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:
Jackson then kicked off the second half by avoiding the rush and finding an open Hayden Hurst for a long touchdown:
In the fourth quarter, he was deadly again near the end zone:
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:
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:
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:
Meanwhile, the Ravens kept Allen uncomfortable with six sacks and 12 quarterback hits:
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.
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.