Mark Andrews had to endure his share of friendly ribbing from teammates over the last few weeks. The rookie tight end was caught from behind on a wide-open touchdown against the Oakland Raiders in Week 12, and he took some hits for his speed.
But he was plenty fast Saturday night.
Andrews and rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson delivered a critical touchdown in the 22-10 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers, where Andrews shrugged off a tackling attempt from safety Jahleel Addae and then outran safety Adrian Phillips on his way to a 68-yard score.
"It was a little bit of a revenge thing," Andrews said after the win. "I had to get the touchdown and not get caught."
He picked the right time to get some redemption.
The score came on Baltimore's second drive of the third quarter, with the Ravens trailing 10-6. The Chargers had momentum on their side after Ravens running back Kenneth Dixon fumbled on the first play of the second half, which lead to a Los Angeles touchdown.
After leading for nearly the entire first half, the Ravens suddenly found themselves in a deficit with their playoff lives hanging in the balance.
That's when Jackson delivered a strike to Andrews as he cut across the middle of the field. Jackson hit Andrews perfectly in stride in the middle of three defenders, and then the tight end took care of the rest.
"I didn't know if it would be a touchdown because I saw two guys chasing him, but when he broke that tackle I was like, 'Oh yeah. Six,'" Jackson said. "We had to respond for our defense. We put them in a bad spot. [The Chargers] punched it in off the fumble. We had to go back down and respond."
"I just managed to stick my arm out, get a stiff arm, and it was all green grass from there," Andrews added. "Great play, great ball. It was fun for me."
Andrews' score was the lone touchdown for Baltimore's offense, but that was all it needed on a night where the defense was dominant. The touchdown was the third of the season for the third-round pick, who already has the Ravens franchise record with 498 receiving yards for a rookie tight end.
The long touchdown was also a big part of the reason that Jackson had his best passing performance to date, as he went 12-of-22 for 204 yards with a touchdown and quarterback rating of 101.3.
The Chargers bottled up the Ravens' running game better in the second half, and Jackson made the biggest play with his arm to help deliver the victory. In a tough road environment against the best defense Jackson has faced yet, the rookie quarterback stepped up.
"It had to be a challenge," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "You think about what an accomplishment it was for Lamar to come out here and win this game. This is a really good defense, this is a really good team [the Chargers]. … He handled himself with great poise, operated the offense and played quarterback.
"To answer in that way with that kind of a play, something we've been working on all year over and over again. For [Andrews] to score and stiff-arm and make the play … we were on him pretty hard about the last one when he didn't get it in! But he's a talented guy, and that was obviously the turning point in the game."
And for Andrews, he's spared himself from any speed jokes for the foreseeable future.
"He proved everybody wrong," Jackson said. "He did a great job."