Ravens Grind Out 23-17 Win Against Cardinals

Vinny & Haynie
September 16, 2019 - 9:58 am

© Tommy Gilligan - USA Today Sports

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By Joe Schiller

Throughout the better part of four quarters, it wasn't pretty.

With 3:05 left to play, clinging to a six-point lead, the Ravens found themselves facing a 3rd-and-11 backed up on their own 44-yard line.

What happened next won the game and signaled the beginning of a new era.

It wasn't Ray Lewis barreling his way across the line of scrimmage to make the stop, it wasn't Ed Reed's signature interception, and it wasn't Terrell Suggs forcing the game-sealing fumble. 

It was Lamar Jackson connecting on a 41-yard pass to Marquise "Hollywood" Brown. 

Jackson put together another record-setting performance, and the Ravens gutted out a 23-17 win over the Cardinals on Sunday to improve to 2-0 on the 2019 season. 

The Ravens' opening offensive possession carried over from their dominance in Miami. They drove 94 yards on seven plays as Jackson connected with a wide-open Mark Andrews for a 27-yard touchdown to give the Ravens a 7-0 lead with 8:06 remaining in the first quarter. 

But Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray never went away. Just like they overcame a fourth-quarter deficit to tie the Lions in overtime in Week 1, the Cardinals stuck around. Arizona's fast-tempo offensive scheme kept the Ravens' defense on their heels, and the No. 1 overall pick had success. Murray finished 25-of-40 for 349 yards and became just the second quarterback to throw for 300 yards in each of his first two starts (Cam Newton). 

However, the most glaring statistic on Murray's box score was the touchdown category. Wink Martindale's defense held the Cardinals to three field goals within the five-yard line. And without an established run game, the Cardinals couldn't find their way into the end zone. 

Following two Zane Gonalez field goals, and one from Justin Tucker, the Ravens took a 17-6 halftime lead after Jackson found Hayden Hurst for the one-yard score. 

Jackson became the first quarterback in NFL regular-season history to throw for 250 yards and rush for at least 120 yards in a game. He continually escaped collapsed pockets to pick up crucial first downs and avoided any big hits from defenders in the process. 

The Ravens are building an exciting young core of offensive players, and Mark Andrews may just be Jackson's Dennis Pitta. Andrews led all Ravens receivers with 112 yards and a touchdown on eight catches. It was his second consecutive game with 1,000 receiving yards. Brown added eight catches for 86 yards on 13 targets. 

Both teams traded field goals out of the half, and the Cardinals got to within three points when David Johnson barreled his way into the end zone for a one-yard score with 12:52 left to play in the fourth quarter. Justin Tucker's 51-yard field goal extended the lead 23-17, and the Ravens bent, but didn't break. 

These are the kind of games teams win, and if the Ravens wanted to make a serious run for the postseason, they had to start 2-0. 

Next week features the biggest test. Baltimore will travel to Kansas City to face Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. The Ravens fell 27-24 in overtime in Jackson's only loss as a starter, and a win would solidify them as one of the top teams in the AFC, and the entire NFL.