The 10 plays that defined the Ravens’ 2021 season, from injuries to overtime scores – Orange County Register

When Ravens coaches and players review the 2021 season, they’ll see a team that has lost as many of the last games they’ve won, ending with a negative point difference for the first time since 2015 (minus 2015). -5), takes more hits than it can eventually endure. They will see a team that, as Latavius ​​Murray put it again on Sunday, “didn’t finish by the end of the day.”

“Again, it’s a story [of] two seasons, if you mean it,” Murray said after the Ravens’ sixth loss in a row, 16-13 loss in overtime in Baltimore against the Pittsburgh Steelers. “The first half of the season, we found a way to win these games. In the second half we didn’t. ”

On a macro level, that’s the difference between Raven competing for the AFC top seed and not being able to make it to the knockout stages. But at the micro level, the gap between victory and defeat is sometimes just a play. Here are the 10 that defined seasons 8-9 of Raven.

Pre-season: CB Marcus Peters, RB Gus Edwards tore ACL’s net in the same training session

The end-of-season injuries occurred in different games, but they capped off one of the worst pre-season misfortunes in recent history. On August 28, rerun JK Dobbins, who showed his breakout potential in all training camp, tore his ACL in the Ravens’ pre-season finals. On September 2, the reserve running back to the Hill of Justice tore his Achilles tendon. On September 8, Raven lost Peters, possibly their top cornerback in the camp, and Edwards, one of the NFL’s most efficient runners, in the space of a few actual runs.

Earlier in the camp, Raven lost inside defender LJ Fort (torn ACL), 2020 initiator and special team captain, and wide-earning rookie Rashod Bateman (groin), top draft pick their own, because of significant trauma. At the end of the season, 25 Ravens landed on the wounded reserve.

Week 1, at Raiders: QB Lamar Jackson fired for overtime

Carl Nassib’s forced acrobatic run on the defensive end, setting up Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr’s winning pass to Zay Jones three innings later, ended a nightmare debut. for Raven’s pass defense. According to NFL Next Generation Stats, Raiders pressure Jackson for 54.5% of his dropouts in their 33-27 victory. Even more impressive, they rarely hit more than four passes after him.

Jackson was fired three times and hit eight times in the game, which was Raven’s final game of the season against Ronnie Stanley and Alejandro Villanueva in attacking duels. Stanley, an All-Pro pick in 2019, did not return to action in 2021 – he suffered a second consecutive ankle injury at the end of the season in October – and Villanueva took his place. position on the ball, where his performance fluctuates.

Week 2, vs. Chief: QB Lamar Jackson switches fourth and second clinching

After taking a 36-35 lead in Baltimore with three minutes left, the Ravens were forced to fumble with a full-back outside Odafe Oweh and a key catch from wide receiver Sammy Watkins to set up the goal. fourth and short at their 43-yard line.

Instead of throwing the ball back to defender Patrick Mahomes with less than a minute left, coach John Harbaugh asked Jackson if he wanted to continue. Of course he did. Jackson took a quick shot of the shotgun, found his way around, and pushed ahead for a 2-yard advantage. The early win was Raven’s first game against Mahomes (343 passes and 3 touches) and opened a five-game winning streak.

Week 3, at Lions: K Justin Tucker scores 66-yard goal, NFL record

The crows ends with a game of the best NFL special teams this season in part because there’s only one Justin Tucker. According to Pro Football Focus, having finished 35-37 in scoring attempts this season, the Pro Bowl soccer player leads the NFL in both hit rate and unexpected kicks.

His 66-yard player was certainly a surprise. The Raven, behind 17-16, needed a fourth switch and 19 with 26 seconds left to even give Tucker a chance. After Jackson found Watkins in 36 yards, Tucker lined up from Detroit’s 48 with three seconds left. His fourth goal of the day hit the crossbar inside Detroit’s Ford Field and went through the post, breaking Matt Prater’s 2013 record-setting record (64 yards).

