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Flying with the Flock: Falcons vs. Ravens Recap

Who Covered?

Falcons at Ravens (-6.5) (o/u 35.5)

Falcons 9 - Ravens 17

ATS (Ravens -6.5)


Over/Under (+/- 35.5)

UNDER (26 Total Points)


Falcons vs. Ravens Recap

FALCONS VS. RAVENS RECAP- It’s a Christmas miracle! The Baltimore Ravens held onto a lead.

This wasn’t any sort of “get-right” game that proved the Ravens are cured and have the capability to contend with the class of the AFC, but it was a win. A win without your starting quarterback, regardless of the opponent or margin of victory, is a resounding success.

New Look Snoop

This season Tyler Huntley has seemingly been trapped in a lie, scared to admit in his third NFL season that he’s near-sighted and can’t make out who’s on his team and who isn’t beyond 10 yards.

But I guess the red in Atlanta’s uniform offered enough of a contrast with the Ravens’ purple because Huntley was fearlessly pushing the ball downfield on Sunday.

If you just looked at the box score, you’d think he struggled, completing only 52.9% of his passes. But those who watched the game saw a much more aggressive, explosive passing attack that better complemented the Ravens’ gashing run-game. Huntley nearly doubled his season average of intended air yards per pass attempt, up from 6.5 yards to a whopping 11.9 against Atlanta.

Newly resigned Sammy Watkins was the recipient of one of Huntley’s deep balls, turning a 25-yard reception into a 40-yarder with a nifty move to make the Falcons’ safety miss.

When Lamar went down with a knee injury against Denver, it felt like déjà vu from a season ago, but unlike the winless finish Huntley captained last year, he stepped in and stepped up, winning two out of three games and clinching a spot for the Ravens in the postseason. He’s not perfect, and he’s no Lamar Jackson, but Tyler Huntley came through in a big way for this team.

Defense Stays Flocking

Desmond Ridder and the Falcons' offense looked lost.

They were tormented by Roquan Smith and Patrick Queen, who flew sideline to sideline, holding Atlanta to an average of only 3.5 yards per rush. Seeing how he’s energized the entire defense, it’d be hard to imagine a long-term deal not getting done between the team and Smith.

The difference in this game came down to Baltimore’s ability to stiffen in the red zone. Atlanta drove down inside the Ravens’ 20-yard line four times, but each time came away empty-handed.

The Ravens’ offense wasn’t much better, coming away with a touchdown on only one of their four trips to the red zone. In many ways, both teams went into this one with similar game plans. Both wanted to establish the run as a method of masking substandard quarterback play, play bend-but-don’t-break defense forcing their opponent to take field goals, and play safe, turnover-free football.

Only the Ravens’ accomplished the last goal, as a second-quarter Marlon Humphrey fruit punch” knocked the ball out of the hands of Falcons receiver Drake London.

Two seasons ago Humphrey accumulated a league-leading eight forced fumbles, but the following season he only managed one. Sunday was his first of the season and it was a beauty, a full wind-up, and viscous strike that landed directly on the nose of the football, sending it squirting out of London’s grasp. Humphrey, already a Pro Bowler this season, could also receive his second career All-Pro nod.

Final Thoughts

I don’t know how this team’s managed to do it, but they’ve clinched a playoff berth.

Lamar Jackson’s injury situation becomes weirder by the day, looking less and less like it will be resolved within the projected three-week timeframe.

Harbaugh hasn’t indicated whether Jackson will be ready to play next week against Pittsburgh, instilling absolutely no confidence by saying, “We’ll just have to see.”

Thanks, coach.

I realize with the playoffs locked up, there’s a school of thought that argues against playing him this Sunday. Perhaps I’m scarred by the 2019 first-round bye, but I’d like to give Lamar the opportunity to get into a groove ahead of the postseason to avoid a rusty playoff performance.

The Ravens don’t feel like an AFC superpower at the moment, but the defense is playing at an elite level, the run game is humming and Justin Tucker is still Justin Tucker.

They’ve had plenty of heartbreak this year, plenty of adversity, but they’ve proven they can win close games. The rest of the Ravens’ regular season is all about health; get into the dance in one piece, and they’ve got a shot.

Final Grade


Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens

Sunday, 1/1 at 1:00 pm on CBS



















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