By Chris Schisler
The Baltimore Ravens escaped Sunday Night Football with a victory. They won the game against the Cleveland Browns 16-10. With about a minute to go Baker Mayfield got the ball with a chance to go down the field for a game-winning touchdown. Don Martindale’s defense stepped up and got the stop, solidifying the best defensive effort of the season.
The Baltimore Ravens won a game in which Lamar Jackson committed four turnovers. That’s not a sentence I thought I’d write earlier in the season. It used to be that the Ravens couldn’t win a game without an amazing performance by Lamar Jackson. Now the Ravens won a game without him and got a victory where he handed the other team extra possessions.
The Ravens defense held the Browns to 10 points. The Browns’ only touchdown came in a controversial fashion, as it appeared from the back angle that the ball hit the ground and it wasn’t a catch. The Browns went four out of 13 on third down attempts. They ran 20 fewer plays than the Ravens and lost two fumbles.
Don Martindale was aggressive in this game. He used blitzes to stop both the run and the pass. The Ravens played incredibly disciplined football. The outside contain was on point. Brandon Williams and Justin Madubuike had strong showings and the defensive line stood tall even without Calais Campbell. The combination of Martindale’s game plan and the execution was something Baltimore had been waiting for all season long.
Baltimore Ravens held strong:
The Ravens weren’t going to let Nick Chubb beat them. He had eight rushing attempts and only picked up an average of two yards a pop. Kareem Hunt saw a similar fate on the ground. The only player who had a huge day for the Browns was Jarvis Landry. Landry had six receptions and 111 yards.
Landry didn’t make a huge imprint on the scoreboard though, so much of that production was inconsequential. The Ravens gave up some plays, but at the end of the day, they rarely broke. Three of Jackson’s interceptions were in the first half. The two takeaways Baltimore had kept that from costing the Ravens. One of the turnovers was Landry fumbling on a trick play attempt. He looked for somebody to throw the football to, the Ravens were ready and they got him in an uncomfortable scramble. Odafe Oweh strikes again.
Patrick Queen, who left the game at one point for an injury and then came back, had a great showing in this game. It could have been the best game that Queen has had with the Ravens. Queen had eight tackles and did a good job finding the football. Queen, and the Ravens in general stepped up their tackling for this game.
Having Anthony Averett back helped in this game. Marlon Humphrey was very impressive in this game. Other than a pass interference call (one that was weak sauce) he did a great job against the Browns. Tyus Bowser had a sack and was about as physically imposing as a player could be at the outside linebacker position.
The Bottom Line:
The Browns had 11 possessions and little to show for it. The defense stepped up and got stops on nine of these possessions. You can’t ask a defense to do much more than the Ravens defense did in this game. They stepped up and were the reason the Ravens won this thing. If the defense has figured everything out and can carry the offense on a bad day at the office for Lamar Jackson, the Ravens are a more dangerous team than people expect them to be. This is huge.
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The defense stepped up in this game. Don Martindale called a masterful game. The Browns got some yards, who cares. This defensive effort is one to be proud of.