It was far from a perfect outing for the Ravens, but they managed to take over the game with a host of timely splash plays.
Maybe as John Eisenberg pointed out, it really came down to the defensive mindset of the Ravens asserting itself upon a young quarterback opponent:
“Shortly before kickoff, Ravens Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale took some heat on the national pregame shows for having blitzed too often against Kansas City on Monday night. I’m sure he wasn’t watching and couldn’t care less, but it almost seemed as if he heard it and was determined to show the Ravens weren’t going to stop being aggressive on defense just because the strategy didn’t work once. The Ravens brought the heat, hurling a variety of blitzes at Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who was sacked three times, absorbed nine quarterback hits and was limited to operating a short passing game because he seldom had time to stand in the pocket and throw deep. Importantly, linebacker Matthew Judon led the charge with his first two sacks of 2020 and more than half of the hits on Haskins. Teammate Marlon Humphrey said Sunday that Judon was hard on himself after the loss to Kansas City, saying he “had to do more.” This certainly was more, and the Ravens’ pass rush was the better for it.”
Washington’s offense is not exactly Mahomes’ offense in terms of overall talent and protection skills. But Ravens fans were glad to see their defense setting the tempo again.
Lamar Jackson ran for a 50-yard touchdown and threw for two scores in a bounce-back performance by the reigning NFL MVP and the Baltimore Ravens, who took control early against Washington in a 31-17 victory Sunday.
Coming off a humbling loss to Kansas City on Monday night, the Ravens (3-1) built a 21-10 halftime lead before opening the third quarter with a drive that ended with Mark Andrews‘ second touchdown catch.
Jackson’s numbers weren’t as big, but he managed the Baltimore offense as required while completing 14 of 21 passes for 193 yards.
Limited to 97 yards passing against the Chiefs, Jackson surpassed that total by halftime. He was backed by a strong defense looking for redemption after allowing Kansas City to amass 517 yards in a 34-20 victory.
Early in the second quarter, a 54-yard field goal try by Washington’s Dustin Hopkins clanged off the left upright. On third-and-4 from midfield, Jackson faked a handoff and took off down the middle of the field for a 50-yard score, shrugging off an attempted tackle by Kendall Fuller along the way. It was the longest run of his career, topping the 47-yarder last year against Cincinnati.
Washington closed to 14-7 with a 75-yard drive, capped by a 2-yard run by Antonio Gibson.
Facing a 4th-and-9 at the Washington 43, the Ravens pulled off a fake punt. Sam Koch threw a 15-yard completion to Mike Boykin, and Jackson cashed in with an on-the-run, 25-yard TD pass to Andrews just after the two-minute warning.
Late in the half, however, Jackson’s run of 159 straight passes without an interception ended when he was picked by Fuller. Washington cashed in with a field goal to make it 21-10.
Limited to three catches for 22 yards by Kansas City, Andrews hauled in a 22-yard touchdown pass to increase the lead to 18.
|Passing 1st downs||10||17|
|Rushing 1st downs||7||6|
|1st downs from penalties||1||1|
|3rd down efficiency||5-11||4-13|
|4th down efficiency||2-2||2-3|
|Yards per Play||6.2||4.9|
|Yards per pass||8.6||5.7|
|Yards per rush||4.5||3.1|
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||1-1||2-3|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||0|