Photo Credit: USA Today

Studs and Duds From the Ravens’ Week 13 Win Over the Falcons

December 04, 2018 - 6:13 am
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By Joe Schiller
 

Studs

Gus Edwards

While he didn’t total 100 yards, Gus Edwards was still extremely effective on the ground. He rushed for 82 yards on 21 carries and helped the Ravens control almost 40 minutes of the clock during the game.

Edwards recorded his first negative rush on Sunday, showing just how dominant he and the run game has been coming out of the bye. The backfield, along with Lamar Jackson, has rushed for over 200 combined yards in three straight games.

A formula led by the undrafted rookie can’t seem to be stopped right now.


Justin Tucker

The Ravens don’t win Sunday’s game without the leg of Justin Tucker. He finished 4-for-4 and three field goals in the second half helped Baltimore take and extend their lead coming out of halftime.

Not many rookie quarterbacks have the comfortability of having one of the league’s best kickers at their disposal. When the ball is opposing territory, Tucker seemingly has a chance to kick it through the uprights.

 

Michael Pierce

Listed at 6-0, 340 pounds, Michael Pierce moves with more quickness and agility than some may realize. The third-year defensive tackle took advantage of a decimated Falcons’ offensive line and controlled the trenches in an impressive performance.

Up 7-3 in the first quarter, Pierce blew through the line on a 4th-and-1 and allowed Terrell Suggs to stuff running back Ito Smith at the line of scrimmage for a turnover on downs. Even with only one tackle, much of Pierce’s success came off the stat sheet on Sunday afternoon.

 

Marlon Humphrey, Jimmy Smith and Brandon Carr

The entire secondary, including safeties Eric Weddle and Chuck Clark, deserve recognition. They limited a Falcons’ offense that came into Week 13 averaging over 300 yards per game and held the same group to less than 100 yards through the air.

The stat that stands out – Julio Jones, one of the best receivers in the NFL, finished with two catches for 18 yards on eight targets. That speaks to the development of Marlon Humphrey and the solid play of veterans Smith and Carr.


 

Honorable Mention: Robert Griffin III

The decision to keep three quarterbacks on the active roster was head-scratching to some at the beginning of the season but it paid off in a must-win game on Sunday. Robert Griffin III was forced into the game with Joe Flacco inactive and Lamar Jackson in the concussion protocol.

Up 13-10, Griffin led a 14-play, 60-yard drive that ended with a Justin Tucker 45-yard field goal. The drive took up almost the entirety of the third quarter and Griffin stayed turnover-free and played with confidence in his first regular-season action since 2016.

Few, if any, teams have that luxury from a third-string quarterback.

 

Duds

Lamar Jackson

There’s no question that Lamar Jackson struggled in his first NFL road start. The rookie led an opening drive that ended with a 13-yard touchdown run but showed plenty of concerns the rest of the way.

Jackson finished 12-of-21 for 125 passing yards and avoided throwing an interception for the first time but fumbled three times. His first fumble was returned by Vic Beasley for a 74-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

Credit has to be given to Jackson for battling against adversity and coming back to help lead the Ravens to their third straight win. But without an incredible defensive performance and the leg of Justin Tucker, the result would have been completely different.

Jackson truly showed his rookie growing pains, which was expected to come.