Ravens buck trend with running the ball
In a pass-heavy NFL, the Ravens were able to beat Cincinnati by primarily running the ball.
Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson ran the ball 27 times, the most by any quarterback since 1960, for 117 yards. Fellow first-year player Gus Edwards had 115 yards on 17 carries with a touchdown. It was the first time Baltimore had a pair of 100-yard rushers in a game since Dec. 23, 2012 against the New York Giants.
Overall, Baltimore had 265 yards rushing, which helped the team avoid its first three-game home losing streak since 2007.
“That’s just a credit to the players,” coach John Harbaugh said. “I just feel like however you move the ball is good. There are different ways to do it, and you do it based on your personnel and what’s available to you as a coach. You try to figure that out – who you’re playing against and what your guys can do well.
“The coaches do the best they can to put a game plan together, and sometimes it’s run, sometimes it’s pass. You want it to be a mix, you know, both. Sometimes you do well at it, and sometimes you don’t. But in the end, it’s a player’s game. The players deserve the credit for running the ball so well.”
The run game could continue this week against Oakland, which is allowing 142.3 rushing yards per game.
Yanda denies spitting on Burfict
Ravens offensive lineman Marshal Yanda adamantly denied spitting on Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict in Week 11.
Video surfaced of what appeared to be spit coming off Yanda’s face mask during a scuffle with Burfict in the fourth quarter.
"I take a lot of pride in my character and how I was raised," said Yanda, a six-time Pro-Bowl selection. "I would never, ever spit on another man, another person, individual ever."
Coach John Harbaugh also defended his player.
“Have you ever – for whoever wrote the article that makes the insinuation – have you ever heard of Marshal Yanda’s character being attacked or him doing something along those lines ever in his whole career? But now, all of the sudden, we’re going to say, ‘Oh, I know Marshal Yanda spit at somebody, at a person?’ Really? Come on. No way,” Harbaugh said. .
11th all-time meeting. Ravens lead series 7-3. Baltimore is 4-2 against Oakland, including a 2-1 mark at home, under coach John Harbaugh. The Ravens are also 5-1 at home. These two teams last met in 2017 with the Ravens rolling to a 30-17 victory in Oakland. Baltimore also beat the Raiders 16-3 in the 2000 AFC Championship game.
BY THE NUMBERS
50 – Team-high receptions by wide receiver Willie Snead IV for 499 yards. He is on pace to have a career-high 80 receptions.
Rookie Lamar Jackson made his first start Week 11 against the Bengals. He ran the ball 27 times for 117 yards -- a franchise record for a quarterback. The 27 carries were also the most by any quarterback since 1960. Coach John Harbaugh doesn’t expect Jackson to carry that ball so many times moving forward. As a result, Jackson will look to throw the ball more downfield. In the previous game, he completed 13 of 19 mostly intermediate passes for 150 yards with an interception (70.1 passer rating). Oakland will stock the box and force him to throw. Jackson will have the opportunity to show he can be an effective pocket-passer. Still, the Ravens will look to set the tone with their running attack.
The bye week appeared to rejuvenate Baltimore, which regained its No. 1 ranking for overall defense. The Ravens will look to force turnovers and provide Jackson with a short field to get the offense going. Baltimore’s cornerbacks -- Marlon Humphrey, Jimmy Smith, Brandon Carr and Tavon Young -- played well against the Bengals. Those four players can have a repeat performance against an Oakland passing offense that is ranked 17th with 245 yards per game.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Ravens LB Terrell Suggs vs. Raiders QB Derek Carr
Carr is having a tough season, but he doesn’t have many targets. He suffered another setback when WR Brandon LaFell tore an Achilles' tendon against Arizona and was placed on Injured Reserve. Carr has also endured 34 sacks, tied for fourth most in the league. The veteran Suggs has as a team-high four of the Ravens 29 sacks and he will keep constant pressure on Carr. Baltimore cannot afford to get into a shootout.
Ravens QB Lamar Jackson and running backs vs. Raider defensive line
The Ravens will emphasize running the ball with Jackson at quarterback. Baltimore ran for 265 yards on 54 carries last week against the Bengals’ 32nd ranked run defense. Oakland is not much better and is ranked 31st against the run. The Ravens will look to exploit that weakness. In addition to Jackson, the Ravens have four running backs -- Gus Edwards, Buck Allen, Ty Montgomery and Alex Collins -- that are capable of picking up yards. Baltimore will look to wear down the Raiders’ front seven by continuously attacking them.
PREDICTION: Ravens 27, Raiders 10