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Ravens vs. Panthers final recap: Defensive dominance ushers fourth straight win

A hard-fought battle closed out in the fourth quarter by the Ravens’ defense

Carolina Panthers v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

At halftime, the Ravens thanked their lucky stars to break a deadlocked double goose-egg tie with a chip-shot Justin Tucker field goal. After all, they wouldn’t be getting the ball back to begin the second half, though they won the coin toss. But the message at halftime rung true of ye Ravens of olde.

“Basically, what [the defense] said at halftime was, ‘if [the Panthers] don’t score they can’t win,’” Harbaugh said after the game. “I think at the end of the game that was the same mindset. It’s on us.”

Throughout the game, flashes of that mindset were put into play with inside linebacker Patrick Queen flying across the field as he stuffed the stat sheet with 12 tackles, 0.5 sacks, and a tackle for loss. It came in the form of cornerback Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey pairing together for a forced fumble and fumble recovery, and Humphrey two drives later jumping a Baker Mayfield-thrown pass for the an interception. It emphatically sealed the game as Broderick Washington swatted Mayfield’s pass in the direction of outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul, who secured the game-winning interception.

“I tell you, we got some guys that are ballhawks. I mean, how about ‘JPP’ catching that pass?,” Harbaugh said with a grin. “How about ‘Broddy’ batting it down and ‘JPP’ caught it? He claims, ‘I’ve always had great hands.’”

The defense has taken it’s time to come on, but in the past few month, they’ve shown strides in becoming a defense teams fear. They’ve forced at least one turnover in each game this season have notched seven in the past four games.

“For us to be able to kind of turn that back—back into being a turnover creating defense is really a big deal,” Harbaugh said.

Humphrey, who came up with the fumble recovery and the interception believes it has them competing with ye Ravens of olde.

“You can’t be too mad with [allowing] three [points] but we’re really trying to chase past Ravens defenses. Ravens defenses of the past of just, showing elite greatness. It’s kind of what we’re chasing and we’re looking better and better every week.”

With those takeaways, short field opportunities came for the Ravens. The first being the fumble recovery by Humphrey which was disallowed from being a defensive touchdown on account of an early whistle. After the befuddled officiating crew solved their own mess, the Ravens offense stepped onto the field with ‘ball don’t lie’ mentality, beginning with running back Kenyan Drake ripping off a 29-yard rush to get the offense near the goal line. Two play later, Jackson crossed the plane to put the Ravens up 13-3, the final score of the game.