The Baltimore Ravens squandered an opportunity to win back-to-back games for the first time this season in Week 6. They built a 10-point fourth quarter lead against the New York Giants but were outscored 14-0 over the final 12 minutes of play.
Another blown lead in a losing effort means there was plenty of bad and ugly from the Ravens in this game. They did some good things, too, but it wasn’t enough to win in the end.
The Ravens’ run game continues to pick up steam after a slow start to the season. Against the Giants, they rushed for a season-high 211 rushing yards. For the first time this year, someone not named Lamar Jackson led the team in yardage on the ground. That player was Kenyan Drake.
Drake only received 10 rushing attempts but turned them into 119 yards. He ripped off four runs of 15+ yards including two 30-yard gains, one that went for a touchdown in the second quarter. Aside from Mark Andrews, Drake was the only true impact skill-position player for the Ravens in this game.
Drake ate into the snap count of J.K. Dobbins, who gained 15 yards on seven carries and didn’t play in the second half. Jackson had 77 rushing yards on only seven attempts. He had a 25-yard rush in the third quarter and a handful of other long scampers.
The defensive key for the Ravens in this game was to slow down Saquon Barkley. He wound up with 83 rushing yards but needed 22 carries to reach that total. Barkley was almost a non-factor until very late in the game. The Ravens’ defensive line did a good job of bottling him up and preventing any long gains.
Daniel Jones, also a key cog in the Giants’ rushing offense and success, didn’t hurt the Ravens at all with his legs. He finished with six rushing yards on six attempts, some of which accounts for lost yardage via being sacked.
Long pass completions
Jackson threw for 210 passing yards on 32 attempts. His average yards per attempt of 6.6 leaves a lot to be desired, as does his 53% completion rate. He obviously didn’t have his best performance. However, of Jackson’s 17 completed passes, all but four of them went for 10+ yards — a positive takeaway.
Andrews had seven catches in the double-digit yardage range. Isaiah Likely and Demarcus Robinson each had a pair. The Ravens’ 13 passing first downs is a season-high and almost as many as they’ve accumulated in the past two weeks combined, which is 14.
Aside from some off-target throws and dropped passes, Jackson was able to connect on long completions with some regularity.
Finishing scoring opportunities
The Ravens reached the Giants’ 40 yard line on their first four drives of the game. On the first possession, a six-yard loss by Jackson knocked them out of field goal range. The second time around, Justin Tucker missed a 56-yard field goal attempt. That could have been a shorter try, though, if not for a sequence of two incompletions, a false start and a negative run.
Halfway through the second quarter, the Ravens had first-and-10 from the Giants’ 16 yard line. Jackson threw three consecutive incompletions and they settled for a field goal. That same result happened early in the third quarter, except the Ravens there had first-and-goal only five yards out from the end zone.
Finishing drives with points not something the Ravens did well enough in this game, which is a development dating back a few games now.
Third down defense
The Giants converted seven of their 14 third down tries in this game. Three of these came on New York’s touchdown drive in the second quarter alone.
The Ravens’ defense forced them into two separate third-and-longs but were unable to get off the field. Daniel Jones completed an 18-yard pass to Darius Slayton and 15-yard pass to Wan’Dale Robinson. Then, on third-and-goal in the red zone, Robinson got free for a five-yard touchdown catch to complete the drive.
In the fourth quarter, the Ravens gave up two more third down conversions on the Giants’ touchdown drive that made the score 20-17. Jones completed another 18-yard pass and gained three yards on a quarterback sneak on third-and-short in the red zone.
Penalties. Penalties. Penalties.
The Ravens were flagged a season-high 10 times in this game for 74 yards. A number of these penalties were crucial to them ultimately losing.
On their first two offensive drives, the Ravens committed three false starts. The third came just after they crossed into scoring territory and contributed to Justin Tucker having to attempt a 56-yard field goal instead of a shorter one. They came away with zero points.
The Giants’ field goal drive in the third quarter may have been a punt if Odafe Oweh had not committed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on third down. They had the Giants stopped short, but Oweh’s penalty granted them 15 yards and a fresh set of downs. The back-breakers were the illegal formation and defensive pass interference violations in the fourth quarter, which occurred just a few plays apart.
The former, called on Ronnie Stanley, nullified a would-be first down rush on third down. Lamar Jackson was intercepted on the next play. The latter, called on Marcus Peters, wiped out a third down stop in the red zone and gave the Giants a first-and-goal at the one yard line. They scored a go-ahead touchdown on the next play.
Sandwiched in-between those two late-game penalties was Jackson’s interception, which swung the game in the Giants’ favor. The Ravens were still up three points at the time and had a chance to convert a third down and milk the clock out. The turnover and return gave the Giants an immediate scoring opportunity to go ahead by four points.
It didn’t help that the snap was botched at first, but Jackson should have thrown the ball away and the Ravens could have punted. Instead, he made an ill-advised, head-scratching heave to Patrick Ricard in double coverage.
Then, any chance of a game-winning touchdown drive was thwarted when Jackson was strip-sacked by Kayvon Thibodeaux with 1:40 left on the clock. You simply can’t turn the ball over on back-to-back drives in the fourth quarter of a one-possession game. Jackson did, and it canceled out any hope the Ravens hanging on and escaping with a victory.