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Ravens News 11/23: Divine Intervention and more

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Baltimore Ravens v Chicago Bears Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Week 11 Ravens’ observations: Why undrafted Tyler Huntley chose Baltimore and the fourth-and-11 blitz - Jeff Zrebiec

The blitz did not get home with safety Brandon Stephens getting caught up in the wash and outside linebacker Odafe Oweh arriving too late to disrupt Dalton yet taking an unnecessary roughness penalty in the process. Marquise Goodwin beat young cornerback Chris Westry with a double move and Dalton hit him in stride with a 49-yard touchdown.

The play spurred plenty of criticism in the direction of the notoriously aggressive Martindale for leaving Westry, who was making his first career start in place of an injured Anthony Averett, on an island without any safety help.

Harbaugh backed his defensive coordinator Monday, saying that the call fit with the defensive game plan.

“Sometimes,” Harbaugh said, “a quick death is better because you’re not dead yet.”

Harbaugh is obviously going to back his coaches publicly, but what he says does make sense in some regards. A touchdown is not the worst resolution there. With 1:48 to go, the worst resolution would be the Bears picking up the first down because it would have pretty much put them in field-goal range and given them a new set of downs to get even closer and milk the rest of the time off the clock. Thus, if the Bears played it right, they could have gotten the game-winning field goal without Huntley and the offense getting the ball back or getting it back with no timeouts and time to do much of anything.

NFL Week 11 Team of the Week & Awards - Anthony Treash

BIGGEST GAME-CHANGING MOMENT: TYLER HUNTLEY’S GAME-SAVING PLAY FOR THE BALTIMORE RAVENS

Baltimore looked to be in a let-down spot when word broke that starting quarterback Lamar Jackson wouldn’t be able to play. And even with the Chicago Bears producing the third-lowest successful pass rate of Week 11 (32.5%), the Ravens still found themselves down 9-13 with just over a minute to play.

Few expected Baltimore to come back, as Huntley didn’t record a single big-time throw and led the team to -0.18 EPA per pass play entering that last-chance drive. However, the former undrafted free agent caught a big break with a DPI on a turnover-worthy throw and completed his three pass attempts for 56 yards to lead Baltimore down the field to a score.

One of those passes was a game-changing moment where the Ravens win probability was well below 50%.

Baltimore Win Probability Change: +28%

Tyus Bowser Shows His Star Potential in Chicago - Ryan Mink

Bowser was dominant in the Ravens’ 16-13 victory over the Bears, registering five tackles, two sacks and one tackle for loss.

Bowser was Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded Raven in the game and tied with Arizona’s Chandler Jones as the highest-graded edge player across the NFL in Week 11.

“Tyus Bowser has been playing as good a football as any outside linebacker in the National Football League all season long,” Harbaugh said. “I think he had a couple sacks today, right? Getting those sacks. But everything he does, he does well, and leading our team the way he does it and all of our guys who lead.”

“I know those [multi-sack games] don’t come around too easily, especially when it comes to Baltimore Ravens, those are the hardest ones to get,” Bowser said. “What a great time for that second one to come, putting the icing on the cake.”

Bowser also came close to registering two more sacks (one was negated by a holding penalty in the secondary and one was overturned on replay). His first sack jarred the ball loose from Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields, who was in scoring range.

Defensive Notes Week 11 Ravens @ Bears - Ken McKusick

Calais Campbell (41 snaps) had another fine game. He was held to 1 batted pass when rushing the QB, but he also recovered the forced fumble on Bowser’s strip sack. Of his 3 tackles, 2 were defensive wins.

Justin Ellis (27 snaps) had a shared pressure among 16 pass rush plays. Of 3 tackles he also contributed to 2 defensive wins.

Ar’Darius Washington played 5 snaps at SCB and was not targeted.

Marlon Humphrey allowed just 2 short receptions (PL6, PR4) for 10 yards among 7 targets. Nonetheless, his defensive hold (Q2, 1:57) negated a drive-ending sack by Bowser.

DEFENSIVE MVPS

Tyus Bowser

Justin Madubuike

Justin Houston

Honorable mention to Calais Campbell, Justin Ellis, Tavon Young, and Marlon Humphrey

With another improbable win, the Baltimore Ravens appear to draw on divine intervention - Jarrett Bell

“There’s some things going on with our team that we talked about at the beginning of the season that have really been eye-opening and awesome,” Harbaugh said.

Then again, there have been teams that seemed destined for something special. And there’s no use trying to predict what will happen in this “week to week” NFL, where on Sunday the Titans lost to the Texans and the Bills were drubbed on their own turf by the Colts, leaving Bill Belichick & Co. in first place in the AFC East. And then there are the Ravens, who just bounced back from a pitiful loss at Miami.

“There’s been so many crazy things happening this year, nothing is really too crazy,” Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey said.

“Just all around, it seemed like we didn’t flinch,” Humphrey said.

Some things seem prophetic. Humphrey mentioned how during the team’s Saturday night meeting, Harbaugh urged the special teams to block a punt on Sunday. Sure enough, Jaylen Ferguson deflected a punt in the fourth quarter that set up one of Justin Tucker’s three field goals.

“It just felt like I would never get to this point and I’m here,” Huntley said. “So, I’m blessed.”

That’s as good of an explanation as any for him – and for his team.