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Ravens News 9/20: Thrilling Comeback and more

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Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

‘All right, let’s go’: The Ravens went for the win and Lamar Jackson delivered a signature performance - Jeff Zrebiec

“It feels good to get that monkey off of our back. It just feels good,” Jackson said. “We’ve got to move on to Detroit now. We didn’t win the Super Bowl yet; it’s just one game. We’ve got to just keep staying focused.”

Offensive coordinator Greg Roman, a lightning rod of criticism from the fan base, called a great game despite so many key players missing on offense, kept Steve Spagnuolo’s defense off balance and never strayed far from the run game.

Martindale, who was widely criticized following the Raiders’ loss for blitzing too much, curbed his normal aggressive ways and showed Mahomes myriad different looks, very few of them involving blitzes. Several Chiefs acknowledged later that the Ravens surprised them with their defensive philosophy.

The Ravens took away Tyreek Hill (three catches for 14 yards) and mostly forced Mahomes to rely on his other receivers to win. Martindale’s decision in the second half to have Oweh line up across from Kelce and re-route the prolific tight end seemed to pay big dividends, as did the call to use the rookie first-round pick as a delayed blitzer to meet Mahomes when he stepped up into the pocket. Oweh hurried Mahomes into the interception to Young, another Raven who struggled in Week 1, and that started the comeback.

Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson on finally beating Kansas City Chiefs: ‘Feels good to get that monkey off of our back’ - Jamison Hensley

After the second interception, a visibly frustrated Jackson threw his helmet down on the sideline.

“I know my team is going to look at me,” Jackson said. “If I’m out there just messing up, they’re going to be like, ‘God damn, what are you doing?’ So, I’ve got to do it for my guys. My guys have my back. The first two interceptions, they were like, ‘Man, you’re good; you got that out the way. Let’s just play.’ I was like, ‘You’re right, I’ve got to play now. That’s over with.’ And that’s what we did.”

Jackson settled down, throwing a 42-yard touchdown to Marquise “Hollywood” Brown in the third quarter before setting up his greatest comeback.

Before Sunday, Jackson was 0-6 in his career when trailing by 11 or more points in the fourth quarter (including playoffs). His previous biggest comeback was three points (Week 5 in 2019 at the Pittsburgh Steelers).

Jackson’s high-flying, 1-yard touchdown with 3:14 left gave the Ravens their first lead and put them ahead for good.

“He’s incredible, man,” Ravens tight end Mark Andrews said. “That’s the guy right there. It’s hard to put into words, but he put the team on his shoulders many, many times tonight.”

- Dubin & Benjamin

Why the Ravens won

You have to start with Jackson. Early on, he looked as if he might be the reason the Ravens would lose, throwing a pair of picks to Mathieu — one of which came against triple coverage near the end zone. But as the night wore on, he got better, and his legs were in peak form during crunch time, leading Baltimore’s rushing attack and sealing the victory with both the go-ahead score and clinching fourth-down conversion. He was clearly motivated to prove himself here, and it showed. Coach John Harbaugh also deserves plenty of props for putting the ball in Lamar’s hands with the game on the line, choosing to trust his playmaker rather than give Mahomes and Andy Reid spare time for a comeback. Push from the O-line helped, as did some nice gains from all three pieces of the team’s makeshift running back rotation, as well as steady separation from Marquise Brown. The defense was arguably just as impressive, even on a night in which it allowed 35 points. For a while, the unit held Mahomes and Co. to shorter stuff, and then, despite injuries on the back end, stood tall with late-game pass deflections and a pick — Mahomes’ first-ever in September.

Turning point

The Chiefs moved easily into Ravens territory for the final two minutes of action, threatening to run out the clock on their way to a game-winning field goal. In possession with 1:25 to go, from Baltimore’s 32, they instead fell victim to Ravens rookie Oweh, who beat Orlando Brown Jr. to force the Edwards-Helaire fumble, then recover the ball himself. From there, the Ravens went on to run the clock out themselves.

The Breakdown: Five Thoughts on Win Over Chiefs - John Eisenberg

Patrick Mekari had never started an NFL game at right tackle before Sunday night. Most analysts would tell you he isn’t big enough to play the position in the pros. But he more than held his own, a huge plus on a night when the Ravens’ tackle play was under scrutiny after a rough Week 1. On the same subject, Alejandro Villanueva was far better at left tackle in this game than he was at right tackle in Week 1 … There’s no longer much doubt that Ty’Son Williams is the starting running back after he rushed for 77 yards and totaled 93 yards on 15 touches. He is officially a find … The Ravens had to reach into their depth at safety after DeShon Elliott went out with a concussion. Brandon Stephens and Geno Stone were on the field with the game on the line. That’s how young players develop … Jackson pushed his career rushing total over 3,000 yards, and no quarterback has ever done it so quickly. These superlatives almost seem routine now, but they aren’t … The Ravens certainly benefitted from the support of an energetic crowd that only got louder as the night wore on. How nice to see the home-field advantage back in play.

NFL Week 2 Game Recap: Baltimore Ravens 36, Kansas City Chiefs 35 - Anthony Treash

Wide Receiver/Tight End

Marquise Brown was Lamar’s go-to man in the passing game, and the wide receiver seized the opportunity. Brown was on the other end for half of the first down passes and for four of the Ravens’ six explosive pass plays on the night.

Tight end Mark Andrews saw most of his receiving success come when lined up inline as opposed to in the slot. He hauled in three passes for 39 yards (23 coming after the catch) when inline for 3.90 yards per route run. In the slot, he generated only 1.50 yards per route run.

Offensive Line

Baltimore’s offensive line was night and day compared to their poor debut in Week 1. Last week against the Raiders, Baltimore’s line surrendered 22 pressures and lost a combined 38 pass-block reps. Tonight against the Chiefs, they allowed only two pressures and combined for six lost pass-block reps. They also did plenty for the running back room, giving them on average 3.0 yards before contact across the unit’s 24 combined carries.