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Late for Work 9/19: Media Reacts to Ravens' Late-Game Collapse

QB Lamar Jackson
QB Lamar Jackson

Media Reaction to Ravens' Late-Game Collapse

From the first play of the game until 14 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, the Ravens led the Miami Dolphins. But a historically bad fourth quarter saw the Dolphins surge back from a 21-point deficit to seize victory, 42-38.

Baltimore Sun’s Jonas Shaffer: "The Ravens had a nearly 99% win probability entering the fourth quarter and a 35-14 lead. How do you turn a big lead into a bad loss? With a rushing attack that couldn't scratch out a yard on fourth-and-short, a pass rush that couldn't trouble a mediocre Miami offensive line and a secondary — an admittedly banged-up secondary — that couldn't cover a cramping Tyreek Hill. You don't often get quarterback performances like the one Lamar Jackson authored, but the Ravens wasted it with 15 hellish minutes."

The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec: "Four times the Ravens' defense took the field in the fourth quarter where a stop could have all but ended the game. All four times it failed miserably, a step behind as Miami's receivers ran unopposed through or past the Ravens' defense. When Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa found an open Jaylen Waddle for the go-ahead, seven-yard touchdown with 14 seconds to play, the collapse was complete."

CBS Sports' Jeff Kerr: "Baltimore wasted a 300 passing yard, 100 rushing yard performance by Lamar Jackson in blowing a 35-14 lead. The defense looked gassed trying to pressure Tagovailoa in the fourth quarter and the revamped secondary couldn't keep up with the speed of Hill that ultimately got Miami back in it. The Ravens need J.K. Dobbins back, as the running backs had just 33 rushing yards -- and the running game was carried by Jackson again. As good as Jackson is, he can't do it all. Once he was contained slightly, the offense went dormant and couldn't put the game away. Baltimore is a good team, but this roster still has some minor holes to patch."

Baltimore Sun’s Ryan McFadden: "Speechless. Lamar Jackson was beyond amazing, but his historic performance was overshadowed by a defensive meltdown that had everyone inside M&T Bank Stadium stunned. The Dolphins outscored the Ravens 35-10 in the second half, including 28-3 in the fourth quarter. Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill had Ravens defensive backs looking lost in coverage while Baltimore's pass rush was nonexistent when it mattered most."

Baltimore Beatdown’s Frank Platko: "The Ravens' thought-to-be vaunted defense allowed 21 straight points and it took the Dolphins just about 14 plays across three drives to score three touchdowns. The defensive line was missing in action and with a clean pocket to work with, Tua Tagovailoa picked apart Mike Macdonald's secondary. No pass rush combined with miscommunications in the secondary saw Tyreek Hill get loose for two deep touchdown catches, both on third down, for over 100 combined yards. Jaylen Waddle was seemingly uncoverable all afternoon and that did not change over the final few drives…This was an utter defensive collapse."

Media Reverberates "Pay That Man" After Jackson's MVP Performance

Through three quarters, Jackson headlined Sunday's game, going 14-of-17 passing for 228 yards and three touchdowns, and adding another 118 yards and a touchdown rushing.

After his 79-yard rushing touchdown, M&T Bank Stadium began the MVP chants for Jackson, and so did the media on Twitter.

Also on Twitter, "PAY THAT MAN" began trending.

Jackson's performance was one for the history books, breaking one NFL record and setting another.

But for those believing Jackson "made a lot of money" on Sunday, some say think again.

Passing Offense Continues Hot Start with Splash Plays

Coming into the season, many were curious as to how the Ravens wide receiver corps, labeled "unproven" by the media, would perform. Through two weeks, wide receiver Rashod Bateman has amassed 167 receiving yards and two touchdowns, while wide receiver Devin Duvernay reeled in two touchdowns in Week 1 and two grabs for 42 yards in Week 2. Both have caught the attention of CBS' Phil Simms, who sees the Ravens transitioning their offense.

"Bateman is by far their best route runner and [with] Duvernay, they can make big plays," Simms said during the pre-game broadcast. "I think we're seeing what the Ravens are slowly transitioning to: a passing offense and let Lamar do his thing."

Through two weeks, Bateman has produced two 50+ yard plays and the receivers have caught five of Jackson's six touchdown passes. With that in mind, Hensley believes "the big plays are back for the Ravens."

"The Baltimore offense had lacked electricity recently, totaling two plays of at least 70 yards in the past two years," Hensley wrote. "Downfield passing was a point of emphasis for the Ravens in training camp, and it has paid off early this season. In two games this season, Jackson has connected with wide receiver Rashod Bateman on touchdown passes of 55 and 75 yards."

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