NFL Week 12 takeaways: Lessons, big questions for every game – Jamison Hensley
What to know: Down by one point with four minutes remaining, Lamar Jackson converted a second-and-20 with his best pass of the season. He uncorked a 62-yard throw to 35-year-old wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who had gotten behind two defenders. Before that throw, Jackson was having one of his worst passing games (13-of-29 for 168 yards). Jackson entered this game completing just 24% of his throws that traveled more than 20 yards in the air (which was better than only the benched Zach Wilson in the NFL). Jackson then finished off the drive hitting Josh Oliver for a 12-yard score, his first touchdown pass since Nov. 7. The Ravens have now lost three games when leading by multiple scores in the fourth quarter, tied for the most in a season in NFL history.
What’s going on with the Ravens in the red zone? The Baltimore offense is keeping lesser teams in games by failing to finish off drives. The Ravens are 3-of-9 in the red zone the last two games, including 2-of-5 on Sunday. Jackson is struggling inside the 20-yard line after excelling there for years. Over the last two weeks, Jackson is 2-of-10 passing for 17 yards in the red zone. From 2018 to 2021, Jackson had completed 60.2% of his red-zone passes, throwing 59 touchdowns and two interceptions.
Ravens’ first blown lead in several games stings badly. Entering Sunday, Baltimore’s four-game win streak, with a couple of close ones in there, helped ease many minds over the Ravens’ propensity for letting leads slip away late. Gone are both the win streak and the eased minds. The Ravens led, 19-10, for more than half the fourth quarter, but allowed the Jaguars to come back and take the lead, with a Gus Edwards fumble deep in his own end gifting Jacksonville the go-ahead field goal.
To his credit, Lamar Jackson struck quickly to take back the lead. But for all his high points in this game, Jackson lost a fumble and misfired on half of his 32 passes. The Ravens also bogged down three times early in the red zone, kicking field goals that could have been TDs. And yet we’d be remiss not to mention the failures of the Ravens’ defense late, allowing the Jaguars to come alive late after Baltimore had dominated them in the third quarter. This one is going to sting for the Ravens, who watched the Bengals match their 7-4 mark to tighten the AFC North even more.
Last week, the Ravens dropped six passes by my count, but I stopped during Sunday’s game because I forgot my calculator. Some of these weren’t hard catches. Jackson is comfortable with a two-tight-end look and the Ravens might need to use that more as a base with Mark Andrews, who caught four passes for 50 yards, and Josh Oliver, who added four catches for 76 yards and a touchdown. Aside from DeSean Jackson’s reception late in the game, it’s going to be hard to build a passing offense with receivers who can’t catch. Grade: D+
Middle linebacker Roquan Smith led the Ravens in tackles with eight and fellow inside linebacker Patrick Queen had six, but they missed a lot of tackles in the open field, especially after short receptions. Queen had played well the previous two games but he struggled Sunday. Outside linebacker Tyus Bowser had four tackles, including a sack, but he was a consistent force rushing the passer. He also held the edge well against the Jaguars’ running game. Grade: C+
Defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald will take a lot of blame for Jacksonville’s game-winning touchdown drive and 2-point conversion, but aside from Humphrey, the Ravens don’t have quality cornerbacks. Offensively, they were inconsistent in the red zone. Also, Harbaugh’s terrible decision in the first half to go for it (and fail) on a fourth-and-1 at midfield early in the second quarter eventually led to a Jacksonville touchdown. Grade: C
Five Thoughts After Ravens’ Loss in Jacksonville – Ryan Mink
It’s anyone’s guess who steps up on offense.
After Robinson went off last week, it was tight end Josh Oliver who led the Ravens in receiving with four catches for 76 yards and a touchdown that seemingly put the game out of reach late in the fourth quarter.
The man who set up that touchdown was 35-year-old DeSean Jackson, who hauled in a 62-yard bomb on second-and-20. Jackson was playing in just his second game and first back from a hamstring injury.
The Ravens continue to cobble it together offensively, but it’s just not enough in totality.
Mark Andrews had four catches for 50 yards on a team-high seven targets. He also nearly lost a fumble and dropped a touchdown, though it didn’t end up mattering because Gus Edwards slammed in the 1-yard touchdown on the next play.
Speaking of Edwards, he had a mostly strong return from injury with 16 carries for 52 yards, but his second-half fumble proved quite costly as the Jaguars converted it into a field goal.
Without Rashod Bateman, the Ravens offense doesn’t have much margin for error. They need to make the plays that are there (they had several drops) and avoid costly mistakes. This offense is thin on consistent offensive playmakers and it’s not changing this season. Credit to those who stepped up, but Baltimore and Jackson need better play if the offense is going to get hot down the stretch.
Defensive spotlight: Marcus Peters became only the second defensive back this season to allow three touchdowns in coverage. Overall, he surrendered six catches on seven targets for 55 yards and the aforementioned scores.
Offensive line spotlight: Four of Jacksonville’s five starting linemen stayed clean in pass protection, with Luke Fortner being the lone culprit of pressure on Trevor Lawrence. The center surrendered one sack, two hits and one hurry.
NFL Week 12 grades: Tom Brady’s Buccaneers get a ‘D’ for OT loss, Jaguars earn an ‘A-’ for shocking win – John Breech
The Ravens are going to be kicking themselves all week for this loss and that’s because they let this one slip away. Offensively, the Ravens did a good job of moving the ball, but the problem is that Baltimore lost two fumbles and the Jaguars were able to convert those turnovers into 10 points. The Ravens’ defense then had a fourth quarter meltdown as the Jags’ were able to score on all three of their possessions in the quarter, including a 75-yard drive that culminated with the game-winning TD being scored with just 14 seconds left to play. The Ravens were playing with fire in this game and they got burnt in a loss that drops them into a tie with the Bengals for the first-place in the AFC North.
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