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Studs and Duds From the Ravens’ Week 11 Win Over the Bengals

November 19, 2018 - 11:55 am
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By Joe Schiller

Sitting at 4-5 in a must-win matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday afternoon, the Baltimore Ravens secured a crucial 24-21 victory against their division rivals and kept any playoff hopes alive.

It wasn’t a perfect performance by any means but the Ravens grinded out a win and snapped a three-game losing streak in the process. The Bengals’ loss and a loss by the Titans puts the Ravens as the second Wild-Card team in a mediocre AFC conference, with a favorable schedule ahead.

Here are my studs and duds from the Week 11 win.

 

Studs

Lamar Jackson

With Joe Flacco sidelined with a hip injury, Lamar Jackson made his first career start and the rookie was impressive. Marty Mornhinweg used a run-heavy attack, playing to Jackson’s strengths on the ground against a struggle Bengals’ defense.

Jackson rushed for 117 yards on 27 attempts and added 150 yards through the air on 13-of-19 passing. His ability to extend plays and make things happen on the run is exciting but as many have stated, consistently taking hits isn’t sustainable. Jackson will have to become more of a passer and that’s expected to come. The interception throw was poor but Jackson made some nice throws throughout the game and showed his accuracy.

Three of the next four matchups – Raiders, Buccaneers and Falcons – offer favorable matchups for the Ravens’ offense. If Jackson continues to improve, this is only a glimpse at what the coming years could look like in life after Flacco.

 

Gus Edwards

Lamar Jackson’s rushing efficiency not only provided him success but the Ravens’ run game as a whole. But instead of Alex Collins,  Gus Edwards was the feature back. The undrafted rookie out of Rutgers totaled 115 rushing yards and the game-tying touchdown in the third quarter.

He, along with Jackson, was the first Raven to rush for over 100 yards in a game this season. Alex Collins has struggled to find consistency and while it’s just one game for Edwards, it speaks volumes about the type of workload he received.

John Harbaugh spoke highly of him in the postgame presser and Edwards could be the north-south rusher the Ravens are looking for.

 

Willie Snead

The passing game was seldom used on Sunday but Willie Snead led all receivers with 52 yards on five catches. He was one of Jackson’s favorite targets and converted tough yards against a talented Cincinnati secondary.

With Jackson, the passing game shifts. He doesn’t have the arm that can benefit the deep play abilities of Michael Crabtree and John Brown. Instead, players like Snead are the go-to targets as Jackson continues to grow as a passer.

 

Nick Boyle

Rushing for over 200 yards doesn’t happen without blocking up front. Nick Boyle caught four passes for 36 yards but his best plays came in the trenches. He helped pave the way for the ball-carriers, specifically Jackson, securing the edge.

Boyle can be considered the Ravens’ best blocking tight end and will play a crucial role in a new-look offense if Jackson continues to start under center.

 

Marlon Humphrey

Eric Weddle offered friendly criticism for Marlon Humphrey in the week leading up to Sunday, saying that the second-year corner wasn’t ready to be anointed as one of the top young defensive backs.

Humphrey must have taken those words to heart because he was strong in coverage against the Bengals. Granted they were without their No. 1 target in A.J. Green, but Humphrey made a pair of impressive pass breakups, including the game-sealing one on fourth down.

He gave up a tough touchdown to John Ross but overall, Humphrey was one of the best defenders on the field.

 

Duds

John Brown/Michael Crabtree

It won’t show up on the stat sheet but Brown and Crabtree blocked well down the field for Jackson and the rushing attack. But as I said before, if one game is a sample of what’s to come for this offense, neither may be a good fit. They combined for one catch each and were seldom targeted by Jackson.

Crabtree could certainly become more involved as a possession receiver but Brown’s production takes a hit. Jackson’s arm just isn’t the same as Joe Flacco’s and the Ravens found success to score points in a different way.