Ravens Dismantle Browns in 28-3 Win
RAVENS DISMANTLE BROWNS IN 28-3 WIN – Lamar Jackson has never thrown the ball better than he did on Sunday. While the final score is overblown by the absence of Deshaun Watson, there was nothing fluky about the Ravens’ offensive success.
Baltimore dismantled the No. 1 ranked defense in the league thanks to MVP-level play from Jackson.
Despite Myles Garrett and the rest of Cleveland’s front consistently muddying the pocket, Jackson calmly extended plays and kept his eyes downfield.
On the Ravens’ third touchdown drive just before the half, he strung together three of the most impressive consecutive passes you’ll ever see. The first showed how lethal he can be out of structure. Still on the move after evading Cleveland’s rush, he fired a 43-yard laser perfectly out in front of Zay Flowers against the sideline.
His next throw displayed how he can dissect a defense in the rhythm of the offense: hitting the top of his drop and decisively firing a perfect pass into a tiny window to Nelson Agholar running a corner route. Agholar couldn’t drag his second foot down in the endzone, but it wasn’t due to any error on Lamar’s part.
The final throw was a magical blend of Jackson’s freelance ability on the first play and his pinpoint control on the second. Jackson hits his drop, pumps once, shuffles, and while fading away, drops a teardrop of a touchdown pass into the corner of the end zone just out of the reach of two Browns defenders where only Mark Andrews could get it.
Fortunately for Baltimore’s defense, they didn’t have to face such a high level of quarterback play.
Dorian Thompson Robinson may have excelled in the preseason, but he struggled mightily on Sunday. He made poor decisions, was inaccurate, and gave the Browns no chance to win. None of this means he’s bad or won’t pan out.
After all, Baltimore has overwhelmed plenty of seasoned quarterbacks, so a fifth-rounder making his first start had about as much success as you’d expect. Even with a rookie at the helm, it was nice to see the Ravens’ defense dominate after an uncharacteristic week against the Colts.
They nabbed three interceptions and held the Browns to a season-low 166 yards of total offense. There’s no doubt it would have been a different game had Watson played, but a division win counts all the same regardless of who’s healthy.
The defense likely would have pitched a shutout if not for a questionable pass interference call on Brandon Stephens.
The pass was totally uncatchable, thrown well behind Amari Cooper, but the savvy vet sat down and drew the penalty by making it look like he was working back to the ball. Cris Collinsworth has said he thinks teams should throw it deep at least once a quarter given the prevalence of P.I. calls awarded on underthrown passes, and I totally agree.
When Will It End?
It wouldn’t be right if the Ravens managed to win a game without devastating injury news.
On Monday it was reported that David Ojabo, who hurt his knee the previous week against the Colts, might miss the remainder of the season.
That would be a crushing blow for a player who battled back from an Achilles tear that sidelined him for the majority of his rookie season.
The Ravens’ injury trouble appears to be systemic. How is it possible to be plagued by something considered to be “random” so consistently?
Despite the loss of Ojabo, the potential return of Humphrey, Williams, Stanley, Oweh, Bateman, and Beckham Jr. makes this week the first of the season that Baltimore experiences a net gain on the injury report.
As unhealthy as they are, the Ravens are 3-1 and a full game above the rest of the AFC North. Next week’s matchup against the Steelers is an opportunity to pull even further ahead of the pack.
Tied for the best record in the AFC, the Ravens have the No. 1 seed in their sights. If they truly want the playoffs to go through Baltimore, they’ll need to fare better on the injury report.