Ravens Beat Rams in Unpredictable Fashion
RAVENS BEAT RAMS IN UNPREDICTABLE FASHION – The organization shed its albatross on Sunday. The Amazon Web Services Win Probability has been the kiss of death for the Ravens these past couple of seasons.
And all of Baltimore let out a groan when that green 70 percent flashed on screen. But Jeff Bezos’ master plan to spread misery across the DMV was foiled by an unlikely hero.
An Ode To Tylan
Tylan Wallace was not supposed to be mentioned in this recap. The 2021 fourth-round pick with 56 career receiving yards hadn’t affected a football game since his Oklahoma State days, until Sunday.
After Devin Duvernay went down with a back injury, Wallace was forced into the role of punt returner. Special teams isn’t anything new for Wallace, who’s only seen the field this season in the third phase of the game.
His value as a special teamer is why he managed to hold onto a roster spot as the team renovated the receiver room in the offseason.
Now being a contributing special teamer is one thing, but fielding a punt in slick conditions in overtime of a December football game is something entirely different. It’s like replacing the training wheels of your tricycle with a 400-horsepower engine. Car nerds, please don’t get mad at me.
Now most guys in that moment would call for a fair catch and make sure they don’t get remembered for the wrong reasons. Tylan is no such skeptic.
He fielded the ball at the 25, followed his blocks, spun off the first contact, jetted through a crease, broke another tackle, and stumbled for what felt like 30 yards before regaining his footing on his game-winning sprint to the endzone.
It’s one of the greatest Ravens plays I’ve ever seen and had an air about it similar to Ray Rice’s improbable fourth-and-29 scamper against the Chargers in 2012. Here’s hoping this season ends the same way.
Airin’ it Out
Who says Lamar Jackson can’t throw deep? His spray chart from Sunday looks more like it was charting a mortar than a quarterback.
He attempted seven passes of over 30-plus air yards, a stark contrast from his one attempt against the Chargers.
Monken obviously felt like L.A.’s quarters-ish zones were susceptible to double moves, frequently testing their corners with long developing routes down the field. Odell Beckham Jr. managed to create about 10 yards of separation on his sliding touchdown grab.
This was arguably the receiving group’s best game of the season, making a statement that teams will have to start respecting their ability to go deep.
Baltimore’s defense has allowed an average of 28.5 points per game over the past four weeks.
In the unit’s defense, the Rams have a potent offense, with an elite quarterback and one of the best-receiving duos in the league.
But there’s no denying they’re in a slump. Marlon Humphrey’s return from injury has been underwhelming. The former All-Pro corner let a potentially game-sealing interception slip through his hands and allowed 53 of the Rams’ 57 yards on their game-tying field goal drive late in the fourth.
Once the league leader in fumbles forced (8 in 2020), Humphrey has amassed just two in his 36 games since. Humphrey, still only 27 years old, is within his prime, but he hasn’t looked like himself so far this year. His fellow defensive back Kyle Hamilton reportedly avoided a major knee injury, suffering a grade 1 MCL sprain.
Hamilton is having an All-Pro season. Losing him on the back end would be crushing. Very few safeties can be trusted to man up Puka Nacua in coverage, but the Ravens were comfortable deploying Hamilton in that role.
Combined with his prowess in defeating blocks in the run and screen game, he might be the most valuable player on the defense.
No Sean McVay-led team goes down without a fight.
Scraping by at this point in the year is nothing to worry about. Every playoff game will be a dogfight, and this type of football gives the team a taste of January.
Jackson’s third-and-17 touchdown to Zay Flowers was the culmination of everything new about this season.
There was the scheme – able to threaten the defense and set the players up for success, the new-addition receiver. It was capable of getting open and hauling in the pass, and the top-dollar quarterback who can deliver in the biggest moments. This team is ready for the postseason.