Ravens notch third straight win with 40-14 blowout of Jaguars

The Baltimore Ravens continued to make a strong push for the playoffs and extended their current winning streak to three in a row with a commanding 40-14 blowout of the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 15 at home.

The Ravens improved to 9-5 and handed the Jaguars their 13th straight loss by dominating on both sides of the ball. They used a four-touchdown performance from reigning league MVP Lamar Jackson and a resurgent outing from their pass rush to propel them to victory.

While the Ravens established and dominated on the ground, Jackson flipped the script and carried the offense with his arm rather than his legs. He lit up Jacksonville’s secondary for 243 yards and three touchdowns to one interception and ran the ball 10 times for just 35 yards and one touchdown.

After not recording more than two sacks of an opposing quarterback in a single game since before their bye week, the levies finally broke Baltimore’s pass rush against the Jaguars with the second-highest single-game total of the season.

Led by former Jaguar and Pro Bowl defensive end, Yannick Ngakoue who had two, the Ravens sacked second-year signal-caller Gardner Minshew a whopping five times.

The Ravens scored in every quarter on Sunday and held Jacksonville scoreless in the first half. Baltimore jumped out to an early nine-point lead in the opening period after outside linebacker Matthew Judon sacked Minshew in the endzone for a safety on their first possession.

On the ensuing possession, Jackson led a seven-play drive that covered 68 yards and was capped off by a four-yard strike to wide receiver Miles Boykin in the back of the end zone for a touchdown.

The second quarter was the Ravens’ most productive of the day and was where they built up their insurmountable lead. They didn’t punt once and scored on three of the four drives—two touchdowns and a field goal—with the last being a season-long field goal attempt by Justin Tucker that he barely missed wide right from 57 yards out.

The highlight of the first half was the third scoring drive of the second quarter where veteran wide receiver Dez Bryant hauled in his first touchdown pass in over three years. In addition to putting the Ravens up 26-0, it was a sentimental occasion for both Bryant and his teammates.

Jacksonville spoiled what many were starting to believe was going to be the Ravens’ first shutout of the season when they marched 80 yards in 10 plays for a score on the opening drive of the second half.

Minshew floated a beautiful17-touchdown pass to running back James Robinson who got behind fellow rookie Patrick Queen on a wheel route down the right sideline.

Baltimore responded with a 10-play scoring drive of their own on the ensuing drive that they capped off with a five-yard designed quarterback run from Jackson to extend their lead back to four possessions.

The Jaguars were on the verge of answering with a second straight scoring drive and drove all the way to the Ravens’ 13-yard line before Ngakoue sacked Minshew for the second time and punched the ball out in the process.

Veteran defensive tackles Derrick Wolfe jumped on the loose ball and the Ravens offense rode the momentum of the turnover to the tune of a 10-play drive that spanned 86 yards and ended in a three-yard touchdown pass from Jackson to tight end Mark Andrews.

Jacksonville’s second and final scoring drive covered 61 yards in just six plays and ended with a 13-yard touchdown from Minshew to wide receiver Chris Conley.

However, it would’ve been over after just two plays and resulted in seven more points for the Ravens but a bone-headed roughing the passer penalty committed by outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson negated a 44-yard interception return for a touchdown by inside linebacker LJ Fort who perfectly read and jumped an outbreaking route intended for rookie wideout Laviska Shenault Jr.

While the Ravens continued to do their part by stacking yet another win, they still currently sit on the outside looking in on the current AFC playoff picture because all three of the wild card contenders in front of them won on Sunday.

If Baltimore’s wins out, they will need either the Dolphins, Browns, or Indianapolis to lose at least one game in the final two weeks of the regular season.

Ravens fans may not want to hear this but they should be rooting for their archrival Pittsburgh Steelers to win out as well because they play both the Browns and Indianapolis to close out the year and if they were to get back on track after dropping their last two games following a perfect 11-0 start, it would punch the Baltimore’s playoff ticket.

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