BALTIMORE, MD - Baker Mayfield re-entered the starting lineup today for the Carolina Panthers, but another lackluster performance led to a 13-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Defense prevailed in this matchup as both offenses struggled to materialize any sort of momentum through the first half of play. The Panthers totaled just 63 yards of offense and three yards per play. Baker Mayfield completed 8-of-10 passes, but didn't push the ball downfield all that much, finishing the half with 46 yards through the air.
Really the only excitement in the early going came on the Ravens' fourth drive of the game when Panthers defensive tackle Bravvion Roy detached from his blocker, raised his hands up, and intercepted Lamar Jackson's pass.
Carolina shot themselves in the foot following the interception with a chop block penalty on RB Chuba Hubbard and a snap infraction on Bradley Bozeman, which put them well behind the chains on third down.
With 3:38 remaining in the half, Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense pieced together a 15-play, 76-yard drive that resulted in a 32-yard field goal by Justin Tucker for the only points of the first two quarters.
The offenses picked up where they left off to start the third quarter, each going three and out on their first drive. However, Baltimore's three and out proved to be more costly as Frankie Luvu and Jaycee Horn came away with back-to-back sacks on Jackson, forcing the Ravens to punt from their own 7-yard line.
Carolina began the next series from their own 46 and thanks to a clutch 24-yard pitch and catch from Mayfield to Terrace Marshall Jr. on 3rd & 9 and a defensive pass interference penalty on Chuck Clark, the Panthers were able to work their way into field goal range. Eddy Pineiro booted through a 32-yard field goal of his own to tie things up 3-3 midway through the quarter.
Baltimore threatened to regain control of the lead on the ensuing drive as Lamar Jackson came up with a couple of big completions to Demarcus Robinson (20 yards) and Mark Andrews (15 yards). A questionable facemask on right tackle Morgan Moses and a sack by Brian Burns pushed the Ravens out of field goal range and were forced to punt.
On their next series, the Ravens went on another long, methodical drive that ate up exactly seven minutes of game clock. Carolina's defense buckled down and limited the damage to a 37-yard field goal from Tucker.
Two plays later, Marcus Peters came away with the play of the game by ripping the ball away from Shi Smith which was recovered by Marlon Humphrey. Kenyon Drake hit the outside for a gain of 29 on the ground and Lamar Jackson capped off the drive with a rushing touchdown to put the game out of reach.
Humphrey recorded another takeaway by intercepting a Baker Mayfield pass, ultimately putting the final dagger in Carolina's hopes of generating a late fourth quarter comeback. The Ravens were able to eat up some clock but did give Carolina one more chance with the ball. Mayfield connected on a 34-yard pass to Terrace Marshall Jr., but a few moments later he had a pass batted at the line of scrimmage which wound up in the hands of Jason Pierre-Paul for another interception.
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