The Baltimore Ravens started a bit sloppy against the Los Angeles Rams, but when it came time to clutch up, took care of business as Tylan Wallace walked-off the Rams with a 76-yard punt return touchdown, winning the game in overtime, 37-31.
MVP: Tylan Wallace
A spectacular redemption story was delivered today by wide receiver/special teamer Tylan Wallace. Early in the contest, Wallace lined up offside on a 4th & 5 punt, gifting the Rams a free first down after the defense originally shut them down on three plays. The Rams would then march downfield and score a touchdown, including overcoming a 3rd & 17. Then, a back injury would knock wide receiver Devin Duvernay out from the game, the Ravens starting returner. The Ravens opted for Wallace, who had not taken a punt at the NFL level. With his second return, he broke four tackles, stayed in-bounds and sprinted 76 yards before diving into the end zone for the walk-off touchdown.
TYLAN WALLACE ICES THE GAME ❗❗❗ pic.twitter.com/On4jjuacED— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) December 10, 2023
Lamar Jackson — You can argue Jackson is worthy of Co-MVP here as he dueled—and outdueled, Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford. Jackson connected on multiple deep passes to keep the Ravens in the game, and made magic with his feet when nothing was there. Give the Rams credit for their coverage but Jackson would finagle his way out when bottled up. Arguably his best pass of the day was his third touchdown pass, throwing it over Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald on 3rd & 17 for a 21-yard touchdown to Zay Flowers. In all, Jackson finished with 24-of-43 passing for 316 yards and three touchdowns. He threw one interception and was sacked twice for six yards. On the ground, Jackson added another 70 yards on 10 rushes (excluding one kneel-down). An all-around MVP performance for Jackson.
Odell Beckham Jr. — Nothing like a long touchdown grab and a few more first down snags to help secure the victory against your former team. Beckham was excellent on Sunday.
Zay Flowers — The rookie continues to shine and prove his worth, with six catches for 60 yards and a go-ahead touchdown on 3rd & 17 with the Ravens’ backs against the wall. According to Jackson, the play was slightly modified as wide receiver Nelson Agholor told Jackson he was going to run a deeper route than originally schemed because he was confident it would pull the safety away from his zone and would leave Flowers wide open. That’s exactly what happened and Flowers benefitted greatly.
Isaiah Likely — A wide-open 54-yard grab helped put the Ravens on the board and give a sign of what was to come as his grab got the deep ball going. Likely would finish with five catches for 83 yards, second most among Ravens receivers.
Keaton Mitchell — Another game, another explosive play (20+ yard play) for the rookie. He just knows how to find the edge on these left-side runs to get ‘backers off-balance or screw up their pursuit angles.
Nelson Agholor — So many receivers getting praise here, but for Agholor’s play-change for the Flowers TD he deserves being recognized alone. Then, add in he went 5-for-5 on targets for 32 yards, moving the chains and helping them on the fourth quarter drive. When the pressure was on, Agholor was an answer for the offense.
Pass Blocking — Aaron Donald & Co. finished with two sacks for six total yards, and one of them was a clear incompletion by Jackson. The pass blocking was most interesting, too, as the Ravens cycled in and out Ronnie Stanley, Patrick Mekari, Morgan Moses and Daniel Faalele. We’ll know more on why on Monday.
Justin Madubuike — The best pass-rushing defensive tackle in the NFL is up to 11 sacks on the season. How many can he notch at this rate?
Travis Jones — The sophomore defensive tackle got involved in the pass rush and took down Stafford, while also getting two more quarterback hits. The Ravens are getting pass rush from everywhere, including their depth. A good development for Jones.
Odafe Oweh — He didn’t come up much on the scoresheet but I saw him put a whooping on some tackles. On Madubuike’s sack, Oweh had clowned his blocker with a slashing move inside and counter with a spin outside. Put ‘em in a blender.
Patrick Ricard — Lead block extraordinaire who dumpstered a Rams defender.
Marlon Humphrey — Ravens gained a three-point lead with 1:16 left. The Rams then found success throwing against Humphrey when former Ravens wide receiver Demarcus Robinson beat him for 19 yards to get a first down, and it appeared he could’ve had more as Humphrey slipped and he hadn’t noticed. If he had, he likely would not have run out of bounds. On the next play, Stafford went deep again against Humphrey and Cooper Kupp came down with a 34-yard reception. Humphrey had a chance to end it as Stafford threw his first true errant ball all game directly to Humphrey in the end zone, but Robinson helped to break it up out of Humphrey’s grasp. A challenging day by Humphrey.
Most of the Secondary — Covering Kupp, Puka Nacua and Robinson was tough, especially when Stafford is honed in like he was on Sunday. This is a top 10 offense. They played like it and the weather didn’t exactly help, either.
Tyler Linderbaum — One errant snap does not a man make, but damn if that turns into a game-losing two-point difference it sure hurts. The Ravens were beginning to roll against the Rams, especially on defense. That safety hurt but fortunately was not the difference-maker.
Officials — Only times they overturned a piss-poor call was when the video boards showed them their blatant mistakes, and even then they went 1-for-2 on the reversals.
Discipline — Facemasks, unnecessary roughness, offsides, it was a sloppy affair by the Ravens. The officiating was suspect, but there were errors made by the team they’ll need to clean up.