Here’s what The Baltimore Sun sports staff had to say immediately after the Ravens’ 38-6 win over the Detroit Lions in Sunday’s Week 7 game at M&T Bank Stadium.
Brian Wacker: This was the Ravens offense fans were expecting when Baltimore signed Lamar Jackson to a $260 million extension and brought in receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Zay Flowers and offensive coordinator Todd Monken. It also became apparent very quickly that there would be no hangover from last week’s red zone struggles in London, nor would there be the kind of drama from the last time these teams met two years ago.
Jackson was accurate, the Ravens were aggressive and explosive with their play calling and the Lions’ own dynamic offense was completely shut down by a defense that has continually proven to be one of the best in the league.
Earlier this season, coach John Harbaugh referred to Jackson as the team’s point guard on offense and he looked every bit that part again, directing touchdown drives on each of Baltimore’s first four possessions. Detroit’s defense, meanwhile, looked like Swiss cheese, with Ravens receivers and backs running free most of the afternoon. The Lions also failed to put any pressure on Jackson, and by the time the game reached halftime, it was over.
Childs Walker: The Ravens rose to their greatest test of the season with their best performance, outclassing a team that came in playing as well as any in the league. Lamar Jackson had all the time and all the free targets he needed, throwing for 255 yards in the first half. Coordinator Todd Monken called a variety of cool plays to set up big gains for seemingly every playmaker on the team. The offensive line blocked brilliantly. The defense was just as good, sending the Lions off the field three-and-out on their first three drives. Coordinator Mike Macdonald’s pass rush tactics again worked like a charm. The Ravens had not delivered a complete performance over the first six weeks. On this day, they looked like a Super Bowl contender.
C.J. Doon: This was the kind of performance that makes you rethink the ceiling of this Ravens team. Through the first six weeks, their inability to finish games and uninspiring offense kept their true potential hidden. On Sunday, we saw what they can do when everything clicks. A team with an MVP-caliber Lamar Jackson and a lights-out defense is elite, perhaps one of the two or three best in the league. That pushes Baltimore from divisional round afterthought to a potential AFC champion, and that’s no small difference for a team that hasn’t been able to get over the hump in the postseason. Of couse, consistency has been the name of the game for years, so it would be foolish to assume we’ll see this kind of performance week after week. Still, it’s important to know the Ravens had this dominant potential bubbling beneath the surface.
Tim Schwartz: That had to be one of the most complete performances in Ravens history. Lamar Jackson played, in my opinion, the best game of his career, completing 21 of 27 passes to nine receivers, and the defense shut out one of the league’s best offenses through three quarters. Mark Andrews celebrated National Tight Ends Day with a pair of touchdowns. The running game was efficient behind Gus Edwards, Justice Hill and Jackson. This is the type of game the Ravens have shown glimpses of all season, and they finally put it all together. When Pat Ricard rumbling down the field and Edwards outrunning a defense down the sideline for an 80-yard catch are two of the lower-level highlights, you know it was a good day. The Ravens proved they are a Super Bowl contender.