Baltimore turns back the clock to squeeze out a win. For the third time in the last four weeks, the Ravens fell short of the 350-yard mark offensively. Lamar Jackson completed just 9 of 16 passes for 120 yards, and Devin Duvernay and Rashod Bateman tied atop their receiving statistics with only 42 yards each. In most games, that lack of production would lead to a loss, but even without J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore was able to channel its 2019 and 2020 form on the ground late in this game. The Ravens regained possession with nine minutes left and a three-point lead, and proceeded to take 5:48 off the clock by consistently rushing for positive gains. Eleven of Baltimore’s 12 plays of the possession were runs and its march seemed destined to end in points before Hill’s fumble. It didn’t end up mattering, but it was notable to see the Ravens running with authority in a close game and largely finding success, rushing 44 times while only attempting 16 passes, and finishing with 160 rushing yards as a team (Gus Edwards led the way with 66 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries). Without that fourth-quarter drive, it’s fair to wonder whether Baltimore would’ve won Sunday.
Next Gen Stat of the game: Baltimore gained 9.1% in win probability with Calais Campbell’s strip sack of Jacoby Brissett in the third quarter, which eventually led to a Ravens touchdown.
NFL Research: Sunday was Lamar Jackson’s second career win as a starter with fewer than 10 completions.
NFL Week 7 takeaways: Lessons, big questions for every game - Jamison Hensley
What to know: The Ravens still have fourth-quarter issues but finally got some good fortune at the end. It looked like Baltimore was about to give away another double-digit lead after running back Justice Hill fumbled with 3:12 left in the game. But Malik Harrison blocked a potential game-tying 61-yard field goal. Then Ravens safety Geno Stone forced a fumble on the Browns’ final possession as the game ended. The Ravens avoided becoming just the third team in the past decade to lose four times in the first seven weeks in games in which they held double-digit leads.
What’s going on with Lamar Jackson throwing the ball? Defenses have turned up the heat with blitzes, and Jackson has not been sharp or decisive with the ball. On Sunday, he finished with 120 yards passing, the sixth fewest of his five-year career. Two completions — a 31-yard pass to Devin Duvernay and a 19-yard dump-off to fullback Patrick Ricard — accounted for 50 of those yards. Jackson said this week that the Ravens need to stop overthinking and just play. But Baltimore’s issues go deeper than that. Over the past four games, Jackson has thrown three TDs and four INTs.
Gus ‘The Bus’ Edwards Rolls in His Return - Clifton Brown
Playing his first game in more than a year, Edwards made an instant impact and showed how much the Ravens have missed his powerful running style. Edwards scored two touchdowns and handled a majority of the workload during Sunday’s 23-20 victory over the Cleveland Browns, finishing with a team-high 66 yards on 16 carries.
Edwards was just getting started. On first-and-goal from the seven in the second quarter, Edwards rolled untouched into the end zone for a go-ahead touchdown just before halftime that gave Baltimore a 13-10 lead. At halftime, Edwards was the game’s leading rusher with 49 yards on 10 carries.
In the third quarter, with the Ravens needing their hammer on the goal line, Edwards entered the game on fourth-and-1 and plunged forward for a second touchdown to give the Ravens a 20-10 lead.
“Gus is unique,” Harbaugh said. “He’s a downhill guy, he covers a lot of ground. Every back has a different style and Gus’ style is very valuable to us.”
The Ravens rushed for 160 yards and had nearly a nine-minute advantage in time of possession, but they still aren’t moving any players off the line of scrimmage in short-yardage situations. Tackles Ronnie Stanley, Morgan Moses and Patrick Mekari gave up too much ground to ends Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney as Cleveland finished with three sacks and five hits on Jackson. That’s partially why the Ravens only threw the ball 16 times. Grade: C
This is a strange collection of players. The Ravens are most effective when inside linebackers Patrick Queen (11 tackles, one sack) and Josh Bynes (four tackles) blitz, but they can’t shed or get off blocks if offensive linemen reach them in the second level. The Ravens continue to have problems holding the edge, but they did get consistent pressure from outside linebackers Jason Pierre-Paul, Odafe Oweh and Justin Houston. They should be even better once Tyus Bowser (torn Achilles tendon) returns. Grade: C+
NFL Week 7 grades: Bengals earn ‘A’ after steamrolling Falcons; Dolphins get a ‘B’ for Sunday night win - John Breech
The Ravens offense wasn’t overly impressive on offense in this game — it totaled only 254 yards — but Baltimore came away with a win, thanks to a spectacular performance from their defense and special teams. The defense came up with five sacks on Sunday and none was bigger than the game-changing strip-sack by Calais Campbell in the third quarter that set Baltimore up at Cleveland’s 25-yard line (The Ravens ended up scoring a TD). Although the offense sputtered for part of the day, Justin Tucker didn’t. Mr. Automatic came through with three huge field goals, including a 55-yarder in the fourth quarter that proved to be the difference in the game. If the Ravens proved one thing on Sunday, it’s that they can still beat you even if their offense has a slight off-day.