A dramatic finish finally went Baltimore's way, and Lamar Jackson made some big contributions

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

BALTIMORE (AP) — Before Tylan Wallace's dramatic punt return in overtime, Lamar Jackson led Baltimore on a drive that could have easily won the game in regulation.

That might have been an even better sign for the Ravens.

“I think Lamar played one of the best quarterback games yesterday that you can play, all in all,” coach John Harbaugh said Monday. “He did it kind of the way he plays, but he also did it very, within the structure initially and kind of throughout, but also with his flair, outside the structure.”

Jackson threw for 316 yards and three touchdowns in Baltimore's 37-31 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. It was only his second 300-yard passing game this season, and it was a victory that felt markedly different than the Ravens' first nine wins.

Baltimore (10-3) has spent much of this season playing from ahead. In fact, this was the first time the Ravens trailed at the end of the third quarter. They were also down 28-23 with 4:41 remaining in the fourth. Then Jackson went 7 of 10 on a drive that ended with his 21-yard TD pass to Zay Flowers.

That play came on third-and-17, and then Jackson — despite being hit as he threw — completed another pass to Flowers for a crucial 2-point conversion that put Baltimore up by three with 1:16 remaining.

“We have to score, and we delivered,” Jackson said.

That lead didn't hold up. Los Angeles drove for a field goal to force overtime. But even after Wallace won the game by returning a punt 76 yards for a touchdown, it was clear the Ravens wouldn't have made it to that point without Jackson's big fourth-quarter drive.

Baltimore's three losses came in overtime against Indianapolis, on a late touchdown at Pittsburgh and on a last-second field goal against Cleveland. The Ravens' victories have been a good deal less dramatic. Sunday changed that narrative for the time being.

WHAT'S WORKING

The connection between Jackson and Flowers seems to be getting even better. It was the second straight game the rookie receiver caught a touchdown pass after he had only one previously.

Jackson is now up to 2,934 yards passing on the season, and he's closing in on his career high of 3,127 from his MVP year of 2019.

WHAT NEEDS HELP

Although Baltimore's defense has generally been excellent, the Ravens are allowing 4.29 yards per rush, which ranks in the lower half of the league. Kyren Williams had 114 yards on 25 carries Sunday for Los Angeles.

STOCK UP

The Ravens have had issues with ball security this season, losing nine fumbles, but on a rainy day Sunday they had few issues. Jackson in particular has had problems holding onto the ball in the backfield, and there have been miscues on handoffs. None of that showed up against the Rams.

There was one costly loose ball — a shotgun snap that seemed to catch Jackson off guard and resulted in a safety — but Baltimore's ball carriers generally did a good job in tough conditions.

“I thought the guys did a great job with that, because they were punching the ball," Harbaugh said. “We had a lot of exchanges that Lamar did a great job and the backs did a great job.”

STOCK DOWN

Cornerback Marlon Humphrey was back after missing two games, but the three-time Pro Bowler had his problems while returning from a calf injury. He allowed four catches for 92 yards according to Pro Football Focus.

“He hasn't played in a few weeks, he's been kind of on and off with kind of nagging injury things. To me, I kind of attribute it to that,” Harbaugh said. “Marlon Humphrey is the least of my concerns."

INJURIES

Harbaugh described safety Kyle Hamilton (knee) as day to day. Devin Duvernay, whose back problems pressed Wallace into punt return duty, could have a more extended absence. Harbaugh said the plan is to add DB Pepe Williams to the roster after he was designated to return from injured reserve last month.

KEY NUMBER

5 — The number of times the Ravens erased a deficit against the Rams. They trailed 3-0, 10-7, 20-14, 22-20 and 28-23. In their first 12 games, they erased a deficit only five times total — twice against the Colts (in a game they lost anyway) and once each against the Cardinals, Bengals and Chargers.

NEXT STEPS

The next three games for Baltimore are against teams — Jacksonville, San Francisco and Miami — that are in first place at the moment. The Ravens play on the road against the Jaguars on Sunday night.

___

AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL