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Ravens Eye View: How the Ravens Ran Over the Jaguars

QB Lamar Jackson
QB Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson's performance stole the headlines in the Ravens' 23-7 win in Jacksonville on "Sunday Night Football," putting Baltimore's quarterback in the thick of the MVP chatter.

There's good reason for that. Jackson made numerous eye-popping plays that left Jaguars defenders defeated (physically and emotionally) and viewers astonished.

But there were a lot more plays that went into Baltimore's win. Here's a dive into the tape:

Run game adjustments paid off.

The Jaguars bottled up the Ravens' run game in the first half, holding them to just 47 rushing yards.

The second half was a different story. Baltimore erupted for 204 rushing yards in the second half. That's a staggering number considering the Ravens lead the league in rushing yards per game at 163.8.

Here are examples of some of the differences.

Lamar's had some elite on-script throws too.

Jackson's deep throw to Isaiah Likely in the third quarter was the play of the game. Baltimore's opening drive also featured several extended plays when Jackson bought time before making completions.

The Ravens' offensive linemen deserve props for helping to create those extended plays. Center Tyler Linderbaum and right guard Kevin Zeitler were particularly impressive in mirroring defensive linemen and giving Jackson more time.

One critique of the Ravens' offense after the game was that too much of the offense relied on oft-script plays. Jackson's ability to make plays outside the offensive structure makes him special and the Ravens more difficult to defend, but any offense wants to also operate like a well-oiled machine.

What shouldn't be lost is that Jackson made some sparkling plays on time as well.

Jaguars didn't just shoot themselves in the foot at the end of the half.

There was a potential turning point in the game at the end of the first half when the Jaguars hit a 36-yard pass to Zay Jones that put Jacksonville at the 5-yard line.

The Jaguars could have spiked the ball, stopped the clock, and kicked a field goal to trim the Ravens' lead to seven points (10-3) at halftime. Instead, they went for a touchdown on a quick throw in the flats.

That's a play that teams often use in that kind of hurried situation because if the defender is even slightly a step behind on a surprise play, it can be an easy score. However, it's a situation the Ravens defense has practiced for, and they executed perfectly.

Mike Macdonald had the right play call, inside linebacker Roquan Smith communicated it to everyone on the run, and safety Marcus Williams took a step out wider to give him a head start on making the tackle (hopefully in-bounds). That's exactly how it played out.

"We're going to stay aggressive. We've scored before in those situations," Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson said after the game. "It was just a mistake, I think, by Trevor, obviously, knowing the situation and knowing how much time is left right there. It's a great learning experience for us from the standpoint of don't throw it inbounds to be tackled in that situation. We'll learn from that one."

It appears Lawrence executed the play-call because there was zero hesitation. The Ravens were just a step ahead.

Justin Madubuike had better rushes than his record breaker.

Defensive tackle Justin Madubuike made history by recording at least a half-sack in 11 straight games. The mark ties the Chiefs' Chris Jones, Bengals' Trey Hendrickson, and retired defensive linemen Jared Allen (Vikings) and Shaun Ellis (Jets).

What's notable is that the record-setting sack came on a play that was designed for Kyle Van Noy or Patrick Queen to get the sack.

Queen set a pick for Van Noy, but he was tripped by Smith going down the middle. Queen had Lawrence in his grasp, but the quarterback spun out of it.

It was only fair that Madubuike got his sack, however, because he had impressive wins several other times and Lawrence stole a sack from him earlier in the game with an intentional grounding penalty.

Other film odds and ends from the win.

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