Baltimore bounces back. The Ravens had every reason to believe another collapse was coming at the hands of an AFC East opponent. A week earlier, Tua Tagovailoa shocked Charm City by leading an unlikely comeback, and Jones appeared poised to pull off a similar feat. Instead of crumbling, these Ravens rose to the occasion, refusing end zone entry and forcing a crucial turnover when the Patriots had another shot at a go-ahead score. Jackson’s ensuing touchdown capped a resilient performance from a team that had enough reasons to lose (including losing its backup left tackle to injury). John Harbaugh’s team refused to acquiesce to the Patriots’ desires, forcing four turnovers on the day to improve to 2-1 and sit tied atop the AFC North.
Next Gen stat of the game: Mac Jones completed just 3 of 8 intermediate passes (10-19 air yards) for 74 yards and three interceptions.
NFL Research: Lamar Jackson is the first player in the Super Bowl era with 10-plus passing touchdowns and 100-plus rushing yards in his first three games of a season.
NFL Week 3 takeaways: Lessons, big questions for every game - Jamison Hensley
What to know: The Ravens showed they can close out a game. A week after the biggest fourth-quarter collapse in team history, the Ravens’ defense rebounded with authority, producing three turnovers in the fourth quarter. Cornerback Marlon Humphrey, who was sidelined for the fourth quarter last week with a groin injury, picked off Mac Jones in the end zone. Then, rookie first-round pick Kyle Hamilton, who gave up two touchdowns in the fourth quarter a week ago, stripped the ball from Nelson Agholor with 5:35 remaining. The Ravens could have unraveled after failing to hold a 21-point lead against Miami. Instead, Baltimore is 2-1 with big games against Buffalo and Cincinnati looming.
Lamar Jackson ran for 107 yards on 11 carries and completed 18 of 29 passes for 218 yards and four touchdowns. During most of the game, he was the team’s entire offense, but he also missed some open receivers and struggled in the second quarter when he stopped stepping into his throws. His touchdown pass to tight end Mark Andrews in the second quarter was underthrown and could easily have been intercepted. On this team, however, he is the difference-maker. Grade: B
Cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters each contributed to game-saving turnovers in the fourth quarter, but the Ravens allowed 321 passing yards to second-year quarterback Mac Jones, who often threw behind or late to his receivers. Rookie cornerback Jalyn Armour-Davis started the game but quickly earned a spot on the bench after getting beat twice in the first quarter. Safety Marcus Williams covers a lot of ground on the back end for the Ravens, but he’s not Superman. Grade: D
Five Thoughts on Ravens’ Win in New England - Ryan Mink
J.K. Dobbins’ return is key, but he has help in Justice Hill.
In his first game back from last year’s brutal knee injury, J.K. Dobbins had seven carries for 23 yards and two catches for 17. He had a nifty spin move to get away from one Patriots defender on a 3-yard gain, showing some of that Dobbins magic from his rookie season. Overall, it wasn’t the fairytale return that Dobbins probably imagined.
After the game, Dobbins said it was good to be back, but that he still has to get back to being himself. He acknowledged that, physically, he doesn’t feel quite back to his pre-injury self. But the rust had to be knocked off at some point, and Dobbins can build on that moving forward.
An important development is the emergence of Justice Hill, who has come back spry from last year’s Achilles tear. Hill had six carries for 60 yards, showing the burst that was evident from the start of offseason practices. Getting Dobbins back from injury was a major storyline all offseason and his progress remains important, but the return of another injured Ravens running back is key too.
Ronnie Stanley needs to get back on the field.
The former All-Pro remains sidelined with the ankle injury that has held him out of 29 of the past 30 games since he signed a five-year, $98 million extension in October 2020. After missing the final 10 games of the 2020 season, he played once last year before undergoing another operation to repair the injury, costing him the final 16 games last season.
He has been slowly ramping up throughout the past month, and the Ravens seem intent on not having a repeat of last year, when Stanley came back for one game prematurely and was shut down again.
Asked earlier in the week about Stanley, head coach John Harbaugh suggested that Stanley’s recovery is up to Stanley.
“When he feels like he’s ready to go out there and be Ronnie Stanley at his best, then he’ll be out there,” Harbaugh said.
At this point, that shouldn’t be the barometer, especially if Mekari has to miss any time. (Harbaugh said Mekari is dealing with a sprain that “won’t be long term.”)
If Stanley can be an upgrade from a rookie fourth-round pick who has never played the position before, and is responsible for protecting the blind side of the franchise quarterback, then he needs to be out there.
NFL Week 3 Sunday Scramble: Lamar Jackson, Doug Pederson steal the show; Chargers, Patriots in trouble - Cody Benjamin
Tua Tagovailoa’s Week 2 breakout stole his MVP-caliber spotlight a week ago, but Jackson was back at it against the Patriots, waltzing through Bill Belichick’s defense with ease. By the end of the day, the speedster topped 100 yards on the ground and totaled five touchdowns as Baltimore approached a 40-burger in Foxborough. Elite talent, reconfirmed.