Jamison Hensley, ESPN
How much will injuries sustained Sunday hurt Ravens going forward? Baltimore’s lead in the AFC North has now dwindled to a half-game over the Browns and Steelers. But the Ravens may have lost more than that. Two Pro Bowl players — cornerback Marlon Humphrey and left tackle Ronnie Stanley — limped into the locker room and didn’t return. Humphrey went out with an ankle injury late in the third quarter, and Deshaun Watson completed all nine passes for 103 yards after he left. Stanley hobbled off the field with a knee injury in the fourth quarter, and he was replaced by Daniel Faalele, who has one career start. It’s unknown how long either one will be sidelined, but it will be challenging for both to be back for Thursday night’s game against the two-time defending AFC North champion Cincinnati Bengals.
Stock up after the loss: S Kyle Hamilton. On the second play of the game, Hamilton tipped a Deshaun Watson pass to himself and returned the interception 18 yards for a touchdown. It snapped Baltimore’s streak of 27 games without a defensive touchdown, which was the longest active one in the NFL.
Stock down after the loss: RB Gus Edwards. He scored a touchdown in his fourth straight game, but he struggled otherwise. Edwards was held to a season-low 24 yards on 11 carries (2.2-yard average).
Nick Shook, NFL.com
Ravens fall victim to fourth-quarter blues. Baltimore’s three losses have each included eerily familiar collapses. While Sunday’s wasn’t the most embarrassing, it certainly was the most dramatic of the three. The Ravens seemingly had the game in hand after Gus Edwards’ 1-yard touchdown run, making it 31-17 early in the fourth quarter. But a defense that propelled Baltimore to an early lead wilted down the stretch, allowing Cleveland to piece together a six-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that included a big chunk of yards gained via defensive pass interference. Like the Ravens’ Week 5 loss to the Steelers, a Lamar Jackson interception — this time, one deflected into the air and intercepted by Greg Newsome, who returned 34 yards for a touchdown — opened the door for Baltimore’s opponent to mount an unlikely comeback. And when the Ravens needed one more stop to hang on for a one-point win, Cleveland bludgeoned them with the ground game, with one play — a 12-yard Jerome Ford run that saw nearly all 10 of his teammates push him forward for extra yards — showing which team wanted it more in the final minutes. It was a shocking result, and a concerning one for a team many saw as one of the NFL’s best. Title contenders don’t let wins slip away, especially at home.
NFL Research: The Ravens are only the third team in NFL history to lose a game despite holding four separate leads of 14-plus points in a game, and the first to do so in nearly 20 years. The Seattle Seahawks did so and lost to Baltimore in Week 12 of the 2003 season, while the Giants also lost despite holding four separate leads of 14-plus points in a game against the Browns in Week 13 of the 1966 season.
Mike Preston, The Baltimore Sun
Lamar Jackson had his moments of success, especially on those short to intermediate throws such as the third-quarter 40-yard touchdown pass to Odell Beckham Jr. But when he gets rattled, Jackson often commits a turnover, just as he did in the closing seconds of the first half with his first interception. His weakness this season, as it has been throughout his career, is his inability to connect on deep passes. Jackson also didn’t see the field very well for most of this game. His fourth-quarter pick-six was unacceptable. Grade: D
Middle linebacker Roquan Smith had 21 tackles but a lot of those were 4, 5 or 6 yards off the line of scrimmage. He wanted no part of center Nick Harris when he became the fullback and lead blocker on running plays. Weakside linebacker Patrick Queen had nine tackles but didn’t have much of a presence. Outsides linebackers Jadeveon Clowney and Kyle Van Noy had strong games and forced Watson to step up in the pocket, but the Ravens had no presence inside. Grade: C-
In a game in which Jackson struggled, coordinator Todd Monken kept putting the ball in his hands instead of relying on the running game. That was a big mistake. Defensively, the Ravens preached all week long about Watson running the ball to extend plays but apparently their players didn’t get the message. The good news is that the Ravens can get this sour taste out of their mouths quickly because they host the Bengals in prime time Thursday night. Grade: C
Gordon McGuinness, PFF
Offensive spotlight: Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley got rolled up on in the fourth quarter of the game and left the game. Stanley has been hampered by injuries over the past few years and, while he’s clearly not at the level he was back in 2019, it’s still a huge loss for the Ravens if he winds up being out for any length of time.
Deshaun Watson struggled in the first half, going six-for-20 for 79 yards and seeing that tipped ball returned for a touchdown early. He left the game at the end of the first half after a hit from Ravens interior defender Justin Madubuike, but returned to start the second half and looked much better, finishing the game 20-for-34 for 213 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Defensive spotlight: Kyle Hamilton opened the game as well as you can for the Ravens, tipping and intercepting a pass from Deshaun Watson before walking into the end zone for the touchdown. A big concern for the Ravens was that cornerback Marlon Humphrey, who had been questionable coming into the game, left the game due to injury, with the Ravens having a short turnaround before facing the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday Night Football.
Rookie spotlight: Keaton Mitchell proved to be a spark for the Ravens offense once again, scoring on that 39-yard run and picking up 32 yards on a reception. Wide receiver Zay Flowers saw more looks downfield this week, following up last week’s single reception game with five catches for 73 yards.
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Cody Benjamin, CBS Sports
Loser: The Ravens’ reputation
All week, experts touted Baltimore as maybe the best team in the NFL at midseason, what with their dominant point differential atop the AFC. And then the Ravens went and blew another late lead to the rival Browns, whose early pick-six had them on track for a blowout defeat. Lamar Jackson wasn’t faultless, throwing a pick-six of his own, but the bigger concern is this team’s steady inability to close important contests; the Ravens have lost nine games when leading by 7+ points in the last three years alone.