It wasn’t pretty, but the Baltimore Ravens grinded out a much-needed victory over the Cleveland Browns in Week 7. They avoided another potential disaster late in the game and hung on to a three-point advantage, 23-20.
While it was a performance of highs and lows on both sides of the ball, some notable performers stood out. Let’s run through some of them below to determine who deserves this week’s game ball.
Despite not being officially activated until Saturday, Edwards drew the start at running back and made quite the season debut. In his first game action since 2020, Edwards dominated the backfield carries over Kenyan Drake and Justice Hill. The “Gus Bus” was the Ravens’ primary source of offense in the first half, where he turned 10 carries into 49 yards and a seven-yard touchdown run.
Edwards only had six carries for 17 yards in the second half but again found paydirt in the third quarter. Faced with a fourth down just one yard outside the end zone, Edwards was given the carry and plowed forward behind Patrick Ricard for a touchdown. That gave the Ravens a 10-point cushion at the time and came after a key forced fumble by Calais Campbell.
Of Edwards’ 16 carries on the day, more than half went for four yards or more, including a number of first down conversions. It may have been beneficial for him to see even more work in the fourth quarter, as Drake and Hill were not as effective down the stretch.
In a game where Ravens had just 254 total yards of offense and 17 first downs, Edwards’ 66 yards and two touchdowns were highly valuable. His downhill, forward-gaining rushing style was a welcome addition.
Following a quick three-and-out at the beginning of the second quarter, the Ravens punted the ball back to the Browns, who led 10-3 at the time. The Ravens’ defense badly needed to buckle down and get off the field. A 69-yard punt by Jordan Stout backed the Browns to their own 12 yard line or so, where Patrick Queen then took matters into his hands.
On back-to-back plays, Queen burst through the line of scrimmage and stuffed Kareem Hunt for losses of five yards. It was a huge sequence that gave the Ravens a much-needed jolt. The Browns punted and the Ravens trimmed their deficit with a field goal a few plays later.
It was a stat-stuffing afternoon for the former first-round pick. Queen the team in total tackles with 11, three of which were for losses. He also recorded a sack and quarterback hit on Brissett, demonstrating his continued success as a pass-rusher. Queen covered ground well and was around the ball on more than a few occasions.
After missing the past few games with a groin injury, Houston returned to the lineup and gave the Ravens’ defense a big boost.
The veteran edge rusher had sacks on back-to-back plays during the Browns’ two-minute drive just before halftime. The first prevented Jacoby Brissett from scrambling for positive yardage, as Houston wrapped him up from behind as he escaped the pocket.
Then, on the next play, Houston sacked Brissett for a loss of 10 yards. He stripped Brissett of the ball for a forced fumble which was recovered by Cleveland. However, that knocked the Browns out of field goal range and forced them to punt. To negate a potential three points there was ultimately crucial given the final score of the game was 23-20.
That sequence alone had a huge impact, but Houston also added a tackle-for-loss and quarterback hit to his stat line. He helped spearhead a disruptive Ravens’ pass rushing effort.
Honorable mentions —
Malik Harrison: Harrison ultimately made the biggest play of the game, blocking Cade York’s 60-yard field goal attempt late in the fourth quarter.
Calais Campbell: Campbell strip-sacked Brissett early in the third quarter gave the Ravens’ possession just 25 yards out from the end zone. They scored a touchdown eight plays later to expand their lead. Campbell also made some notable run-stuffs in the first half.
Devin Duvernay: Duvernay only caught two passes for 42 yards, but that was enough to tie for a team-lead in receiving yards. His 46-yard punt return in the second quarter directly led to three points, as Justin Tucker made a 34-yard try four plays later.
Who gets your vote for game ball recipient from Week 7?
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