The Ravens are now tied for the lead in the AFC, sitting at 6-2 as they’re tied with the three other division leaders for the best record. They did so after winning a sloppy, 31-24 game against the Arizona Cardinals. Below are the reactions from the Baltimore Beatdown staff.
Ugly football that was expected. The Ravens came off an emotional and charged win and then headed across the county to play an inferior team. So, it’s not surprising.
Give the team credit. They’ve been across the country. They’ve been international. They went Pittsburgh to London to Baltimore to Arizona. It’s been a brutal stretch and as they found the finish line before their three-game home stand, they didn’t stumble before crossing the tape.
There are things to work on. There are repairs needing to be made. But instead of ripping them in the areas they can work on, I want to highlight the challenge of what they’ve done. We’ll hear all about how they struggled. How they need so much to work on. I wrote on in elsewhere. But, my reaction to this is being grateful the brutal road stretch is over. At least, for now. — Kyle Barber
The Ravens made enough plays to escape Arizona with a victory and avoid the dreaded “trap game.” Their performance left much to be desired following last week’s dominate showing against the Lions and it’s clear they still much room for improvement, particularly on offense. The score ultimately shouldn’t have been as close as it was but the Ravens afforded the Cardinals some garbage time production late, which they did not do in Week 7 against the Lions. Nevertheless, a third consecutive victory is mighty important. With a 6-2 record, the Ravens strengthened their position atop the division and are now tied for the best win percentage in the conference. — Frank Platko
Despite the score of 31-24, it was a sloppy and mostly boring game truth be told. The Cardinals didn’t make it interesting until there was too little time left, even with the onside recovery at the end, the game was still healthy in the Ravens hand. The biggest takeaways are that they came out healthy and no one position looks desperate for an upgrade.
Guys like Stephens, Clowney, Van Noy, and Edwards have bolstered the cornerback, edge, and running back spots. Would a lockdown cornerback across from Humphrey be nice? Sure. A pass rusher across from Oweh on 3rd downs? Absolutely. A home-run hitting back to compliment Edwards? Yes. But none of them are absolutely necessary. DeCosta can truly trade for whatever he feels is the best value and that’s a great spot to be in. 6-2 heading into a home Thursday night game against a division rival Lamar has historically dominated feels good. — Zach Canter
It wasn’t pretty, but the Ravens got the win against the Cardinals, and an ugly win counts just as much at the end of the day as last week’s dominant win. Baltimore still has some wrinkles to iron out offensively, and while the defense gave up 24 points, they were in control for most of the game. It is encouraging to see the Ravens win games in a variety of different ways so far this season, with this one coming largely on the back of strong defense and running the football effectively with Gus Edwards. Getting another pass catcher to step up and be involved in the offense on a regular basis outside of tight end Mark Andrews and rookie wide receiver Zay Flowers is paramount for the unit to take the next step.
While there are plenty of things to nitpick from this game, the Ravens are tied for the best record in the AFC at 6-2 with a two-game lead in the AFC North following losses to both the Steelers and Browns. It is hard to find too much to complain about with their current situation and health as they head into November for the second half of the season. — Dustin Cox
A win is a win and while the Ravens’ road triumph over the Cardinals was far from pretty and nowhere near the offensive and defensive masterclass that they showed they are capable of last week, it still resulted in their third straight victory nonetheless. The offense still scored more 30-plus points in back to back games for the first time since Week 2 and 3 last season. The defense forced three turnovers and was playing lights out for the most part until the final 10 minutes when they gave up 17 points, the last three of which wouldn’t have never happened had Nelson Agholor recovered Arizona’s first onside kick attempt.
There were impressive individual performances by some and inconsistent outings as well. The three brightest stars were running back Gus Edwards, nose tackle Michael Pierce, and punter Jordan Stout who all balled out. The Ravens remain in first place in the AFC North on a day where both the Browns and Steelers fell and even though the Bengals won their fourth straight, they’re still basement dwellers in the division standings with none of their wins coming against division or even conference opponents. — Joshua Reed