Jackson played a solid game. He completed 10 passes in the first half to eight different receivers. He completed only two more in the second half, finishing with 12-of-22 for 133 yards and one touchdown. He also added another 82 yards on the ground which ultimately defeated the Saints in the second half.
This was a performance good enough to get the job done against the Saints. However, he missed the easy stuff and those are things he wants to clean up over the bye week.
“I’m mad though because I missed my guy ‘D-Rob’ twice,” Jackson said post-game. “...The bye week is not vacation time. It’s just a week we aren’t playing.”
Running back: A-
The first half was tough sledding for the offense, namely the rushing game. But, the second-half rushing attack has been dominant lately and they came on strong once again. In the end, Kenyan Drake salted the game and, paired with Jackson, marched the Ravens to their third-straight victory. He finished with 93 yards and two rushing touchdowns.
Wide receiver: B
This was a good-not-great performance for the unit. Honestly, they didn’t fail the offense. Nobody did. They weren’t given many opportunities (wide receiver Devin Duvernay had only one target).
The receiving unit totaled eight targets and caught five of them. Two were bad throws from Jackson to Demarcus Robinson. They did their job when called upon and if Jackson completes one of those this group jumps to an A.
Tight End: B-
Isaiah Likely started off great, catching a 24-yard touchdown pass from Jackson to open up the scoring on Monday night. However, it was his only catch, as he dropped numerous passes (with one nearly becoming an interception). Josh Oliver looked sharp tonight as well, with his only incompletion due to an errant throw from Jackson.
Offensive Line: B
Pass Blocking: B
Run Blocking: A
An up-and-down game from the offensive line which saw Morgan Moses struggle throughout the contest. He stripped Jackson of the football at one point and him being too-far downfield cost the offense a 24-yard completion.
There were also struggles with the silent count, which saw Jackson express frustration with his offensive line for not snapping the ball. But, that’s water under the bridge for Jackson.
“I wasn’t frustrated with my guys. I just wanted the ball to be snapped,” Jackson said. “But it is what it is. We’re brothers. We’re going to do that sometimes.”
Defensive line: A
Credit the big boys up front (and the linebackers, more on that later) for containing the Saints’ rushing attack to 48 yards on 15 carries. A big part of their success was shown in passes swatted at the line, with Calais Campbell, Justin Madubuike and Brent Urban all getting deflections (and Urban’s swat turning into a Justin Houston interception).
Outside linebacker: A+
Houston appeared to be hitting his early 30’s prime as he racked up his third game with two-plus sacks. To add on, he intercepted a deflected Andy Dalton pass and it felt Houston single-handedly won this game. To add on, Odafe Oweh generated pressure and early on Tyus Bowser flushed Dalton from the pocket and forced a throwaway early. This group looks to be hitting their stride and there is still a young rookie pass rusher about to join the fold in David Ojabo.
Inside linebacker: A
Roquan Smith is as advertised. He stone-walled Saints running back Alvin Kamara on back-to-back plays, including a 3rd & 1. Then, he stuck hip-to-hip with Kamara in the open field and kept him from a big conversion by tackling him as Kamara made the reception. Few linebackers are capable of keeping a versatile back like Kamara from slashing up the defense.
Disregarding the wild busted play this unit held Dalton and his wide receiver unit to 169 yards and an interception. That’s winning football, even after allowing some soft stuff.
Safety: A (?)
The busted play will be the only thing remembered of this game by the unit, which is disappointing considering how impressive the play was from the safeties, namely rookie Kyle Hamilton.