Instant analysis: Ravens avoid late collapse, hang on to beat Eagles, 30-28, to move to 5-1 entering bye week
Quarterback Lamar Jackson had another long rushing touchdown, defensive end Calais Campbell had three sacks, and the Ravens avoided a late collapse Sunday to knock off the Philadelphia Eagles in a sloppy 30-28 win.
The Eagles scored the game’s final 14 points, but outside linebacker Matthew Judon and inside linebacker L.J. Fort denied quarterback Carson Wentz on a potentially tying 2-point-conversion attempt with less than two minutes remaining. Wide receiver James Proche II recovered the subsequent onside kick, and the Ravens held on.
The win at Lincoln Financial Field sends the Ravens into their Week 7 bye with nine consecutive road wins and a 5-1 record overall. The last two Ravens teams to start the season 5-1 both went on to win the Super Bowl.
With the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-0) routing the Cleveland Browns, 38-7, in Sunday’s high-profile AFC North matchup, the Ravens will play for at least a share of the division lead when they return to M&T Bank Stadium on Nov. 1.
For much of Sunday, their defense had the look of a champion. Against an Eagles offense with a patchwork offensive line and without much receiving talent, the Ravens didn’t allow a first down until about five minutes remained in the first half. Philadelphia didn’t convert a third down until late in the third quarter.
A handful of big plays hurt the Ravens, but they still finished with six sacks and a forced fumble, plus two fourth-down stops. Quarterback Carson Wentz went 21-for-40 for 213 yards and two touchdowns, leading an Eagles offense that was powerless for much of the afternoon until desperation set in.
Jackson bounced back from a forgettable win over the Cincinnati Bengals with a performance that was good enough. He finished 16-for-27 passing for 186 yards and a first-quarter touchdown pass to tight end Nick Boyle, along with a team-high 108 rushing yards. J.K. Dobbins (nine carries for 28 yards), Gus Edwards (14 carries for 26 yards) and Mark Ingram II (five carries for 20 yards), who left the game with an ankle injury, averaged just 2.6 yards per carry against a stout Eagles defensive front.
After the Eagles (1-4-1) finally scored midway through the third quarter, with wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside falling on a fumble in the end zone after a long sprint by running back Miles Sanders (nine carries for 118 yards), Jackson had the perfect response. No Eagles defenders even touched him as he capped a five-play, 63-yard drive with a 37-yard touchdown run up the middle.
The score extended the Ravens' lead to 24-6, and they led by 16 points as late as midway through the fourth quarter after a pair of field goals by kicker Justin Tucker. But a disappearing defense and a stuttering offense gave the Eagles new life.
With less than four minute left, Wentz found wide receiver Travis Fulgham (six catches for 75 yards) for an 18-yard score on a fourth-down jump ball over cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey. After the Ravens went three-and-out, Philadelphia needed just 76 seconds to cover 71 yards and set up the late-game drama.
Daniel Oyefusi, reporter: With the Ravens up 17-0 halfway through the third quarter, it looked as if they were going to enter the bye week smoothly before a big matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers. But then they unraveled in a way that we haven’t seen under quarterback Lamar Jackson, assisted by a stagnant offense, a gassed defense and several unacceptable penalties, however dubious some might have been. This is not the 2019 team. They’re good enough to beat most teams but can certainly be exposed by good, and definitely great, opponents. As the Ravens come out the bye (and they should definitely thank the football gods it was moved up), it’ll be important for coach John Harbaugh and his staff to make the proper adjustments to mask their deficiencies because they’re not going away anytime soon.
Jonas Shaffer, reporter: The Ravens are becoming the NFL’s most frustrating 5-1 team. Their defense dominated until it folded late. Their running offense was explosive but inconsistent. The team dominated Philadelphia for much of three quarters until it decided its bye week had started a quarter early. The Ravens should be proud about where they are, but ahead of a showdown with the Steelers, they don’t look like the AFC North’s best team.
Childs Walker, reporter: This is the third straight week the Ravens controlled a game most of the way and left the field wishing they’d played better. In this case, they let the Eagles all the way back in until Matthew Judon and L.J. Fort made a clutch stop on the 2-point attempt that could have tied it. Their defense performed well, helping set up a short-field touchdown drive with a forced fumble and consistently pressuring Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. That said, the Ravens benefited from a few drops by Philadelphia receivers and gave up more long gains than they would have liked. On offense, the Ravens again struggled to string together drives. They ran the ball consistently, and Lamar Jackson spread his throws democratically, but nine penalties on Ravens blockers undermined any hope for consistency. They gained just 62 yards and held the ball for less than six minutes combined on their first three fourth-quarter drives, giving the Eagles ample room to rally. The Ravens did reestablish Jackson (nine carries for 108 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown) as a running threat. That’s still their greatest offensive weapon in a pinch.
©2020 The Baltimore Sun
Visit The Baltimore Sun at www.baltimoresun.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.