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Lamar Jackson, Ravens Hold Off Josh Allen, Bills for 24-17 Win

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2019

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson looks to pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, N.Y., Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
Adrian Kraus/Associated Press

The Baltimore Ravens appear unstoppable after a 24-17 win over the Buffalo Bills.

Lamar Jackson threw three touchdown passes Sunday to lead the Ravens to their ninth straight win—including seventh over a team that had a winning record entering Week 14. The 11-2 squad clinched a playoff berth and still holds the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

With 40 rushing yards, Jackson also joined Michael Vick as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to top 1,000 yards in a season.

Buffalo (9-4) fought back from a 15-point, fourth-quarter deficit to get within 16 yards of a game-tying touchdown. However, Josh Allen threw three straight incompletions and the Bills turned the ball over on downs as the Ravens made a key defensive stand with just over a minute remaining.

The teams combined for just 466 yards from scrimmage in a defensive battle at New Era Field, but the Ravens did enough to keep their winning streak alive.

   

Notable Fantasy Stats

  • Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens: 16-of-25, 145 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT; 40 rushing yards
  • Mark Ingram II, RB, Ravens: 15 carries, 50 yards
  • Josh Allen, QB, Bills: 17-of-39, 146 yards, 1 TD
  • Devin Singletary, RB, Bills: 17 carries, 89 yards; 6 catches, 29 yards
  • John Brown, WR, Bills: 3 catches, 26 yards

   

Lamar Jackson Makes Enough Plays to Beat Tough Defense

After a relatively quiet passing performance versus the San Francisco 49ers, Jackson once again had a hard time connecting on throws down the field against a tough defense.

At halftime, the quarterback had just 30 passing yards and an interception to go with 28 rushing yards.

However, the MVP front-runner continued to find ways to help the Ravens offense. This began in the first half with a nifty flip to Nick Boyle:

NFL @NFL

Lamar flips to Nick Boyle for the @Ravens touchdown! @lj_era8 📺: #BALvsBUF on CBS 📱: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app Watch free on mobile: https://t.co/D5AfU98qAh https://t.co/vea9Rt3DNW

mike freeman @mikefreemanNFL

Lamar Jackson dishing TDs like Allen Iverson.

Tyler Dunne @TyDunne

Lamar Jackson, still the MVP. He does something unbelievable every week.

Jackson then kicked off the second half by avoiding the rush and finding an open Hayden Hurst for a long touchdown:

NFL @NFL

Hurst bursts for the 61-yard TD catch from @lj_era8! #RavensFlock @HaydenrHurst 📺: #BALvsBUF on CBS 📱: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app Watch free on mobile: https://t.co/D5AfU98qAh https://t.co/8ZRaq5ZjWw

In the fourth quarter, he was deadly again near the end zone:

NFL @NFL

.@lj_era8 throws to Willie Snead to extend the @Ravens lead! 📺: #BALvsBUF on CBS 📱: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app Watch free on mobile: https://t.co/D5AfU98qAh https://t.co/Qq11DuOMIH

There were fewer big plays for the offense than we are used to seeing, but Jackson took advantage when he got the opportunities.

Of course, he also showcased his incredible athleticism:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Lamar shook him out of his shoes... He hits 1,000 rushing yards on the season 🏎 (via @thecheckdown) https://t.co/Kla8DNq8bp

As arguably the most dynamic player in football, Jackson again showed why he is so difficult to stop. He can beat you with his arm or his legs, but more importantly, he can improvise and still move the chains when everything is defended.

Even when it wasn't his best game—he threw his first interception since Week 5—the second-year player proved himself as an elite quarterback.

   

Josh Allen Slowed by Ravens Defense

Though he remains a divisive player, Allen has been a consistent leader for the Bills offense this year and entered Sunday with at least two touchdowns (passing or rushing) in eight straight games.

That streak ended with a rough outing.

Buffalo had its chances early, but Allen simply missed his receivers:

Sal Maiorana @salmaiorana

Well, so far, it is very, very bad Josh Allen today. And his line is not helping as they aren't holding up against the Ravens blitz

Matt Verderame @MattVerderame

The Bills have had chances for huge plays. Josh Allen hasn't hit any of them thus far.

Brayton J. Wilson @BJWilsonWGR

This may be the worst first half of football for Josh Allen in his career. #Bills

Those opportunities began to dry up in the second half as the Bills couldn't move the football.

After beginning the third quarter with a field goal, Buffalo punted on its next three drives without getting a first down. Baltimore also punted three times in that stretch but ended the drought with Willie Snead IV's touchdown, which helped push the lead to 24-9.

The Bills matched a season high with seven punts before finally finding the end zone midway through the fourth quarter:

NFL @NFL

A @Bease11 TD and two-point conversion makes this a seven-point game! #GoBills 📺: #BALvsBUF on CBS 📱: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app Watch free on mobile: https://t.co/D5AfU98qAh https://t.co/juzjgvq1dh

Meanwhile, the Ravens kept Allen uncomfortable with six sacks and 12 quarterback hits:

Nick Filipowski @NEWS4_NICK

The #Ravens D is teeing off on Josh Allen Another sack. Fumble. #Bills lucky to recover.

Allen completed just 43.6 percent of his passes after entering the day completing 61.5 percent of his attempts. His 62.6 passer rating was his second-worst mark of the season.

The Bills defense kept the squad in the game, and Allen had a chance to lead a come-from-behind effort, but it wasn't to be.

   

What's Next?

The Ravens have a quick turnaround but an easier matchup at home against the New York Jets on Thursday. The Bills will also play in prime time Sunday at the Pittsburgh Steelers, a battle that could be important for playoff seeding.