3 Takeaways from Ravens' Week 5 Win

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistOctober 12, 2021

3 Takeaways from Ravens' Week 5 Win

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    Terrance Williams/Associated Press

    The Baltimore Ravens authored the best come-from-behind win of the 2021 NFL season to date on Monday night. 

    Lamar Jackson led the Ravens back from a 16-point deficit to defeat the Indianapolis Colts in overtime 31-25. 

    Jackson bounced back from a tough first half with four touchdown passes in the second half and overtime to his two most important targets. 

    Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews made a handful of big catches during the comeback, and they both found the end zone on two occasions. 

    Baltimore's victory kept it on top of the AFC North by one game ahead of the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals. The Ravens also kept pace with the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Chargers in the early race for the No. 1 seed in the AFC. 

Lamar Jackson Was Fantastic in 2nd Half

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    You can use every superlative in the book to describe Jackson's second-half performance. 

    The Baltimore quarterback finished 37-of-43 with 442 passing yards and four touchdowns. He also ran for 62 yards. 

    His comeback and stat line appeared to be dead midway through the third quarter, when he fumbled close to the goal line.

    Jackson's morale could have been broken by that turnover and the ensuing Jonathan Taylor touchdown, but he used that as a rallying point. The Colts originally returned that fumble for a touchdown, but it was called back for an illegal forward pass. 

    Baltimore answered with a five-play, 75-yard scoring drive that was a sign of things to come from its offense. Jackson hit Brown for a 45-yard touchdown pass for the team's first touchdown.

    After that point, there was no slowing down Jackson in the comeback attempt. He led four consecutive scoring drives, all of which were longer than 50 yards. 

    The last two scoring series boasted Baltimore's ability to drive down the field in a crucial situation. Jackson used an 11-play drive to level the score at 25-25, and then he finished off the win with a 10-play, 68-yard drive in overtime.

    Jackson's performance should vault him higher in the Most Valuable Player conversation. Josh Allen could be viewed as the favorite for that award after the Buffalo Bills won in Kansas City on Sunday. 

    Jackson turned a deflating home loss into a victory that Baltimore should rally around to achieve more success in the coming weeks.

    Baltimore faces the Los Angeles Chargers and Cincinnati at home in the next two weeks before the Week 8 bye. If Jackson plays like he did in the second half for four quarters, Baltimore could be 6-1 heading into the break. 

Baltimore's Top Passing Targets Shined in Comeback

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    Terrance Williams/Associated Press

    Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown were massive in leading the Ravens back from their double-digit deficit. 

    Jackson's top two targets acted like the dominant players they can be in the offense throughout the second half. 

    Andrews caught 11 of his 13 targets for 147 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught a pair of passes on two-point conversions. 

    The Ravens tight end smashed his previous single-game high in receiving yards. He had 112 receiving yards in Week 2 of 2019 versus the Arizona Cardinals

    Andrews also caught more than eight passes for the first time in a game in his career. He had eight receptions twice before Monday night.

    Brown produced his second-highest single-game total. His 125 yards were the highest since his NFL debut in 2019 against the Miami Dolphins.

    The Oklahoma product caught two touchdowns in one game for just the fourth time in his three-year career. 

    Andrews and Brown have the potential to be this deadly in the passing game every week. Monday's win could be a catalyst to a strong aerial season for the Ravens. 

    The top targets will be needed once again on Sunday to compete with the Chargers, who just put up 47 points on the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

    If the Ravens turn in more complete performances, starting with the Chargers game, Andrews and Brown could put up monster numbers in a handful of contests. 

Defense Needs to Contain Running Backs Better

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    The major flaw of the Baltimore defense on Monday was the failure to contain Jonathan Taylor. 

    Taylor broke loose on a 76-yard touchdown pass from Carson Wentz to open the scoring. He finished with 169 total yards on 18 touches. 

    Taylor was a major asset in the passing game for the Colts, and he used his legs to pick up some key first downs throughout the contest. 

    Baltimore's inability to slow down Taylor is a cause for concern with the next two games in mind. Austin Ekeler and Joe Mixon have the potential to wreak havoc in both aspects of the offense. 

    Ekeler has seven total touchdowns, and he is the Chargers' fourth-best receiver behind Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Jared Cook. 

    If the Ravens fail to contain Ekeler in Week 6, they could find themselves in a similar position as they were in at halftime on Monday. 

    In that situation, the Ravens may not have the luxury of coming back from a double-digit deficit. 

    As long as the Ravens tighten up their defense against opposing running backs, they should be in every contest against the top contenders in the AFC, starting with the Chargers on Sunday. 

       

    Statistics obtained from Pro Football Reference.

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