive in the final two minutes to win the game for Baltimore. Huntley threw for 56 yards on the drive, which ended with a game-winning TD from Devonta Freeman. Of course, Huntley wouldn’t have been in a position to win the game if not for a huge performance from Baltimore’s special teams. Not only did Justin Tucker kick three field goals, but the the Ravens also tipped a punt in the fourth quarter, which led to a 17-yard kick by the Bears. The short punt set up one of Tucker’s three field goals. With Lamar out, the Ravens needed a big game from their defense and special teams and that’s exactly what they got.

Position-by-position grades for Ravens’ 16-13 win over Bears - Mike Preston

Linebackers

Moving second-year player Patrick Queen from middle to weak-side linebacker continues to pay off for the Ravens. Queen led all Ravens with seven tackles and seems as quick as ever running to the ball. Tyus Bowser had two sacks and provided decent pressure and fellow outside linebacker Justin Houston had a sack. The outside linebackers had trouble holding the edge in the first half but improved in the second. Grade: B

Coaching

There are times when the Ravens win despite the coaching. When Huntley threw his interception in the fourth quarter, the Ravens should have just run the ball and sent Tucker out for a field goal. With five seconds left in the first half and no timeouts, they attempted a pass across the middle to Andrews short of the end zone that would have led to the clock running out if he caught it and was tackled. It was a poor decision, and not the only one. Why would the Ravens leave a young cornerback like Westry out on an island one-on-one with no safety support on fourth-and-11? It led to a 49-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Goodwin with 1:41 left that nearly cost the Ravens the game. Decision-making has been poor in the past couple of games, and fortunately, the players have bailed the coaching staff out. Grade: D