The Baltimore Ravens made slight work of the Washington Football Team, as Lamar Jackson and Co. secured a 31-17 victory in Week 4. Jackson rebounded from his poor performance against the Kansas City Chiefs on “Monday Night Football” earlier this week, passing for 193 yards with two touchdowns and one interception while also rushing for 53 yards and another score. He still struggled to hit targets downfield with consistency, but overall it was just the bounce-back performance Baltimore wanted to register.
For Washington, Terry McLaurin caught a career-high 10 passes for 118 yards, and rookie running back Antonio Gibson had his best day as a pro. He rushed for 46 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries, but was more effective through the air. The Memphis product caught four passes for 82 yards — including a 40-yard gain which set Washington up with their first score of the game.
At the end of the day, the Ravens were just too much for Washington, and former Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III even got some game action late in the fourth quarter.
Why the Ravens won
Andrews was coming off of a nightmare performance on Monday night, as he caught just three of his eight targets for 22 yards. He dropped several passes — including a would-be touchdown that could have affected the eventual outcome. The Andrews we saw this Sunday was the up-and-coming star that we all have grown accustomed to.
While Andrews caught just three passes for 57 yards, two of those catches were for touchdowns and were instrumental in putting Washington away. His first touchdown came at the end of the first half and pushed the lead to 21, while his second capped off Baltimore’s first possession of the second half — a 10-play, 75-yard drive which took up over six minutes of game time. Andrews was effective finding open spots in the secondary and even got behind the safeties on several occasions. Jackson again was inconsistent when throwing the ball downfield, but Andrews provided a big target he could hit with ease.
Why Washington lost
Offensive play calling
Late in the game down three scores, Haskins connected with McLaurin on what was a beautiful play all around. A perfect deep throw towards the end zone and an equally incredible catch by McLaurin.
My question is, why didn’t we see more plays like this one even attempted during the course of the game? Washington’s pass plays were basically limited to screens, slants and crossing patterns. There’s no doubt that some of this is due to Haskins’ wanting to check down rather than go for the big play, but you also have to wonder if Scott Turner is giving Haskins enough chances to push the ball downfield. On Sunday morning before kickoff, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that Washington could bench Haskins if his struggles continue. The former No. 15 overall pick didn’t necessarily struggle on Sunday, but you would have to think Rivera wants to put him in situations where he can be aggressive such as what Washington dialed up in garbage time.
Down 18 entering the fourth quarter, Washington embarked on a 17-play, 82-yard drive that ended with no points. Haskins was sacked for a loss of 18 yards on first and goal, and then didn’t attempt a pass towards the end zone on third and goal and fourth and goal. If Washington wasn’t going to try to attempt to score points on fourth and goal, it was hard to imagine they were going to pull off a double-digit comeback with less than a quarter left.
Play of the game
You defeat the Ravens by either keeping Jackson off the field or making sure that he doesn’t have opportunities to break loose for a big gain. More often than not, if Jackson finds the open field, he’s going to take it all the way. That’s exactly what happened in the second quarter against Washington on Sunday.
The Ravens return to Baltimore next week, where they will host the divisional rival Cincinnati Bengals. Washington on the other hand will host the Los Angeles Rams to cap off their two-game home stand.