Ravens Eye View: Week 9 vs. Saints

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) scrambles away from the New Orleans Saints defense in the second half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Monday, Nov. 7, 2022.

The Ravens played their most dominant game of the season, at least since Week 1, in their 27-13 win in New Orleans in Week 9.

As Baltimore heads into the bye, Head Coach John Harbaugh said the Ravens have to keep "refining" the vision of what they want their team to be in the second half of the season.

However, the Ravens entered the bye on a high note, as the tape clearly shows. Here's a look:

Lamar Jackson's stat line in New Orleans was not representative of the kind of game he played. Jackson finished 12-of-22 passing for 133 yards and one touchdown. He also ran 11 times for 82 yards.

While Jackson was hard on himself for some missed opportunities, the film shows good decision making and a number of "wow" plays that kept the Ravens offense moving. Overall, Jackson played winning football against a tough defense, in a loud environment.

Ravens outside linebacker Justin Houston was the player of the game with 2 ½ sacks and an interception.

But as Houston said after the game, it was really a team effort that helped him fill up the box score. Inside linebacker Patrick Queen helped set up both of Houston's "solo" sacks.

The Ravens once again ran the ball very well, and for the second straight week wore their opponent down in the second half behind a blocking scheme that keeps relentlessly slamming big pulling blockers at defenders.

Credit to running back Kenyan Drake, too, who ran for 93 yards on 24 carries. Drake said he chose the Ravens, in part, because of their physicality in the running game and he was honored to carry that on.

In his first game as a Raven, Roquan Smith flashed why he's one of the best inside linebackers in the game.

The Ravens are also getting more players back on the field, as Tyus Bowser made his debut after last year's Achilles injury and showed his speed off the edge when lined up in the Wide 9. Ravens Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald used Bowser, Houston and Odafe Oweh in combination a fair amount to put the heat on the Saints.

In his first game as a Raven, DeSean Jackson ended up with just one catch before exiting with a minor hamstring tweak. However, Head Coach John Harbaugh said Jackson should be good to play after the bye and Wide Receivers Coach Tee Martin said Jackson will be a "big part of what we do down the stretch."

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