BALTIMORE — The Ravens showed their heart in their showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Baltimore not only shocked the Chiefs with a 36-35 victory, but the Ravens also proved they are legitimate Super-Bowl contenders despite the injuries.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson shook off two costly turnovers and kept the Ravens driving forward. He is simply more determined to make plays than the defenders who try to stop him.
“Our team is strong," Jackson said. "We’re together – just keep building, keep stacking, keep staying focused. That loss – that close loss in Las Vegas [last Monday night] – feels like it gave us a little boost. It didn’t slow us down. We know where we can be at, and we showed a little bit tonight. We’ve just got to keep getting better, because I threw two first-quarter interceptions – one for a pick-6 on the first drive – and that pissed me off.
"Then I threw another one in the red zone – that pissed me off – trying to force something, trying to make something happen too fast, instead of just driving the ball downfield like we did. We’ve just got to stay focused, just keep doing what we’re doing, [and] we’ll be fine.”
Jackson completed 18 of 26 passes for 239 yards with a touchdown. He also ran for 107 yards with two scores. On a 4th and 1 with a minute left, Jackson ran for the game-winning first down. It was an unbelievable performance.
Marquise Brown continues to make plays and is showing that he is a true No. 1 wide receiver. Brown finished with 6 receptions for 113 yards with a touchdown. His route running has improved and so has his ability to get yards after a catch.
Baltimore running back Latavius Murray brings another dimension to the Ravens’ style of offense with his punishing style of play. The Ravens ran for 165 of their 251 yards in the first half and pounding the ball still gives them the best chance to win.
The biggest obstacle for the Ravens is dealing with a staggering number of injures. Baltimore currently has 15 players on IR, which is by far the most in the NFL.
Rookie wide receiver Rashod Bateman and veteran tight end Nick Boyle are expected to be back after the first quarter of the season. It’s uncertain how long Ronnie Stanley will be out with an ankle injury.
The secondary is also thin, but the Ravens front seven can mask some of that inexperience. However, Baltimore's open-field tackling has been terrible over the past two games and that needs to be drastically cleaned up.
Baltimore can start stacking more wins starting this week with the struggling Detroit Lions. The Ravens then have games with the Broncos, Colts, Chargers and Bengals.
The good news is that are no undefeated teams in the AFC North. The Steelers, Browns and Bengals are also 1-1. Cleveland has looked the best of those teams.
Nonetheless, the Ravens have gotten this season back on the rails.
"We’ve just got to keep building," Jackson said. "We're happy right now; we just got the ‘dub’ like 20 minutes ago. We’re going to let it sink in. We’ve got Detroit ahead of us, a long season ahead of us. We’ve just got to keep going.”