Ravens run Cowboys out of town in 34-17 rout

The Baltimore Ravens got back on track and ended their three-game skid with a 34-17 blowout of the Dallas Cowboys at M&T Bank Stadium in a primetime bout on Tuesday night. They steamrolled their interconference opponents with a bludgeoning rushing attack that racked up a season-high 294 yards on the ground.

“The offensive line deserves a ton of credit, [the] running backs, running game, Lamar [Jackson],” Head Coach John Harbaugh. “The running game was excellent – that was the key on offense.”

Spearheaded by reigning league MVP Lamar Jackson and his dynamic three-touchdown performance, the Ravens looked like the same revolutionary offense that dazzled the entire league last year.

Jackson was among many Ravens starters and key players appearing in their first game since contracting and recovering from the COVID-19 outbreak that ran ramped within the organization for nearly a fortnight and caused their last two games to be postponed.

The offense looked a little rusty and the passing game specifically wasn’t in sync out of the gate but it was clear early on that Cowboys’ league-worst rush defense that has been historically porous this season could not contain the Ravens ground game.

Baltimore’s gaudy final rushing tally was more than any single game from their record-breaking 2019 season. They had three players rush for 70 or more yards and were led by third-year running back Gus Edwards who recorded 101 yards on just seven carries.

Jackson came in second with 94 yards on 13 carries and rookie J.K. Dobbins picked up 71 yards on 11 carries. Each of the aforementioned players had a rush that eclipsed 30 yards and veteran Mark Ingram added 28 yards on six carries.

Dec 8, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins (27) rushes during the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Both Jackson and Dobbins recorded rushing scores. On fourth-and-2 in the first quarter, Jackson’s 37-yard dash up the middle of the Cowboys’ defense after he waived off the field goal unit was Baltimore’s first points of the day, and Dobbins’ five-yard jaunt into the end zone late in the fourth quarter was their last.

“I’m not going to lie to you; I wasn’t even thinking it was a fourth-down after the play got called,” Jackson said. “Prior to that, we got stopped, so we had to go put points on the board. We were driving the ball downfield; our defense was playing lights out. The line did great, and I just had to finish it off.”

Jackson had a solid outing as a passer as well by finishing 12-of-17 for 107 yards, a pair of touchdowns, and an interception. His first touchdown toss was a 38-yard catch and run to a wide-open Miles Boykin and his second came on a beautifully place back-shoulder pass to Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown for a 20-yard strike.

“He delivered a great pass. If you don’t come down with that one, you can’t say too much,” Brown said.

The Ravens’ defense gave up 10 first-quarter points after they were forced to defend short fields on back to back drives following a Jackson interception and a long return on special teams.

However, they would go on to hold the Cowboys to three failed field goal attempts, a turnover on downs, and an interception before giving up a late touchdown when victory was already in hand thanks to a double-digit lead.

While Dallas’ offense was able to move the ball consistently, Baltimore stiffened up and made the necessary plays to protect their lead.

The interception was impressively corralled by rookie inside linebacker Patrick Queen before it hit the ground after being tipped at the line of scrimmage.

It was the first of his career and will further reinforce his candidacy for Defensive Rookie of the Year. He also recorded five total tackles and a pass deflection in this game.

This was a must-win game for the Ravens and they came away with the victory thanks to a simple formula of doing what they do best and making big plays on offense and bending but not breaking on defense.

Even though they have a favorable schedule down the stretch but can’t afford to overlook a confident Browns team that currently has a better record than them and that they will be facing in Week 13 on the road in primetime on Monday Night Football.

“Just keep building [and] staying focused on our craft,” Jackson said. “Everyone just has to do their assignments. I feel we could pull it off. We’ve got the Browns right now. We’ve got to come to play. We’re going to Cleveland, [and] we’ve just got to be ready to play football.”

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