With such a high-powered offense, it was Baltimore's defense that propelled the Ravens to a big 33-16 win over the Houston Texans on Sunday.
As the clock neared five minutes remaining in the first half in a one-score game, Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson avoided pressure and found wide receiver Keke Coutee on a route headed towards the sideline. Coutee planted quickly and switched direction, unable to evade the oncoming Marlon Humphrey.
The Ravens cornerback, who originally gave Coutee some cushion, closed in on him quickly and punched the ball out. Instead of rolling on the ball to secure Baltimore possession, veteran linebacker L.J. Fort cleanly scooped up the ball and took it 22 yards for six.
"L.J. and Marlon making that play was really the momentum turner in the game in so many ways," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "It kind of got us going, jump-started us."
Fort's scoop and score was perhaps the more impressive part of the scoring play, as he showed off some real athleticism to extend every fiber of his body to get across the goal line.
"It was huge. He had a little bit of running back skills," said Baltimore defensive lineman Calais Campbell, who was pleased to see practice pay off on game day. "He got the ball in there and knew what to do with it -- he played a little bit of running back in high school."
The play not only earned Fort and Humphrey postgame game balls but also provided the Ravens with some crucial cushion. The defense didn't stop there, however.
"And then Marcus Peters coming back with really a Marcus Peters-type of interception. I mean it's an interception only he can make, you can’t coach that kind of play," said Harbaugh. "He broke us, so those first two guys got a game ball and Marcus broke the huddle in the locker room for those plays. That was pretty remarkable, pretty amazing, and made a huge difference in the game."
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 20, 2020
Now, with Baltimore's mentality already firmly on is Week 3 battle with the defending champions, it's all about carrying that kind of momentum-building plays over to next Monday.
"That's the mentality we've established and we got to keep it going, one play at a time," Campbell said.