The Ravens suffered another disappointing loss in Week 12, falling 28-27 to their former AFC Central rival Jaguars. Baltimore outgained Jacksonville by 83 yards and won the time of possession battle by more than five minutes. But their offense managed just three explosive plays and the defense was unable to stop Trevor Lawrence in crunch time.
Patrick Mekari replaced injured left tackle Ronnie Stanley for all 72 offensive snaps. He was joined by line mates Ben Powers, Tyler Linderbaum, Kevin Zeitler and Morgan Moses for every offensive play. Overall the blocking unit surrendered five tackles for loss and paved the way for a 4.6 yards per carry average.
Brusing tailback Gus Edwards returned to action with 52 yards and a touchdown on 36 snaps (50%) yet coughed up a costly fourth quarter fumble. Kenyan Drake produced a paltry two yards from scrimmage on 18 snaps (25%) and Justice Hill gained just three yards on 14 snaps (19%). Fullback Pat Ricard played 53 snaps (74%) and contributed to the passing game with 14 receiving yards.
Leading the skill position players with 61 snaps (85%), Mark Andrews accumulated 50 yards on a team-leading seven targets. Josh Oliver posted perhaps the best outing of his career with four catches for 76 yards and a score while lining up on 44 snaps (61%). With Isaiah Likely and Charlie Kolar sidelined, Nick Boyle pitched in 10 snaps to the collective tight end effort.
Baltimore’s uninspiring wide receiver group was spearheaded by Devin Duvernay, who gained 39 scrimmage yards on five touches and 56 snaps (78%). With one catch for 17 yards during a 43 snaps (60%) opportunity, Week 11 breakout receiver Demarcus Robinson was much quieter in Week 12. Training camp darling James Proche did not make a catch on 14 snaps (19%), however DeSean Jackson made a splash during his 10 snaps by catching a 62-yard bomb.
Led by inside linebackers Patrick Queen and Roquan Smith, who played each of the 63 defensive snaps, the Ravens defense held Jacksonville below two yards per carry. Smith made five tackles compared to Queen’s four, yet the homegrown Queen made a greater impact with a tackle for loss and pass defensed. Malik Harrison saw seven defensive snaps and the other active inside linebackers were relegated to special teams duty.
Up front, Justin Madubuike handled 45 snaps (71%) followed by Calais Campbell, who notched a strip-sack and three quarterback hits during his 39 snaps (42%). Broderick Washington continued his fine season with his second career sack along with three solo tackles on 26 snaps (41%). Brent Urban and Travis Jones rounded out the defensive line rotation with 12 and 11 snaps, respectively.
The suddenly deep edge defender corps was anchored by Tyus Bowser. On 38 snaps (60%), the versatile outside linebacker posted a sack and forced fumble. Jason Pierre-Paul handled 36 snaps (54%) without recording a stat. Veteran Justin Houston turned in a relatively quiet 26 snap (41%) performance, as did Odafe Oweh in his diminished 25 snap (40%) opportunity.
Marcus Peters played a full allotment of snaps and recovered a fumble, but struggled in coverage against the Jaguars. Star cornerback Marlon Humphrey briefly exited the game and finished with a sack and two tackles for loss on 57 snaps (90%). Brandon Stephens had a mixed outing while serving as the third cornerback for 51 snaps (81%). Meanwhile, reserve corners Pepe Williams and Daryl Worley earned five and one snap, respectively.
Captain Chuck Clark had some issues in coverage while playing every defensive snap. With Marcus Williams and Kyle Hamilton sidelined, free safety Geno Stone lined-up for all but one defensive snap. It will be interesting to learn how defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald deploys his safeties once the talented Williams and Hamilton return.
Now tied with the surging Bengals at 7-4 atop the AFC North, Baltimore hopes to stack some wins against a soft December schedule. After the first 11 contests of the season, the Ravens have seemingly accomplished their annual goal of contending for a playoff berth. Nonetheless, the recurring pass offense deficiencies may once again limit their postseason ceiling.