Week 5, versus Colts: WR Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown catches overtime game winner

Jackson went 37-eat-43 in 442 yards and four touchdowns in a back-to-back win in official time, and most of his finishes looked to be practically his last. On the second and the winning goal, five minutes into extra time, he stepped back, spoofed as he waited for Brown to spot, then whistled a five-yard touchdown pass to him near the top of the final zone.

The 31-25 win was a career night for both Jackson, whose career-high 442 yards pass, and Brown, whose 125 yards of receiving and two points both hit season-highs. But Raven’s passing attack rarely easily turns out to be so easy over the next three months.

Week 7, against the Bengals: WR Ja’Marr Chase scores in an 82-yard catch and run

No game better visualizes Raven’s secondary team struggles, and no better showcases Cincinnati’s dominance over Raven this season. In the third and second quarters between the third quarter, Chase broke away from cornerback Marlon Humphrey, caught a pass from quarterback Joe Burrow, got away from DeShon Elliott’s tackle, got away from safety Chuck Clark, and got past past everyone to the final area .

In two wins, Burrow netted Raven with 941 yards of passes, seven touchdowns and one interception, while Chase had 15 catches from 326 yards and one touchdown. Team Raven, besieged by injuries in the second grade, finished their final season in the NFL on a passing defense (278.9 yards allowable per game, a brand worst) and ultimately 40 yards (18) in turns is allowed.

Week 12, against Browns: QB Lamar Jackson throws third intercept in about five passes

Jackson’s midterm unrest seemed to begin in Week 10, when Raven’s offense failed to address Miami Dolphins’ Cover 0. His paintings have reached the point of almost absurdity. Late in the second half of a 16-10 aggregate home win over the Cleveland Browns, he threw three interceptions in a five-pass span. Every throw comes from a clean bag.

After adding a fourth pick in the fourth quarter, Jackson ended the game with a passer rating of 46.5, the worst of his starting career. (A saving grace: his third-quarter miracle scramble to find Mark Andrews ended tight for a 13-yard touchdown pass.) In the final four games of the season, a catch caught head in Miami, he completed 62.9% of his passes for 673 yards, three touchdowns and six interceptions. He averaged just 5.8 yards per pass attempt and 4.6 yards per attempt during that period.

Week 13, at the Steelers: CB Marlon Humphrey Hurts Catching Touchdown

The Ravens have lost Peters and Elliott to season-ending injuries by the time the Steelers, trailing 13-12 at the end of the fourth quarter, line up on goal three and goal from number five. Diontae Johnson caught more. insult to other injury. Humphrey, an All-Pro like Peters in 2019, tore a pectoral muscle when he tried to punch the ball away from Johnson near the line.

His absence in an already depleted corner room left Harbaugh ahead to convert to 2 points after Raven scored in their next possession. But Jackson’s pass to an open-minded Andrews went unnoticed, and Raven, who came into the match at the top of the AFC, will soon begin a season-ending slump.

Week 14, at Browns: QB Lamar Jackson injured in fight

No game this season could have been more impactful than the Browns inside quarterback Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah’s seemingly innocuous attempt to tackle Jackson as he hit a short throw for Andrews. Jackson suffered a bruise on his right ankle and he was sent off, never to play again in 2021.

While substitute Tyler Huntley impressed in the final 24-22 loss in Cleveland, Raven had to play the last four plus games of their season without their most important player and former Player of the Year. the most valuable NFL.

Week 15, vs. Packers: QB Tyler Huntley can’t convert effort to 2 points

If the Ravens win even one of the last six games, their season could still stand. Green Bay’s 31-30 win in Baltimore doesn’t quell their playoff hopes, nor does it reflect poorly for the Ravens themselves, who are playing with a roster further ravaged by the coronavirus outbreak. But the game has captured the razor-thin margins that define their season.

Huntley’s pass in the game’s decisive 2-point attempt never reached Andrews, instead reaching the Packers’ safety with Darnell Savage’s outstretched hand. Huntley also never saw Brown, who was running widely in the middle of the terminal block. It was the Ravens’ eighth and final two-point drive of the season; they only convert two. The 10 plays that defined the Ravens’ 2021 season, from injuries to overtime scores – Orange County Register

Huynh Nguyen

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