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Ravens News 10/16: Road Relief

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Baltimore Ravens v Tennessee Titans Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

2023 NFL season, Week 6: What We Learned from Sunday’s games

Grant Gordon,

Lamar, Ravens leave London with sigh of relief. Chalk this one up in the a-win-is-a-win category. The Ravens ran roughshod through the first half, but came away with a 15-point lead that could have and should have been far larger. After the Titans scored 10 straight to start the second half, the Ravens were staring at disaster, with a visibly frustrated Lamar Jackson pounding his first on the turf more than once. Thanks in large part to a Geno Stone interception that curtailed Tennessee’s snowball effect, the Ravens hung on.

The good was Baltimore scored on its first four drives and five of six first-half marches. The bad was four of those scores were Justin Tucker field goals. The ugly would have been a collapse just a week removed from a meltdown in a loss to the Steelers. That didn’t happen, but it’s clear the new-age Ravens offense is still working things out after six weeks. Jackson was sterling early, completing his first seven passes to five different receivers. But it was head-scratching to see offensive coordinator Todd Monken lean on the run after the passing game had marched the Ravens into scoring position — Jackson was 2-of-3 passing for 13 yards and a touchdown on 17 red-zone plays. Fortunately for the Ravens, they can continue trying to figure things out having gotten back in the win column.

NFL 2023 Week 6: Biggest questions, risers and takeaways

Jamison Hensley, ESPN

What has happened to the Ravens offense? Baltimore has scored only one touchdown in its last seven quarters and went a frustrating 1-of-6 in the red zone. The Ravens entered this game as the third-most efficient red zone offense and would’ve put the game away earlier if they had punched the ball in the end zone. The biggest issue is the ineffectiveness of the run game and not allowing quarterback Lamar Jackson to throw more inside the 20-yard line. The Ravens didn’t score a touchdown on 13 runs in the red zone, but Jackson was 2-of-3, including a 10-yard touchdown pass to Zay Flowers.

Stock up after the win: K Justin Tucker. Tucker bailed out the Ravens with six field goals (41, 28, 23, 29, 20 and 36 yards) for the second time of his career. He’s the only kicker in franchise history to kick six. Tucker did have an extra point blocked, though.

Stock down after the win: S Kyle Hamilton. The former first-round pick delivered a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit on Titans wide receiver Chris Moore in the third quarter, becoming the third player this year to get ejected. On the next play, the Titans scored their only touchdown — a 15-yard run by Derrick Henry.

Ravens vs. Titans score: Baltimore downs Tennessee in London behind Justin Tucker’s six field goals

Jordan Dajani, CBS Sports

Why the Ravens won

The Ravens were the better team offensively in Week 6. Baltimore racked up 360 yards of total offense, went 8 of 16 on third downs and controlled time of possession 35:42 to 24:18. Baltimore did struggle in the red zone, going 1 of 6, but the Ravens have the best kicker in the league in Justin Tucker — and they certainly used him. Tucker tied a career-high with six made field goals — accounting for 18 of Baltimore’s 24 total points.

It wasn’t the cleanest outing, but the Ravens were more effective offensively, and that’s what decided the game.

NFL Week 6 Game Recap: Baltimore Ravens 24, Tennessee Titans 16

Gordon McGuinness, PFF

Offensive spotlight: The Ravens’ offense started well between the 20-yard lines, but they couldn’t finish their early drives and settled for field goals until the Flowers touchdown in the second quarter. The passing offense started hot but faded in the second half, with Jackson going 21-of-30 for 223 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Jackson ran the ball well, picking up 63 yards on 12 carries.

Defensive spotlight: Costly penalties hurt the Ravens’ defense throughout the game, highlighted by safety Kyle Hamilton being ejected on the Titans’ first touchdown drive. They were forced to play Brandon Stephens at safety after Marcus Williams went off injured, while backup safety Geno Stone continued to impress and had an interception. Both defensive tackle Justin Madubuike and edge defender Jadeveon Clowney finished the game with a pair of sacks, while Patrick Queen and Kyle Van Noy notched one each.

Rookie spotlight: Zay Flowers continues to be the key receiver in a more expansive Ravens passing game. The rookie saw eight targets, turning them into 50 yards and a touchdown on six receptions. He also took a carry and continued to be used as a decoy in Baltimore’s running game.

Report card: Position-by-position grades for Ravens’ 24-16 win over Titans in London

Mike Preston, The Baltimore Sun

Offensive line

This group started out strong as the Ravens piled up 242 yards of total offense in the first half, but it did a lot of sleepwalking in the second. The Ravens couldn’t get much movement at the line of scrimmage against Titans linemen Jeffery Simmons, Denico Autry and Kyle Peko and the offense struggled inside the red zone. Jackson saves this group every week with his ability to improvise and make plays, but the Ravens haven’t found a rhythm on offense yet. Regardless, the Ravens allowed only one sack. Grade: C+

Defensive line

The Titans deserve credit because they stayed with running back Derrick Henry. He had 97 yards on 12 carries, but 63 of those came on a third-quarter run that set up a field goal. Overall, the Ravens dominated at the line of scrimmage, in particular nose tackle Michael Pierce and end Justin Madubuike. Madubuike finished with five tackles, including two sacks, and had four quarterback hits. He was a nuisance to quarterbacks Ryan Tannehill and Malik Willis all game. Pierce had only one tackle but the Titans had just 139 rushing yards and the Ravens forced Henry to stay off tackle on most of his runs. Madubuike has been the Ravens’ best lineman this season. Grade: B