His Ravens have been through so much this season – all those season-ending injuries, their handful of downsides in the fourth quarter, the glitter of the NFL’s most-watched contract situation – so late Monday night, in the middle of the happy locker room, John Harbaugh shared the good news.
The Ravens have just battered the New Orleans Saints, 27-13 years old. They extended their winning streak to three games and held pole position at AFC North. They watched as their ground match progressed through the strong defense, their own defense stifling a capable offensive in front of the “Monday Night Football” public. And now, as the goodbye week was approaching, Harbaugh told them they would get the rest of the week.
At the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, The Ravens happily allowed the good times. In arguably the most impressive performance of the season, a weakened offensive and a completed defense, led by another championship from returning to the rear from outside linebacker Justin Houston, kept the team on the most promising path of the season.
“I feel like [the win] puts us in a very good, comfortable position, ”said quarterback Lamar Jackson. “We just have to keep doing what we’re doing, stay closed, keep tweaking little details here and there. I feel that the sky is the limit for us. “
Three weeks ago, The Ravens dropped out of the late game third flop in five weeks, lost 24-20 to the New York Giants sending them to the confused center of the AFC and another week of inquisition in the locker room. A winning streak of three games burned out the stench of dysfunction. The Ravens (6-3) enter Week 10 as one of five AFC teams with six conference wins; only the Miami Dolphins have won the same number of matches in a row.
After a week and a half of waiting for Monday’s game, The Raven will not play again until the match on November 20 with the amazing Karolina Panthers, their first game in Baltimore since October 23. will be heavily favored to achieve postseason. The only team remaining above 0.500 on their schedule is the defender of the AFC North Cincinnati title (5-4), whom the Raven will not face until week 18, the final weekend of the regular season.
“If you lose, you think about it all week,” said defender Patrick Ricard, a key cog in a speeding att*ck that took the Saints 188 yards (4.7 per carry) and two touchdowns. “It feels great to know we’ve won. I know we’re gonna have fun on the plane too. “
But no one has had a better night than Houston. The 33-year-old, known in the locker room as “Yoda” and “Sensei”, showed all his teachings to prime-time audiences. His championship extended not only to the passing fever – he had 2 1/2 bags, becoming the first player in franchise history with three straight multi bag games – but also to cover.
The Houston interception in the fourth quarter, his first pick since 2018, gave the Ravens offensive a short spot and delivered a knockout blow. Three games later, on the run, Kenyan Drake scored from 3 yards, and his second quick touchdown that night put the Raven ahead of 27-6. Soon the crowd flecked with purple was heard as Saints fans poured out of the stadium.
“He’s working really hard to stay in great shape and so on,” Harbaugh said of Houston after the Ravens held New Orleans 243 yards, which is the least frequent of the season. “He told the team this: [It’s] not only him; all the other guys are lining up [it] up. The relationship is really good; our second-tier played exceptionally well. “
Before starting, The Ravens seemed to be defined both by who went missing and who was returning. Jackson was missing his top four guns for the first time all season. Gus Edwards (hamstring) was excluded and fellow jogging JK Dobbins (knee) was left out of the way. Mark Andrews taut end (knee / shoulder) missed his first game due to an injury in his career. Wide receiver Rashod Bateman went to the wounded reserve Monday with Lisfranc (foot) injury ending the season.
The offense was far from ideal, but also far from hopeless. The Ravens traded 76 and 81 yards for touchdowns on the second and fourth belongings, and two of the three hits in the third quarter scored goals.
Jackson was 12-by-22 by 133 yards, which was underlined by a 24-yard touchdown on rookie Isaiah who likely opened the scoring and added his usual input on the pitch. He ended up with 11 heels for 82 yards and he overtook Steve Young in fifth place in his career in the quarterback race with a run of 16 yards in the middle of the second quarter.
“Lamar is playing on a different level,” said Harbaugh. “You can’t just watch the statistics go by; Passing statistics are good, but he made a few moves, made a few conversions in third place (The Ravens went 9 out of 15). The third raise was crucial in this game; we did a great job on the offensive and Lamar was really the driver of it.
The newcomers of The Raven did not have to wait long to introduce themselves. Outside defender Tyus Bowser, first appearance Since an Achilles tendon rupture 10 months ago in The Ravens season finale 10 months ago, quarterback Andy Dalton has rushed (19-on-29 by 210 yards and a touchdown) to ending his run of non-completion after the Saints first own.
On the next run in New Orleans, in-back Roquan Smith strangled a third and one, retreating Alvin Kamara (nine carries for 30 yards). this Ravens acquired from Chicago Bears to the second and fifth draft rounds just a week ago.
“He’s going to help this defense a lot to get where we want to be,” said Houston of Smith, who ended with five acceptances. “We needed a guy like that and I am very happy we were able to get him. I think it was crazy that they let him go. I think he’s one of the best linebackers in the game, and adding him to this defense is terrifying.
The Raven’s just hired help also came from the att*ck. Drafted from the training squad for his 2022 debut, he came in with a 16-yard steal during the Ravens’ first goal, becoming the oldest active winger in the NFL to be a target this season. He later walked away with a hamstring injury Harbaugh pointed out that she wasn’t serious.
The Ravens ended up with just 319 yards of total offensive, but after the first quarter they kept New Orleans at bay, never really threatened. With Drake’s 1-yard touchdown (24 catches out of 93 yards) just before the break, the Ravens took the lead 14-0 and became the third team in the last 20 seasons to maintain a double-digit lead in nine games in a row. start the season by joining Saints 2009 and Green Bay Packers 2011.
From that moment on, The Ravens seemed to shift to autopilot. A lone touchdown by The Saints, 41 yards catch and run by winger Juwan Johnson, whom defender Marcus Peters should have stopped, came just over four minutes from time. By this time, The Ravens had sucked the spirits of the Saints away. In the att*ck, they were forced to dodge the falls only occasionally, charging forward for several meters behind one fleet of pulling blockers after another. In defense, they obstructed Dalton with four-man pressure, squeezing his throwing windows and blinking passes on the line of play.
“The human will can only take this much,” said Drake. “It’s just a rumble, going down and down. … This is what this team is all about, keep wiping out teams, polishing them for four quarters of football, and at the end of the day we’ll see who wins.
The Ravens were in the third game in a row. When their players later packed their bags in the locker room, they could be comfortable with what lay ahead – or at least better with the points that had spoiled their first six weeks. They knew there was a good band out there all the time waiting to come out.
The ravens made it clear on Monday. There was a lot to celebrate on the way home, not just a mini-vacation.
“That’s funny, man,” said defensive liner Calais Campbell. “We’re here and we’re having a good time. This team is capable of great things, and at the end of the day, winning makes everything better. Playing soccer is much more fun when you win. Hopefully we can continue this.
Panthers in Raven
Sunday, November 20 at 1:00 p.m.
TV: Ch. 45
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