The Baltimore Ravens cruised to a 23-7 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 15, clinching a playoff berth on Sunday Night Football. The Ravens never trailed and put their foot on the gas late with a 13-0 advantage in the fourth quarter to close the door on their 11th win of the season.
Who stood out from the victorious effort? Let’s break down some of the top performers below — vote for your game ball candidate choice!
Likely continued to do his best Mark Andrews impression against the Jaguars, filling in more than admirably for the injured All-Pro . The second-year tight end played the starring role for the Ravens offensively, catching five passes for 70 yards and a touchdown. His receptions and yardage totals tied for the game-high of any player.
From the get-go, Likely was heavily involved offensively. He caught a key first down pickup on the opening drive and wound up on the receiving end of Lamar Jackson’s two biggest throws of the night.
The first was a 16-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter, where Likely found an open seam in the red zone and reeled in a darted pass. That gave the Ravens their first touchdown of the game and a 10-0 lead. It came one play after a personal foul penalty backed the Ravens back 15 yards from the Jaguars’ two yard line, too.
Then, with just under a minute remaining in the third quarter, Likely made a highlight reel jump ball catch over two defenders. Jackson avoided a sack, launched a 16-yard heave up the field and Likely went “above the rim” to reel it in.
It wasn’t Jackson’s finest performance from a box score perspective, as he completed just shy of 60% of his passes with one touchdown and one interception. He finished with 171 yards through the air. However, Jackson made the aforementioned highlight throws to Likely and was generally sharp, particularly early in the game.
He made a couple of key scramble-drill passes to move the chains and his usual off-platform deliveries as well. Aside from his lone turnover, which was merely a poor decision on an across-body throw, Jackson was sharp. Odell Beckham Jr. dropped what should have been a chunk gain reception and Rashod Bateman was unable to corral a couple of potential finger-tip catches, also.
Jackson’s impact as a runner, though, was especially impactful. He unsurprisingly gave the Jaguars’ defense fits on the ground with his scrambling ability and off-script ability to pick up yards. He finished with a game-high 97 rushing yards on just 12 carries, with a long gain of 21 yards on the Ravens’ closeout drive in the fourth quarter. It was his second-best rushing performance of the season from a yardage standpoint.
Madubuike continues to wreak havoc week after week in what has become a full-blown breakout season. The fourth-year defensive lineman extended his streak of games with at least 0.5 sacks to 11, which is tied for an NFL record. He was the only Ravens’ defender with a sack on the night and he also accounted for all four of the team’s quarterback hits.
His sack on Trevor Lawrence came with just under eight minutes remaining in the third quarter. With the Jaguars at their own 25 yard line, Madubuike got loose behind the line of scrimmage and forced the ball loose from Lawrence’s grasp after a six-yard sack. The fumble was recovered by Patrick Queen.
The Ravens weren’t able to capitalize with a touchdown off this takeaway but did quickly rake in another field goal courtesy of Justin Tucker, which extended their lead to a commanding 16 points. It marked Madubuike’s second forced fumble of the season and first in nearly two months.
Who gets your vote for game ball recipient from the Ravens’ Week 15 victory?
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