Jeff Zrebiec, The Athletic
NFL’s ‘sleeping giant’ wakes up
Some Ravens offensive players in recent weeks had taken to describing themselves as a sleeping giant. The suggestion was that the offense had so much potential once it stopped making mistakes and started putting together something resembling a complete game. The Ravens weren’t perfect offensively in their rout of Detroit. They had their weekly fumbled exchange when they were deep in Lions territory late in the second quarter and looking to build on a 28-0 lead. But the performance was pretty close to perfect offensively and it rolled up over 500 yards against the NFL’s seventh-ranked defense coming into the game. It was clear that the “sleeping giant” has awoken. Now, the Ravens need to build off this and they’ve struggled to do that off big wins this year.
Mike Macdonald, Ravens defense shine
Mike Macdonald will be getting head-coaching buzz soon.
Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson is considered one of the NFL’s hottest head-coaching candidates and for good reason. However, the Ravens’ young defensive coordinator Macdonald seems to be on the verge of getting some head-coaching buzz of his own. The Ravens entered the day with the NFL’s second-ranked defense and tied for the league lead in sacks.
Macdonald’s group then went out and completely overwhelmed one of the league’s hottest offenses. Detroit had just 97 yards of total offense. It didn’t have a first down until midway through the second quarter and it was a shutout until early in the fourth quarter. Macdonald’s star is on the rise.
Jordan Dajani, CBS Sports
Why the Ravens won
This was the breakout game for the Todd Monken offense. Baltimore came out passing the ball as opposed to running, and found great success doing so against this depleted Detroit secondary. The Ravens scored touchdowns on each of their first four possessions, and that was basically a wrap.
The Baltimore defense deserves credit as well, as this unit kept Detroit off the scoreboard until garbage time in the fourth quarter. The Ravens have the most underrated defense in the league, and they put the NFL on notice with this dominant victory.
When the Ravens scored their fourth straight touchdown to open the game while the Lions had recorded just 13 total yards, it felt like this contest was virtually over. After jumping out to a 14-0 lead, the Ravens went 92 yards on eight plays — a possession that was capped by Andrews’ first touchdown — and then 80 yards on six plays for another score after Detroit went three-and-out yet again.
Gordon McGuinness, PFF
Offensive spotlight: The Ravens were rolling from the get-go, with the passing offense barely skipping a beat all day. Jackson was incredible, finishing the game 21-of-27 for 357 yards with three touchdowns and four big-time throws, pending review. He also rushed for 36 yards and another score.
Even when things went awry, Baltimore made plays. Jackson found Gus Edwards for 80 yards on a seemingly broken play, and Jackson hit Agholor for the team’s second touchdown after scrambling for more than 20 yards in the backfield.
Defensive spotlight: The Ravens made Goff uncomfortable with pressure for much of the game. Kyle Van Noy picked up two sacks, his second and third on the season, while Justin Madubuike and Arthur Maulet added one each. The defense’s final sack came from edge defender Odafe Oweh, who forced a fumble on the play.
Rookie spotlight: Zay Flowers saw six targets for the Ravens, more of which were downfield than usual. He finished the game with four receptions for 75 yards. Undrafted free agent running back Keaton Mitchell played his first offensive snaps of the year, picking up nine yards on a reception.
Clifton Brown, BaltimoreRavens.com
Baltimore’s Defense Is Playing With a Chip on Its Shoulder
The Lions entered this game with the NFL’s third-ranked offense, but Baltimore shut them out for three quarters.The Ravens entered the game tied with Buffalo for the NFL lead in sacks (24.0), and they added five more to their total, led by Kyle Van Noy, who had two.
The Lions had only given up 10 sacks in their first six games but there doesn’t seem to be anything that Baltimore’s opponents can do to keep their quarterback from getting hit. JaredGoff was under duress throughout the game, and there were several occasions when he was clearly throwing the ball away just to avoid taking another sack.
Justin Madubuike had another sack and is mauling whoever tries to block him. Not only are the Ravens playing fast and furious on defense, they’re making few mental mistakes in Mike Macdonald’s second season as defensive coordinator.
The Ravens have had trouble finishing games the past several years, but this wasn’t one of those games. They dominated on both sides of the ball, and on a day that Terrell Suggs entered the Ravens Ring of Honor, the Ravens gave a defensive performance that Suggs could be proud of.
Inside linebacker Roquan Smith was annoyed the Ravens didn’t pitch a shutout, but provided one of his Smith-isms after the game.
“It’s our house at the end of the day,” Smith said. “I talked to the team security. I told them, ‘Lock the doors. We’ll decide when we want to let them out.’”
Mike Preston, The Baltimore Sun
Lamar Jackson completed 21 of 27 passes for 357 yards and three touchdowns. In the first half, he made plays by moving around in the pocket when the pass protection broke down. He made some excellent reads on run-pass options and threw some tight passes into small windows in the end zone. Jackson overthrew several receivers and held onto a handoff to running back Justice Hill, which resulted in a lost fumble, but he also ran for 36 yards on nine carries. He finished with a nearly perfect passer rating of 155.8. Grade: A
The Lions played extremely soft on the back end, perhaps believing they could get to Jackson before his receivers got downfield. That strategy proved ineffective and costly. Almost every receiver seemed open for the Ravens. Tight end Mark Andrews caught touchdown passes of 11 and 8 yards and rookie receiver Zay Flowers and veteran Odell Beckham Jr. were effective working the middle of the field. Beckham had five catches for 49 yards and Flower had four for 75. Even though Jackson threw for 255 yards in the first half, the Lions continued to play soft coverage in the second. Grade: A