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Ravens Offense Proves Its Firepower in Lions Slaughter

TE Mark Andrews
TE Mark Andrews

After the Ravens' offensive explosion in Sunday's 38-6 win over the Detroit Lions at M&T Bank Stadium, Head Coach John Harbaugh gave Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken a game ball and quarterback Lamar Jackson a "lion's spike."

The spike has been handed out after each win this season, given to the player who finished off the challenger. It was especially appropriate this week given the opponent, but the only issue was Jackson and the Ravens offense basically finished the Lions off before halftime.

It was a slaughter.

"It was wall to wall from the beginning to the end," Harbaugh said.

After inconsistency, or "drag" as Monken calls it, plagued the Ravens offense through the first six weeks – from drops two weeks ago and then red-zone troubles last week – the unit took flight Sunday. The Ravens scored touchdowns on their first four drives and piled up 503 yards.

Sunday's eruption showed the firepower of the Ravens' retooled offense. Paired with a suffocating defense, it also proved Baltimore (5-2) is a legitimate AFC contender.

"Today was lights out – just by Lamar, Coach 'Monk' – from the top down on the offensive side of the ball," added tight end Mark Andrews, who scored two touchdowns. "Those two guys were elite."

The Lions entered the game with one of the best defenses in the league, ranked No. 7 overall (285.8 yards per game) and first against the run. Jared Goff was performing like one of the top quarterbacks in the league.

All week, the Ravens heard about the strength of Detroit's offense, which entered the game ranked No. 3 overall. Baltimore, on the flip side, came in at No. 11, averaging 339.2 yards per game. The Ravens had more yards than that (355) by halftime.

Jackson had another spectacular day, throwing for 357 yards and accounting for four touchdowns – three with his arm and one with his legs. He completed 21 of 27 passes and finished with a 155.8 quarterback rating.

On the Ravens' first drive of the game, they faced a fourth-and-1 from the 7-yard line. They could have settled for another field goal, which surely would have elicited more groans around Baltimore after six field goals in London. Instead, Monken dialed up a tricky quarterback keeper for Jackson, who walked in untouched thanks to Ronnie Stanley blocking a Lions safety through the end zone.

That was just the start, but after the red-zone troubles from a week ago, it set the tone.

"That was a huge deal," Stanley said. "Especially being our first drive of the game, to be able to cap that off with a touchdown gave us a great start and that was something we really got to build on throughout the game."

Baltimore's first four touchdown drives spanned 75, 68, 92, and 80 yards, respectively. The Ravens' 355 offensive yards in the first half were the third-most in franchise history.

Jackson was yanked midway through the fourth quarter after the Ravens settled for their only field goal. Baltimore scored touchdowns on its first five trips to the red zone and had only one turnover, a fumble on the exchange between Jackson and Justice Hill. Not everything was perfect, but it was darn close.

After the game, Jackson and the Ravens' offensive players were rather muted about their breakout performance. Jackson hardly cracked a smile at his postgame press conference.

"We made strides for improvement last week and earlier in the season. I believe we did, but it's just one regular season game," Jackson said.

"It's pretty good. That's what we expected. That's what we expect out of each other [for] our offense to be moving the ball down the field [with] no problem and putting points on the board. But, we need to just keep being consistent."

Other Ravens players echoed that sentiment. Blowing out a team with one of the best offenses, and tied for the best record in the league, is great. Now it's about what the Ravens do next week in Arizona.

Baltimore's locker room seemed to turn the page on Sunday's offensive explosion as fast as it turned the page on its mistakes.

"Today, stuff was clicking for us, which is what we've been waiting for all year," center Tyler Linderbaum said. "Now we have to carry it over. We can't just let this be a one-week thing. We want this to be our identity to be on offense."

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