The Baltimore Ravens returned to Charm City after a two game road stint to play the first of their three game home stand ahead of their Week 5 bye and won their fourth in dramatic fashion over the Indianapolis Colts 31-25 on Monday Night Football. The biggest headline from the game was quarterback Lamar Jackson and his historic passing performance. However, this article highlights the players whose performances flew under the radar but were still clutch, the unsung heroes.
DE Calais Campbell
It’s hard to view a six-time Pro Bowler as an unsung hero but on a night where Jackson put the league on notice with a record-breaking outing as a passer, the incredibly clutch plays made by the 14-year veteran weren’t talked about nearly as much in the aftermath of the thrilling victory.
Campbell continued to look like he hasn’t lost a step at 34-years-old by making his presence in two of the three phases of the game. On defense, he finished with four total tackles including one for loss and quarterback hit, and on special teams, he recorded the eighth blocked field goal of his illustrious career.
He made his biggest and most impactful plays in succession late in the fourth quarter. With the Ravens trailing by a single possession with just over five minutes left in the game, the Colts were driving and positioned to extend their lead by double digits after moving the ball to Baltimore’s 15-yard line.
Campbell got instant penetration on a key third down and tackled running back Jonathan Taylor behind the line of scrimmage for a 4-yard loss. On the following play, he got into the backfield again and got his big mitts up high enough to block what likely would’ve been the game-winning chip-shot field goal. His two incredibly clutch plays gave Jackson and the offense the golden opportunity they needed to tie the game and force overtime.
RB Devonta Freeman
While the Ravens’ committee of running backs struggled to find much traction on the ground, they made an impact in the passing game during the second half, led by the eight-year veteran. Freeman was a strong outlet receiver on check-downs and a stout blocker in pass protection.
He led his position group in targets (4), receptions (3), and receiving yards (34). Freeman was targeted three times on the game-tying touchdown drive and caught two on back-to-back plays for 19 combined yards.
CB Tavon Young
Before his late mental gaffe that extended what was nearly a game-winning drive for the Colts, Young was one of the few Ravens defenders that were playing lights out on Monday Night. He was lethal and an absolute menace on nickel blitzes. Tavon recorded a game-high three tackles for loss including a third-down sack for a loss of seven yards in the first quarter that forced a punt.
The feisty slot corner looked good in coverage as well, making a solo tackle for a minimal gain of four yards and a pass deflection. The six-year veteran has come on very strong during the Ravens win streak after a rough outing in their season-opening loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.
Wentz puts this RPO slant SLIGHTLY behind his target, and Tavon Young breaks it up.— Spencer N. Schultz (@ravens4dummies) October 13, 2021
Tavon had an outstanding game pic.twitter.com/hVMJDUv3ra
WR Devin Duvernay
The second-year receiver continued to flash in this game by catching every pass that was thrown at him and showing his development as a receiver. Duvernay finished third on the team in catches and receiving yards by hauling in all four of his targets for 45 yards.
He was able to find soft spots in the Colts zone defense, picking up first downs on three of his four receptions including a long of 17 where he was tackled a yard short of the goal line. Even though his yards per reception and average depth of target were the same in this game, Duvernay was still able to show off some of his yards after catch ability. On two of his snags, he picked up 15 and 17 yards after he originally caught the pass short before quickly getting upfield.
WR James Proche
Even though he didn’t have as many balls thrown his way, like his fellow second-year receiver, Proche caught every pass that came in his direction. Both of his targets and receptions came after halftime with the first resulting in a key third-down conversion in the third quarter for 11 yards and the second was a 4-yard catch on the game-winning drive in overtime. The 2020 sixth-round pick didn’t have nearly as many yards as he did in his breakout game last week but he continues to show that he can be a reliable target out of the slot.
S Chuck Clark
The seemingly perpetual unsung hero came up clutch once again with his first interception of the season although it won’t officially go on his stat sheet for the year because it came on a two-point conversion attempt.
The Ravens caught a break after Colts cornerback Isaiah Rodgers had his long “fumble” return touchdown called back for an illegal forward pass by linebacker Darius Leonard. However, the defense would allow a quick six-play scoring drive that ended in a 4-yard rushing touchdown and extended Indianapolis’ lead to 22-3.
Instead of trotting their injured kicker out to attempt an extra point after the debilitating score, the Colts opted to go for two. Carson Wentz took the snap, rolled to his right and tried to connect with Taylor in the front corner of the end zone but Clark undercut the intended pass and tried to take it to the house before getting pushed out of bounds after a short return.
Even though he wasn’t able to cash in the other direction, that two-point swing proved to be pivotal in the Ravens comeback effort because it meant one less point they had to make up for in the fourth quarter. Clark did finally get some well-deserved recognition during the broadcast for his incredible positional versatility as the swiss army knife in Defensive Coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale’s diverse scheme.