Jump to content
ExtremeRavens: The Sanctuary

Ravens Insider: Instant analysis from Ravens’ 23-7 win over Jacksonville Jaguars


Recommended Posts

Here’s what The Baltimore Sun sports staff had to say immediately after the Ravens’ 23-7 win over the host Jacksonville Jaguars in Sunday night’s Week 15 game at EverBank Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida.

Childs Walker: The Ravens not only clinched a playoff berth but greatly enhanced their chances at a No. 1 seed by grinding the Jaguars down with their running game and insatiable defense. The satisfaction of their achievement was undercut slightly when rookie running back Keaton Mitchell, both a great underdog story and a big-play adrenaline shot to their ground game, left with a knee injury.

The Jaguars handed the Ravens a golden chance to build a first half lead with two missed field goal attempts and a fumble deep in Baltimore territory. The Ravens did not take full advantage as their tackles struggled to impede Jacksonville’s edge rushers and Lamar Jackson made one poor decision, throwing across his body for an interception to end a promising drive in the second quarter. He did make a tremendous play on the next drive, finding Isaiah Likely for a touchdown on a seam route the snap after left guard John Simpson set them back with an unforgivable personal foul.

It took just one coverage miscommunication and a resulting 65-yard touchdown pass by Trevor Lawrence to put the Ravens in the nervous zone, protecting a three-point lead with their own offense sputtering in the third quarter. They answered with an absurd connection from Jackson, who spun away from a rusher and then threw in his face, to Likely, who wrestled the jump ball away from two Jaguars. From there, they pounded away at Lawrence and ran almost at will.

Mike Preston: The Ravens kept grinding on Jacksonville and wore them down in the second half. Quarterback Lamar Jackson made several plays with his legs, but the Ravens are still missing something from this offense. Defensively, they were sound for most of the game but need to get more pressure with their front four. Jacksonville was its own worst enemy with two missed field goal attempts and a fumble by quarterback Trevor Lawrence in the first half, which resulted in zero points. The Ravens, though, might be without running back Keaton Mitchell, who had to be carted off the field after suffering a knee injury in the fourth quarter. If the rookie misses substantial time, that’s a major loss for the Ravens. The bottom line, though, is that the Ravens are the first AFC team to clinch a playoff spot.

C.J. Doon: The Ravens always keep it interesting, don’t they? The Jaguars were knocking on the door the entire first half and yet they came away with zero points after an inexplicable decision to throw a short pass inside the Ravens’ 5-yard line with 11 seconds left and the clock running. According to NBC’s broadcast, it was only the second time in Jacksonville history that it drove inside the opponent’s 40 on four straight possessions and came away with nothing. Baltimore has now allowed 10 or fewer points in the first half in 13 of 14 games this season, but it was bailed out by that play and Trevor Lawrence’s fumble on the edge of the red zone. What looked to be a miscommunication between Arthur Maulet, Brandon Stephens and Geno Stone also led to a 65-yard touchdown pass to Jamal Agnew, the longest of Lawrence’s career. It was an uneven performance from the Ravens’ defense, especially in the first quarter, but give credit to Baltimore for getting off the field when it mattered most, holding Jacksonville to 3-for-13 on third down.

Offensively, the story is the knee injury to Keaton Mitchell. The Ravens will miss his speed in the running game, which had to rely far too much on Lamar Jackson. It felt like the most punishment Jackson has taken all season, which should make the Ravens a little nervous after injuries knocked him out the previous two years. But you happily take his aggressive style when he makes amazing plays like that scramble and pass to tight end Isaiah Likely that set up a crucial touchdown early in the fourth quarter.

The Ravens leave this game with a playoff berth secured and the top seed in the AFC within their grasp, but there’s still much to prove and plenty of question marks heading into titanic matchups against the NFC-leading San Francisco 49ers and the Miami Dolphins, their chief competition for the first-round bye.

Tim Schwartz: The Ravens are not perfect, but in an NFL full of mediocre teams, beating a playoff-bound AFC team in prime-time in their house by 16 points is impressive, regardless of circumstance. And that’s what these Ravens are. They can beat you in so many ways. But losing rookie running back Keaton Mitchell would a significant blow because Baltimore needs that speed in the backfield. Fans clamoring for more of Mitchell were screaming at their TVs again Sunday night every time he touched the ball and again in disgust when he went down in obvious pain after his knee buckled. Lamar Jackson is now clearly in the top two of the NFL Most Valuable Player race, and there’s a good chance the award is decided next Monday night when the Ravens travel to San Francisco to take on Brock Purdy, Christian McCaffrey and the 49ers. The two best teams in football on Christmas night. Can’t beat that.

View the full article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Create New...