The Baltimore Ravens picked up a victory in Week 1 to begin their season, defeating the New York Jets by a score of 24-9. It was a wire-to-wire effort for the Ravens, trademarked by a strong defensive showing and big plays in the passing game.
The Ravens received positive contributions from a handful of players, but a few individuals especially stood out. Check out some of the top performances below and vote for your recipient of the game ball!
WR Devin Duvernay
Duvernay had the best offensive performance of his young career in New York. The All-Pro special teams returner was on the receiving end of two touchdown passes from Lamar Jackson. The first one came late in the second quarter, where Duvernay went up and corralled a contested catch on a go-route to the end zone. The 25-yard highlight catch broke open an offensive drought for the Ravens up to that point.
Then, in the third quarter, Duvernay added another 17-yard touchdown catch on third-and-long to give the Ravens a two possession lead. Duvernay caught all four of his targets and his 54 receiving yards are a career-best mark. His two touchdowns match the amount of scores he had in all of 2021.
DL Justin Madubuike
Justin Madubuike was a force to be reckon with on the defensive line in this game. He gave the Jets’ front-five problems all afternoon. Madubuike regularly got into the backfield and stuffed rushing attempts and pushed the pocket to apply pressure on Flacco. Madubuike had five total tackles, one tackle-for-loss, a quarterback hit and a half-sack. This stat line doesn’t tell the whole story of his impact on the game, either. Those hoping Madubuike takes a huge step forward this season have to be encouraged by his Week 1 performance.
ILB Patrick Queen
A potential breakout third season for Patrick Queen got off to a great start. Queen made a number of tackles, flew around the ball and was regularly in the backfield. He finished the game with six combined tackles, three quarterback hits, and was credited with a half-sack alongside Justin Madubuike in the second half. He made open-field tackles to prevent bigger gains after the catch and was not on the wrong end of any lapses in coverage. When Queen can pin his ears back and play free-flowing, that’s usually when he’s at his best – which was the case today.
FS Marcus Williams
The Ravens’ prized free agent signing’s Baltimore tenure got off to a hot start. Williams was the team’s only spark for most of the first half. He immediately solidified his ballhawk label with an interception of a Joe Flacco pass attempt with just under five minutes remaining in the opening quarter. After snagging the errant throw, Williams returned it 33 yards deep into Jets’ territory. The return was key, as the Ravens’ offense went three-and-out but still were in position for a field goal.
While the turnover was Williams’ highlight play, he also led the team in tackles with 12 total, 10 of which were solo. He was consistently around the ball and the Jets’ pass-catchers did not get behind the defense for any huge plays in the passing game, which is a good indicator of Williams’ impact.
QB Lamar Jackson
It was a slow offensive start for Lamar Jackson and company. The Ravens punted on their first four possessions and had nothing going on the ground. Jackson’s 25-yard touchdown strike to Duvernay was the lone offensive highlight of the first half, which served as a prelude of more scoring to come in the third quarter. Jackson came to life on the Ravens’ second and third drives of the second half.
A 17-yard, no-look pass to Duvernay resulted in a touchdown to put Baltimore up 17-3. On the next drive, Jackson connected with Andrews for a 15-yard first down gain before uncorking a 55-yard bomb to Rashod Bateman three plays later. Bateman got loose behind the Jets’ secondary and Jackson flicked it downfield with ease. He finished the game completing 17 of 30 throws with three scores and one interception, which meant little late in the fourth quarter, along with 213 passing yards.
OLB Justin Houston: The veteran edge rusher gave the Jets’ offensive tackles fits all games, finishing with two QB hits and a sack.
DE Calais Campbell: Campbell was a force early on and was another defender who stuffed the stat sheet. He racked up two QB hits, one sack and a tackle-for-loss.
DT Michael Pierce: Another defensive lineman who regularly pushed the pocket and got involved on some key tackles. He forced a fumble that was recovered by the Jets.
Who gets your game ball for Week 1?
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