By Chris Schisler
Baltimore Ravens fans…Wow! We’re doing this differently this week. Normally is the time for the good, bad, and ugly post recapping the Ravens game with some succinct analysis. This week we’re doing the glorious and the ugly. We’re also going to lead with the ugly just like the Ravens did themselves against the Colts. It was one of the most glorious come-from-behind wins in Ravens history. It was riddled with problematic football. Let’s get the ugly portion of this post out of the way.
The Ravens gave up a long touchdown on the first drive for the Colts. On a third and what seemed like forever, a swing pass to Jonathan Taylor went 76 yards. It was absolutely unacceptable because the Ravens had to be ready for that type of play call. The Ravens saw their defenders run themselves out of the play.
The Ravens couldn’t stop the Colts at the beginning of this game. The Colts had a quick strike initially, then it was the Colts abusing the Ravens in time of possession. Tackling had been an issue all year long. Linebackers in coverage had been a problem all year long. All of this remained a problem on Monday night.
To start the second quarter, the Colts had a 3rd & 10. You guessed it, the Ravens gave it up on a Zach Pascal comeback route. How did the subsequent 3rd & 1 go? You guessed it. The Ravens gave it up, losing the battle at the line of scrimmage. It was a frustration you could feel. The Colts had the answers from the jump of this game. The Ravens looked unprepared on both sides of the ball. The effort of the players wasn’t the problem but mistake after mistake put the Ravens in a bad spot.
The Ravens’ start to this game was certifiably horrible. A game in which they were heavy favorites started about as bad as it could get.
Okay, let’s fast forward a bit because the first half was almost entirely the ugly section.
The Colts had a 4th & 11 in the final seconds of the first half. The Ravens gave up the fourth down attempt and allowed a field goal attempt. The Colts missed the kick but there was an offsides penalty. The Colts got a mulligan and Rodrigo Blankenship made the kick. At halftime, it was 10-3 and the Ravens were lucky to be in the game.
Before the comeback could happen, the Ravens had an impossibly frustrating turnover. Lamar Jackson fumbled right near the goal-line. Instead of a much-needed touchdown, the Colts got the ball. Jackson forced a rushing attempt when he should have committed to the handoff. He then fumbled as he went down. The Ravens were lucky that in the review of the play the Colts’ touchdown for running back the fumble was taken away.
The Ravens defense had a bad performance. There’s no getting around it. The Colts put up 513 total yards. Jonathan Taylor rushed for 53 yards and had 116 yards receiving. Marlon Mack had 47 yards on the ground with an insane average of 9.4 yards per attempt. Anthony Averett got worked hard in this game, though nobody on the defense had much to write home about.
If it wasn’t for Calais Campbell blocking a field goal in the fourth quarter with a little over four minutes left, the Ravens win couldn’t have happened. We’re talking about a game where the Colts were averaging a bit over eight yards per play. The Colts had very little trouble moving the ball and had multiple chances to put the Ravens away for good. Remember the Ravens had to come back down 22-9 There is a lot to work on.
There are almost too many things to hit on in the ugly section:
Tavon Young almost cost the Ravens the game. After the comeback tied the game up, the Colts had the last crack with the football in regulation. It looked like the Colts were going to squander their chance to get into field goal range when Young committed a personal foul. Young clearly had his head knocked into the ground with force, yet he was the reacting party and his outburst got the penalty. The Colts moved into field goal range. Luckily for Baltimore, Blankenship missed the kick.
The Ravens couldn’t run the ball very well. If you take out the 62 rushing yards of their quarterback, the Ravens would have had 24 yards on the ground. Some of that you have to think is because the Ravens were playing catch-up throughout the game. Still, the offensive line was not creating daylight for the running backs. Latavius Murray averaged 2.8 yards per attempt. Ty’Son Williams had an average of 1.5 yards per attempt.
Ben Cleveland got hurt in this game and left the game. We have to wait and see what’s wrong with him yet he was carted off the field and didn’t return. Kevin Zeitler also left the game with an injury. It was the last thing a struggling offensive line needed to see. Injuries are always the ugliest part of this sport.
The Glorious: Baltimore Ravens comeback
Lamar Jackson had over 500 yards of total offense. In his best day ever as a passer, Jackson had 442 passing yards, four touchdowns, and just six incomplete passes. Jackson put the Ravens team on his back and found a way to win. He showed toughness and poise to get the scores the Ravens needed late in the game.
Jackson’s deep shot to Marquise Brown started everything off. The ball just launched out of his hand like a rocket. Jackson’s passing was historically good. It was the best completion percentage of a 400-yard passing performance in NFL history. Jackson never flinched. He went from having just over 100 yards in the first half to one of the most explosive finishes ever.
Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown were amazing in this game. Andrews and Brown scored on the two final two-point attempts. Andrews had 11 receptions for 147 yards and two touchdowns, while Brown had nine receptions for 125 yards and two touchdowns. When the Ravens opened up the offense and had Jackson show off his arm, these are the weapons that did most of the damage.
Going into the fourth quarter, the Ravens trailed 22-9. Things had to go a very specific way for the Ravens to even have a chance. The Ravens took a weird and going to bed inspiring Monday Night Football game and they turned it into an instant classic. Baltimore outscored the Colts 16-3 in the fourth quarter. They tied things up and with some luck, the game went into overtime.
Jackson marched the Ravens down the field for what seemed like an easy score in the extra period of play. As obvious as it felt that the Ravens were having a bad night at halftime, in overtime it was equally apparent that the Ravens weren’t getting stopped.
In the end, the Ravens just found a way to get the job done. It’s what they’ve done all season. This will go down as one of the most memorable wins in the Baltimore Ravens lure. It took every little thing to go right. It took a forced fumble by Odafe Oweh in the first half that stopped the bleeding a little bit early. They needed Calais Campbell having the blocked field goal. Most importantly it took another MVP caliber performance from Lamar Jackson.