Ravens fans are calling it the Motor City Miracle after Baltimore (2-1) squeaked out a 19-17 win as the clock ran out in Sunday’s game against Detroit. No matter what name you prefer, the outcome was just plain exciting.
But we’re not going to rehash the entire game here. Instead, here are four takeaways to ponder as the Ravens look to tame the Broncos in Denver.
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Would someone please let Lamar Jackson know it’s okay to slide every once in a while? Sure, Jackson’s elusiveness and speed are a major part of what makes him so exciting to watch. And his athleticism and toughness are unquestioned. But it’s hard not to cringe when you see him take an unnecessary hit at the end of a play because he stays on his feet or takes on would-be tacklers head-on. There’s no shame in ducking avoidable contact after you’ve picked up a first down. If nothing else, it’ll keep Jackson healthy and extend his career. The last thing Baltimore needs right now is another injury.
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Let’s face it, despite a thrilling finish Sunday, there’s no reason the game should have been that close in the first place. Granted, it was a road game for Baltimore, but the Ravens were big favorites to steamroll the winless and listless Detroit Lions. Perhaps the biggest reasons the game came down to the wire were Baltimore’s inability to finish drives (they were 1 for 10 on third-down conversions) and its receivers’ inability to haul in catchable passes. The biggest offender was Marquise Brown, who dropped three passes that would’ve likely ben touchdowns. He’ll look to redeem himself in Denver.
Feed Mark Andrews
Tight end Mark Andrews might be the Ravens’ top receiving threat. So, it’s a bit puzzling the team isn’t getting more milage out of him three games into the season. Andrews had five catches for 109 yards on a team-leading seven targets for his first 100-yard game of the year. Now the Ravens tight end doesn’t create the same matchup nightmares as Travis Kelce and Darren Waller, but Baltimore fans know how lethal the Jackson-Andrews connection can be when the two truly gel. If the Ravens are looking for an offensive spark moving forward, they should consider feeding their tight end.
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It was over when Justin Tucker sunk an NFL-record 66-yard field goal as the game clock expired to put Baltimore ahead of Detroit 19-17. The game-winning, record-setting kick added to what’s an already impressive resume for Tucker, who also led the Ravens in scoring Sunday with 13 points. The four-time Pro Bowl and All-Pro selection continues to reward the team and its fans for putting their faith in him in high-pressure situations. The only question is, what will the four-time All Pro and Pro Bowl selection do next? It’s safe to say his kicking will be key to the Ravens’ success this season.